They probably explored underground as a group and cooperated to build the rings, using fire to illuminate the cave, he said."These are exceptional tours, certainly for extraordinary reasons we do not yet know." Paola Villa, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who wasn't involved in the study, said the site "provides strong evidence of the great antiquity of those elaborate structures and is an important contribution to a new understanding of the greater level of social complexities of Neanderthal societies." The authors said the purpose of the oval structures — measuring 172 square feet and 25 square feet — is still a matter of speculation, though they may have served some symbolic or ritual purpose.The structures were made from hundreds of pillar-shaped mineral deposits, called stalagmites, which were chopped to a similar length and laid out in two oval patterns up to 16 inches high.They were discovered by chance in 1990, after remaining untouched for tens of thousands of years because a rockslide had closed the mouth of the cave at Bruniquel in southwest France.
“It’s actually probably easier to meet people now than ever before, if you think about all of the incredible technologies we have to connect,” says Eric Klinenberg, a sociology professor at New York University and the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively.We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.This undated photo shows scientist takes measurements for the archaeo-magnetic survey in the Bruniquel Cave in southwestern France after the discovery there of mysterious ring-shaped structures fashioned about 176,500 years ago by Neanderthals.