A new study has found that Neanderthals may have used feathers as ornaments most likely in the same manner they used shells.
Archaeologists say they have found evidence that Neanderthals were using feathers as ornaments 44,000 years ago.
Marco Peresani at the University of Ferrara in Italy found 660 bird bones mixed in with Neanderthal bones in Fumane cave in northern Italy.
His team found that many bones were strategically cut to take the feathers off them, reports New Scientist. Peresani doesn’t think the feathers belonged to birds eaten because many of the species are poor food sources and fletched arrows had not been invented at the time.
While Joao Zilhao at the University of Barcelona in Spain says it is more evidence that Neanderthals were as cultured as H. sapiens, Thomas Higham at the University of Oxford says Peresani has pushed his data too far.
The study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.