Neanderthals attempted dentistry 130,000 years ago, believe scientists
Date: 26 December 2018
Apparent evidence of attempts to use toothpick to deal with impacted tooth and misalignment of another one adds to impression Neanderthals were significantly more intelligent than previously thought.
A Neanderthal who lived 130,000 years ago appears to have carried out some “prehistoric dentistry” in an attempt to deal with an impacted tooth, researchers have said. Teeth found at a site in Krapina, Croatia, at the start of the last century were re-examined by scientists and found to have a number of grooves, scratches and chips.
While it is possible there is another explanation, the scientists, from the US and Croatia, said they appeared to be evidence of attempts to use a toothpick to deal with the impacted tooth and the misalignment of another one. If true, this would add to the growing body of evidence that Neanderthals were significantly more intelligent than previously believed.
The Krapina Neanderthals have previously been found to have created jewellery out of eagle talons, in another sign that they were more sophisticated than generally given credit for.