Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Boning up on Neanderthal art

A decorated bone object adds to the mounting evidence that Neanderthals were capable of advanced behavioural complexity and could produce artistic representations.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Earliest appearances of innovative and sophisticated material cultures associated with anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals.


  1. 1.

    Hublin, J.-J. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 16022–16027 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Leder, D. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. (2021).

  3. 3.

    Hublin, J.-J. et al. Nature 546, 289–295 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Wadley, L. J. Archaeol. Method Theory 28, 120–141 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Hublin, J.-J. et al. Nature 581, 299–302 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Soressi, M. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 110, 14186–14190 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Hublin, J.-J. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, 18743–18748 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Welker, F. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 11162–11167 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Rodríguez-Hidalgo, A. et al. Sci. Adv. 5, eaax1984 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Rendu, W. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 111, 81–86 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Hoffman, D. L. et al. Science 359, 912–915 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    d’Errico, F. et al. J. World Prehist. 17, 1–70 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Prüfer, K. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 5, 820–825 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Vanhaeren, M. Science 312, 1785–1788 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Vandermeersch, B. & Bar-Yosef, O. PALEO 30-1, 256–275 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Henshilwood, C. S., d’Errico, F. & Watts, I. J. Hum. Evol. 57, 27–47 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Bouzouggar, A. et al. PLoS ONE 13, e0202021 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Yellen, J. E., Brooks, A. S., Cornelissen, E., Mehiman, M. J. & Stewart, K. Science 268, 553–556 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Garcia-Diez, M. et al. J. Anthropol. Sci. 93, 135–152 (2015).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Cook, J. Ice Age Art. The Arrival of the Modern Mind (British Museum Press, 2013).

  21. 21.

    Conard, N. J., Malina, M. & Münzel, S. C. Nature 460, 737–740 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Radovčić, D., Sršen, A. O., Radovčić, J. & Frayer, D. F. PLoS ONE 10, e0119802 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Mellars, P. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 107, 20147–20148 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Silvia M. Bello.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bello, S.M. Boning up on Neanderthal art. Nat Ecol Evol (2021).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing