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Unearthed Secrets: Prehistoric People in Spain Crafting Tools from Human Bones

By: April Carson

The annals of human history are filled with intriguing mysteries, and the story of prehistoric people in Spain adds another layer to this enigma. Archaeological discoveries at the Cueva de los Marmoles cave in Granada, Spain, have unveiled a fascinating and somewhat macabre chapter in our ancestors' lives. Researchers have found evidence that suggests prehistoric humans may have crafted tools from human bones, hinting at a complex mix of cultural practices, beliefs, and resourcefulness. In this blog, we delve into the remarkable findings and delve into the intriguing questions they raise.

Cueva de los Marmoles: A Prehistoric Burial Site

Cueva de los Marmoles, also known as the "Cave of Marbles," is a large cave located in the picturesque region of Granada, Spain. This cave has been a site of interest for scientists, amateur archaeologists, and even tomb raiders since 1934. It served as a burial site for prehistoric farmers and herders, offering valuable insights into their rituals and way of life.

Dr. Marco Milella, a researcher at the University of Bern in Switzerland, has been at the forefront of these investigations. His work sheds light on the complex relationship prehistoric people had with their deceased, as well as the potential resourcefulness that drove them to alter human bones.

Tools Crafted from Human Bones

The most astonishing revelation from Cueva de los Marmoles is the discovery that nearly a third of the bones found in the cave bear evidence of human modification. These modifications were not accidental; they suggest deliberate shaping and crafting, possibly for utilitarian purposes.

According to Dr. Milella, "The bones that we've analyzed show clear signs of intentional modification. They appear to have been worked into various forms, such as bowls, cups, or spatulas. This suggests that prehistoric people in this region were resourceful and had a unique relationship with the remains of their ancestors."

This revelation raises several questions: What drove these prehistoric people to use human bones for crafting tools? Was it purely utilitarian, or did it have deeper cultural or spiritual significance? The answers may remain elusive, but they invite us to contemplate the complexities of our ancient ancestors' lives.

The Consumption of Bone Marrow

Another intriguing possibility hinted at by the findings in Cueva de los Marmoles is the consumption of bone marrow. Human bones show signs of being split open, which suggests that our prehistoric ancestors may have extracted marrow for consumption.

Dr. Milella explains, "The evidence of bone marrow extraction is compelling. This practice was not uncommon among prehistoric people, as marrow is a nutrient-rich source of sustenance. It's possible that these ancient communities utilized every available resource to survive in a challenging environment."

The Unanswered Questions

While the discoveries at Cueva de los Marmoles are undeniably fascinating, they also leave us with a myriad of unanswered questions. What cultural or spiritual beliefs led these prehistoric people to craft tools from human bones and possibly consume bone marrow? How did they view their deceased relatives in this context? And what insights can this shed on their daily lives and survival strategies?

The Cueva de los Marmoles cave in Granada, Spain, serves as a captivating testament to the complexity of prehistoric human existence. The findings of altered human bones, likely crafted into tools and potentially used for sustenance, challenge our understanding of the customs and resourcefulness of our ancient ancestors.

As we continue to unravel the secrets hidden within the cave's depths, we gain valuable glimpses into the lives of those who lived in this region thousands of years ago. Dr. Marco Milella's research at the University of Bern underscores the importance of preserving and exploring archaeological sites like Cueva de los Marmoles, as they have the power to reshape our understanding of human history and the intriguing mysteries it holds.

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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on

To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav


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