32,000-year-old human fossils unearthed in Ukraine
Kiev, (Ukraine), June 22 (ANI): A team of archaeologists has uncovered 32,000-year-old human remains in Ukraine.
Experts claimed that ancient remains represent some of the oldest evidence of modern people in Europe.
Archaeologists found human bones and teeth, tools, ivory ornaments and animal remains at the Buran-Kaya cave site, the BBC reports.
Ancient fossils bear cut marks suggesting they were de-fleshed as part of a post-mortem ritual.
The artefacts made by humans at the site allowed archaeologists to tie the ancient people to a cultural tradition known as the Gravettian.
Archaeologist Dr Alexander Yanevich from the National Ukrainian Academy of Science in Kiev discovered the four Buran-Kaya caves in the Crimean mountains in 1991. Since then, roughly two hundred human bone fragments have been unearthed at the site.
Researchers were able to directly date the human fossils using radiocarbon techniques. The shape and form of the remains told the scientists they were dealing with modern humans.
One thing that intrigued researchers was the scarcity of human long bones (bones from the limbs) in the caves. The site yielded countless limb bones from antelope, foxes and hares.
But the human remains consisted of vertebrae, teeth and skull bones no larger than 12cm.
Also, the positions of cut marks found on the human fragments were distinct from those found on the animal bones.
Co-author Sandrine Prat from the French National Centre for Scientific Research explained that the bone marrow had been removed from butchered animals, it had been left alone in the case of the human remains at the site.
The finds offer anthropologists a glimpse into a very early and important human culture, said Professor Clive Finlayson, an evolutionary ecologist. (ANI)
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