A karst cave in Burgos was a Neanderthal restaurant 46,000 years ago with deer, chamois and bison as the menu of the day

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A study of the animal remains found in the Prado Vargas cave of the karst complex of Ojo Guareña (Merindad de Sotoscueva, Burgos)one of the largest in Europe, has made it possible to determine that the Neanderthals used the cave as a “restaurant”, with deer, chamois and bison as the menu of the day, during the spring, summer and autumn months in which they turned it into their home for dozens of decades 46,000 years ago.

The excavation team, which has been working at this Burgos site since 2016, has just published an article in the international journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences about the diet and periods of occupation of the cavity, which is part of the BIC and of Guareña Eye Natural Monument.

The taxonomic study of the remains has made it possible to identify the animals that lived alongside the Neanderthals, 46,000 years ago, among which deer, goats, horses, bison, wild boar, lions, wolves and cave bears stood out, and of which they fed, the researchers reported in a press release this Tuesday.

The scientific article that has just been published has been led by the predoctoral researcher from the University of Burgos Hector de la Fuente and has consisted of analyzing more than six thousand animal remains and teeth, mostly from the excavation campaigns that have been systematically carried out since 2016 at level 4 of this site.

The study of the remains has allowed us to demonstrate that Neanderthals were the first accumulator agent in Prado Vargas, they hunted mainly deer, mountain goats, chamois and horses, and to a lesser extent bison and wild boar, and they took their limbs to the cave, where they were They have found mainly fragments of femurs, tibias, rays and metapodes.

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