Bear Hunt, Stone Age Style
from the book, "Petrified Lightning"

Petrified Lightning

Bear Hunt, Stone Age Style

In Drachenhohle Cave, Switzerland, bears were frequently hunted and killed by Neanderthals. The cave contained at one point a very narrow corridor, through which the bears could not avoid passing and where they were really quite helpless because of the restricted space.

The hunter waited at the end of the corridor, hidden behind a boulder. As the bear emerged the hunter would bash in its head with a club of some sort. The fact that so many of the bear skulls show the damage on the left side indicates the concealing boulder was on that side of the corridor's exit point. One skull still has a 60,000—year—old Neanderthal stone ax point embedded in it.

The Cro—Magnons did one better. In Sloup Cave, Moravia, a bear skull was found with a nicely healed injury to the crown caused by a hunter well over 20,000 years ago. Nearby lay the broken spear point that had pierced the bear's skull. The point had remained in the skull until the bear's death years later, when postmortem decay caused it to fall out.

One can easily envision what happened in this Paleolithic event. The hunter, defending himself from the attack of the huge bear, possibly tried to drive the beast from the cave. The hunter lost because even though the spear point went deep into the bear's skull it did not stop the huge animal's charge, and the caveman quickly joined his ancestors. The victorious bear had to go through the remaining years of life with a perennial bear of a headache.