Neanderthals may be more sophisticated than previously thought as researchers have found what they suggest the first evidence of abstract art created by the extinct species in a cave above the Mediterranean Sea, Los Angeles Times reports.
The Neanderthals are an extinct species of human in the genus of Homo, very closely related to modern human beings with marginal genetic difference.
The ‘art’ was found toward the back of a cave in Gibraltar at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the engravings were made at least 39,000 years ago, when the cave was inhabited by Neanderthals, according to the LA Times report.
The engravings consisted of 13 lines of various depths and widths that were deliberately carved into a natural stone platform that rests about 1 foot above the cave floor.
The researchers did not try to guess what the Neanderthal artist may have been trying to say, but did conclude that the patterns were not made by accident and was deliberately carved.
According to researchers, this provides another layer of evidence that Neanderthals were more sophisticated than previously thought.