Archaeologists in Spain have made a number of discoveries inside an ancient cave in Catalonia which suggest that Neanderthals had hot water and separate living quarters around 60,000 years ago. The finding adds to the mounting evidence that Neanderthals were a lot more sophisticated than previously thought and were at least as advanced, if not more so, than early Homo sapiens.
The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution(IPHES) reports that more than 10,000 fossil remains and artifacts were retrieved from the cave located at Abric Romaní in Catalonia, enabling scientists to confirm long-term occupation of the site by Neanderthals.
Among the more significant discoveries was a concave hole measuring 16 inches x 12 inches x 4 inches (40 x 30 x 10cm), which was found enclosed by a large number of hearths with evidence of fire use. Archaeologists believe the Neanderthals used the hole to heat water by placing heated stones from the hearth.
“Hearths have been discovered in other Neanderthal dwellings” reported the MailOnline, “and it’s been suggested that they even cooked their food by boiling it in a bag made of skin, or a birch bark tray to soften it – possibly seasoning the meat with herbs.”