A team of Spanish researchers discovered proof on how cave people would decorate their homes. The evidence shows that they used lion pelts, but the researchers couldn’t determine whether they used them as roofs or rugs. The specialists made the discovery while exploring one of the caves in their home country.
Edgard Camarós was the leader of the team of archaeologists. The group examined caves in Spain which were used by prehistoric people to live in and perform rituals. At one of the ritual sites in the La Garma cave, the researchers came upon fossils belonging to a cave lion species, which is now extinct. They found no less than nine claw fragments.
The relics belong to the Eurasian cave lion, as specialists suggest. They explain that the prehistoric beasts were larger than its contemporary counterpart, now living in Africa. In addition to this, the cave lion also lacked the emblematic mane of the lions today.
The team of specialists discovered about thirty thousand bone fragments in the cave and most of them originate from animals such as goats and horses. However, the nine lion claws were among them, and stand as the only relic of the prehistoric cave beast.
Researchers have an explanation why they only found claws in the cave, but no other bone fragments of the animals. They suspect that the cave people used lion pelts to decorate the altar, the ritual site or the cave. Since no skull fossils were found, it seems like the prehistoric people would use the pelts without the head as decorations. However, the claws of the animal were still attached to its skin and made it to our century to tell this story.
Specialists believe that the lion pelts were used either as building material for tent roofs, or carpets place on the ground. However, no pelt fragment was preserved, as they must have disintegrated throughout time. The only thing that survived to our times is the fossil claws.
In addition to this, the discovery of the claws doesn’t only offer information on how the early humans used to decorate their caves. It is also strong evidence that they were great hunters. What’s more, researchers believe that hunting contributed to the disappearance of the animal.
You can find more details on the findings of the Spanish team in PLOS One.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia