“The Neanderthals harvested live mollusks on the rocks for eating, transported them to their living sites in wet algae bundles, and discarded their shells after eating the flesh,” he said. “They did this with limpets, mussels and topshells.”
Note that the Neanderthals didn’t wear their dinner discards, just as we don’t today. (Or usually don’t. Maybe someone out there has made a necklace out of last night’s oyster or lobster remains.)
The Neanderthals instead chose different shells based on beauty for use as jewelry/body ornamentation. These species included Pecten (pilgrim shell), Glycymeris (dog cockle) and Acanthocardia (Moroccan cockle). The shells accumulate on sea bottoms “where wave action throws them onto the beaches where Neanderthals could harvest them, must as you or I would when holidaying in the summer,” Zilhao said.