Tata Plaque

Tata Plaque
Exhibit item
Age: 
About 100,000 years old
Site: 
Tata, Hungary

Made by Neanderthals

This enigmatic object was discovered at sites where Neanderthals lived. Microscopic analysis shows that the Neanderthal who created this plaque carefully beveled the edge. Remnants of red ocher in surface cracks reveal that color was applied to the plaque.

Neanderthals possessed almost all the behaviors of members of our own species (Homo sapiens) who lived around the same time. Neanderthals were skilled toolmakers and accomplished big game hunters. They buried their dead, used pigments for decoration, and may have had basic language skills.

 

Tata Plaque, carved of mammoth tooth enamel; Tata, Hungary