The Jewelry Insider

January 13, 2010

Jewelry and makeup are essential accessories for all red-blooded human females, but a study now shows even Neanderthals had the urge to splurge.

Neanderthals aren’t known for, well, their brain power. They lived in Europe for hundreds of thousands of years without evolving and were eventually replaced by modern, smarter humans from Africa. But scientists working in Spain claim to have evidence that they at least has the good sense to accessorize now and again. At an excavation site in Spain, shells with holes in them were uncovered, apparently strung together and worn like beads. And there’s something unusual on some of the shells. “Glitter makeup,” Joao Zilhao of the University of Bristol in England told NPR, “or shimmer makeup … where you, over a foundation, you add shiny bits of something granular that shines and reflects. When light would shine on you, you’d reflect.” David Bowie eat your heart out.

For those skeptics that claim the jewelry and make-up discoveries were relics from Homo-sapien culture (humans), Zilhao has this to say, “Modern humans didn’t migrate into Europe until about 40,000 years ago. These shells and the associated pigment evidence is 50,000 years old,” he points out. “So, I mean, it can only be made by Neanderthals, there’s no question about that.” Why is this significant? It proves that Neanderthals used jewelry and make-up for the same reason we humans do today – to convey to the world who we are. It’s symbolic thinking in a species not known for this kind of complex behavior. Wearing jewelry has always been a ‘no-brainer’ in our book – especially when you shop the treasure chest full of fine jewelry deals from all the retailers you trust. We’ve even got shell jewelry if you feel the need to get in touch with your inner Neanderthal.

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