The deaths seem to have come as a result of hyena hunting and were not scavenged after death.
In central Italy, there is a cave known as Guattari cave that held an unknown secret. While exploring an unknown part of the cave, they found some inhabitants that had not been around in a very long time.
They discovered the bones of Neanderthals that had been chewed on by hyenas after it appears that they were dragged into the cave.
The discovery of Neanderthal and animal bones in 1939 really opened up the possibility that this cave would provide a lot of insight into that era. It wasn’t until eight years later, however, that additional information came to light about the cave system that showed how important it would be to learning about human life in Europe.
There was a part of the cave that had been blocked off by a landslide, however, and that part was explored starting in 2019.
It seems as if hyenas lived in the cave because there are a lot of bones leftover from those days. There were also nine Neanderthals that were found in the cave. Although it is difficult to get an accurate date on any bones found of this age, some scientists feel that they may be as much as 90,000 years old.
There are also many other animals represented in the bones they found, including rhinoceros, elephants, wild horses, red deer, and an extinct species of giant deer.
According to Professor Mario Rolfo from the University of Rome Tor Vergata: “The geological and sedimentological study of this deposit will make us understand the climatic changes that took place between 120 thousand and 60 thousand years ago, through the study of species animals and pollen, allowing us to reconstruct the history of the Circeo and the Pontine plain.”
It seems as if the hyenas were very efficient at taking down humans. Eight of the humans found in the cave were adults, including seven males and one female. There was also a child in the mix, which changes the way that many experts felt about hyenas and their ability to stand up against a healthy human.
According to a quote in The Guardian, the deaths seem to have come as a result of hyena hunting and were not scavenged after death.
According to some analysis that took place on their teeth, it seems as if they ate mostly cereals, which also brings into question the Paleolithic diet.
Other areas outside of the cave are being explored by scientists at this time. They found burnt bones in charcoal, which shows that Neanderthals were not only capable of using fire, they also occupied the area.