An Iranian team of archaeologists has discovered remains of Neanderthal horses which date back to 45,000 years ago.
The head of the team said the second phase of excavations is underway in Qaleh Kord Cave of Avaj in Qazvin province.
Hamed Vahdati Nasab told IRNA that the first stage of excavations was carried out last year and the second phase in the form of a joint mission is being performed by an Iranian-French archaeology team. The second phase is to continue until the end of July.
According to him, Qaleh Kord Cave of Avaj is one of the highest caves in Iran, and is about 2,100 metres above the sea level. During the past few years, the cave has turned into a tourist attraction, and thus it’s been the scene of numerous unauthorized excavations.
“Although the cave is very long, archaeologists have focused on its entrance; the place which is very rich in terms of cultural remnants and most of the activities in the Paleolithic period took place there. We have found several thousand heads of arrows and animal remains from teeth to bones and horse skulls.”
Pointing out that the main hunt of Neanderthal people was wild horse, he said based on his studies, several different remains of such horses have been found in this cave.
Generally, some of these horses are about one and a half times larger than today’s horses, he went on to say.
During the first phase of joint Iran-France archeological exploration in Qaleh Kord Cave of Avaj in Qazvin Province, over 6,000 cultural works from two boreholes were discovered.