A 5,000-Year-Old Skull Found In France Reveals A Bizarre Practice Performed By Ancient Humans

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Image: Richard Gatley

On the edges of sprawling marshland near the western coast of France from 1975 to 1985, a team of archaeologists uncovered relics from an ancient past. Among the interesting finds from the late Stone Age were masses of animal bones. And one of the most unusual was a cow’s skull with a particularly intriguing peculiarity. Fascinatingly, this little detail would open a wide window on how the Neolithic people of the region used to live.

Image: via Wikimedia Commons

Tens of thousands of years ago, Neolithic humans – who looked not dissimilar to us – trod the Earth we walk today. But even now, with all the techniques of modern archeology at our disposal, we know very little about how these ancestors lived. Academics can make educated guesses, but much about man in the Neolithic age – which ran for roughly 8,000 years until about 2000 B.C. – remains a mystery.

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Image: Fernando Ramirez Rozzi via Nature Research

However, most new archeological sites bring fresh revelations about ancient humans and their societies. And recently, an animal skull uncovered at Champ-Durand, a Neolithic settlement in Vendée, an area to the south of the French city of Nantes, has been causing quite a stir. In fact, the bone has helped bring new light to a mysterious practice that has intrigued archaeologists since the 19th century.

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