Animal bones dating back as far as 60,000 years have been found in the Imanai cave in the republic of Bashkiria, deep within the Ural Mountains of Russia.
Pavel Kosintsev, of the regional Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology in Yekaterinburg, told The Siberian Times that, 'We found about 500 bones and fragments of bones of the giant cave lion……..Such a large quantity of giant cave lion bones at one site is really unique, the only one in the world so far discovered…..Usually lions did not go so deep into the cave, it is not typical for them.’
'We also found the skull of a cave bear pierced with the spear, yet there were no evidence that ancient people hunted cave bears, at least not in the Urals,' said Mr Kosintsev.
He suggests that the cave may have been a ritual site where animal sacrifices took place. Given the size of their size and perhaps the danger they posed, I feel that this explanation might need a little more evidence to back it up - the ritual killing of giant cave lions and cave bears would certainly have been a risky exercise!
Though, a spear through a bear’s skull is certainly indicative of death by hominid! Further analysis of the bones will no doubt bring to light a clearer view of the often used 'ritual' explanation.
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