New evidence suggest that even Neanderthals had a knack for relaxing after scientists discovered a 60,000 year old cave near the Spanish city of Barcelona which contained a hole that was used for hot water and baths.
The small hole – which measured just 16x12x4 inches – was located at the rear of the cave and had hearths dotted around it, according a statement from the Catalan Institute of Human Palaeoecology and Social Evolution (IPNES).
The researchers state that to heat the 'bath', the cavemen would heat rocks and then dump them into the hole. It was also bounded by limestone and speleothems. "The fieldwork season of this year confirms that Neanderthals realized their subsistence activities around the hearths near the wall of the shelter, how have been already observed in other archaeological levels," a statement from IPNES read.
Also found in the location was a sleeping area, which really made the cave a home for our ancestors. "The existence of Neanderthals sleeping areas is a singularity in the world archaeological record. This type of record is only similar at some archaeological sites belongs to the Homo sapiens populations. This behaviour has been also recognized through the ethnological and ethnographical studies focused on the actual hunter-gatherer groups in different parts of the world," it adds.
The area was 180 square metres and the researchers say that up to 10,000 artefacts were discovered during the excavation.