A geode painted with ochre by the Neanderthal man
The archaeological research carried out at Cioarei-Boroşteni Cave, Romania, exposed, in the H Mousterian layer (GrN 15054: 47.900 + 1800/–1500 BP), a spherical-ellipsoidal geode. Its structure was determined using a tomograph with special resolution. The particular morphology, aspect and features of the geode drew the attention of the Neanderthal man who introduced it into the cave due to its unusual look as compared to the other rocks. Using a fibre-optic digital microscope, it has been observed that the geode was painted with ochre. The Neanderthal man must have certainly attached an aesthetic importance to it, while its having been painted with ochre was an addition meant to confer symbolic value. Also, in Cioarei Cave, in addition to the ochre samples, the oldest ochre preparation containers made of stalagmites and stalagmite crusts were uncovered.