Well-known Neanderthal ‘flower burial’ debunked as a result of pollen was left by burrowing bees

Scientists are blaming an unsuspecting creature for disturbing a 75,000-year-old Neanderthal burial: burrowing bees. These bugs could have hidden pollen beneath a Neanderthal’s stays, tricking researchers into considering the Neanderthal had been buried on prime of a mattress of flowers, a brand new research finds.

The flower burial interpretation blossomed over half a century in the past, when researchers discovered the positioning of Shanidar, a rocky cave within the Zagros Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan that held a number of Neanderthal burials. Considered one of these, which scientists known as Shanidar 4, grew to become often called the “flower burial” when researchers found clumps of pollen from flowering vegetation within the soil beneath an grownup male Neanderthal.

The burials at Shanidar, initially excavated within the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, had been the primary proof that Neanderthals, cousins on our evolutionary tree, engaged in ritual depositing of lifeless our bodies.

Wildflowers bloom round at Shanidar Cave, as photographed on Might 5. (Picture credit score: {Photograph} by C.O. Hunt)

Though proof of Neanderthal burial is not controversial within the discipline of archaeology, the interpretation of pollen as proof of a flower-adorned burial ritual remains to be debated.

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