June 20, 2021


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Paleontologists for the first time discover the pierced skull of a Pleistocene cave bear

Impression: These types of arrowhead (still left) was in all probability applied to get rid of the bear.
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Credit score: UrFU / Elizaveta Veretennikova.

Russian paleontologists discovered the cranium of a Pleistocene tiny cave bear with synthetic harm in the Imanay Cave (Bashkiria, Russia). A bear aged 9-10 decades was killed with a spear through hibernation about 35 thousand yrs in the past. If the assumptions of scientists are verified, the find will turn into the world’s first direct evidence of a Paleolithic gentleman hunting for a little cave bear. The description of the skull was released in the Vestnik Archeologii, Anthropologii I Ethnographii.&#13

“The hole in the skull could be both purely natural or synthetic,” said senior researcher of the laboratories at the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Ural Federal College Dmitry Gimranov. “In the first circumstance, for example, a stone could slide on the bear’s head, or drinking water dripped on to the cranium throughout hundreds of yrs. But this is hugely unlikely. Most very likely the animal was killed by historic men and women.”&#13

To set up no matter whether the bear was killed or not, experts have to find out when the gap was made – during life or following the demise of the animal. In the next case, the hole can be evidence of a ritual.&#13

“In the Paleolithic, ritual, sacred techniques were being prevalent,” said Dmitry Gimranov. “These are handicrafts manufactured of bones, and drawings on the walls of caves not only mammoths’ and a great deal much more. For that reason, a gap in the skull could have been designed immediately after the death of the bear as a ritual apply. The points of searching for bears in normal at that time are extremely rare. For case in point, in Europe, numerous cave bears’ bones of have been identified. But for hundreds of thousands of finds, only 20-30 bones have traces of felling, which indicates that the meat was taken out from the animal for consuming. And there is only one fact of the hunt. European researchers have identified a stone idea in the vertebra of a bear. There have been no such finds in Russia just before. Also, all observed with traces of human arms belong to significant cave bears.”&#13

As Gimranov explained, hunting for big mammals was important for life assist of historical people. On the other hand, searching for compact cave bears was not a specialty of the historic hunters who left traces of their keep in the Imanay cave. At the exact time, Paleo human has these types of strength that he could pierce the bear cranium with a spear at shut range with relative relieve.&#13


The excavations in the Imanay cave, which is located in the Bashkiria Nationwide Park, have been carried out by researchers for three a long time. Throughout this time, paleontologists have gathered more than 10 thousand continues to be of the Late Pleistocene period. Scientists from Yekaterinburg, Moscow, Ufa choose section in this research.&#13

Cave bears inhabited the territory of northern Eurasia in the Late Pleistocene (250-10 thousand years back). These animals were often discovered in the faunas of Western Europe, the Russian Caucasus, and the Urals. Finds of cave bear bones are typical in caves and often form big clusters. But the caves had been inhabited not only by animals but also by ancient person. Therefore, the joint acquiring of the bones of a cave bear and artifacts is not unheard of. Nevertheless, the Pleistocene tiny cave bear is not a quite prevalent variety of cave bear. For the initial time, its remains were found in Good Britain in 1922. Later on, the Russian academician Aleksey Borisyak gathered and explained more voluminous product in Krasnodar (Russia). He named the new species the Russian cave bear. Subsequently, it became identified as the “tiny cave bear”. Both of those in Russia and the West, “traces” of this species are pretty uncommon.&#13

Truly huge finds are associated with excavations in the 1970s – 1980s in the Kizel Cave in the Perm Region (the finds are stored in St. Petersburg). Ural paleontologists ended up fortuitous more than enough to find out the Imanay cave, where the bones of a modest cave bear turned out to be several occasions bigger than in Kizel Cave. Today, Imanay Cave is the major deposit of the continues to be of a little cave bear in the environment.&#13


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