Gibraltar’s Neanderthal research has been featured in ‘Nature’ an international journal of science.
The article profiles Gibraltar Museum Curator Clive Finlayson’s work in his newest publication ‘The Smart Neanderthal: Bird Catching, cave Art, and the Cognitive Revolution’.
In his book Dr Finlayson is challenging the stereotype of Neanderthals as uncreative and unintelligent.
The article states that “intriguingly” birds form a significant part of Mr Finlayson’s argument into the Neanderthals intellect.
When Neanderthals occupied the Gibraltar caves, sea levels were lower and they shared their habitat with a wider variety of animals including birds,
In the protected atmosphere of the caves the bones of birds survived, and the fossils recovered sample 160 avian species.
Dr Finlayson suggests that tool marks left on the bones indicate that some of the species were processed for food, or more controversially their feathers.
The article added “that most of the humdrum things we do daily do not necessarily reflect our cognitive potential” and that “more sites in which Neanderthals were put through their behavioural paces” need to be found.
Mr Finlayson’s book will be released on May 1 and is published by the Oxford University Press.