Advertisement
MODs please see this information notice in the mod's forum. Thanks!
Boards Golf Society are looking for new members for 2022...read about the society and their planned outings here!
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards

The Neanderthal Thread

124

Comments



  • Depends how close he was. :D

    It seems they might have been built for ambush attacks, spring from cover, get in close with stabbing spears and hang on. Their weapons were built(at least in their latter years) with short distance in mind. Ours were built for distance, throwing spears and darts. In dense brush or forest theirs is the better strategy. Throwing weapons are almost guaranteed to hit a branch along the way, so their distance advantage is lost. Maybe they also operated more in low light dusk/dawn, what with their bigger eyes and larger area of the visual cortex. They took down prey like horses and deer like this. Both of which could outrun any human.

    So they sound like they could have been pretty explosive in speed over short distances with the element of surprise. I'd reckon a modern human could escape on foot, if they got a warning and weren't within that killing zone. If they were and with their superior physical strength it would have been game over for one of us. Now on more open ground the advantage was reversed. We didn't have to get close to them, we could strike them down at a distance.

    Indeed one Neandertal that was found in present day Iran may have been felled by a distance weapon as a small flint point was found lodged in his rib IIRC and it had followed a downward trajectory. Stabbing spears have larger points and the trajectory is horizontal. And since they didn't use such distance weapons, it looks like one of us fired at him, likely with an atlatl propelled by a spear thrower .

    throwingatlatlsm.jpg

    One of those is accurate out to a hundred metres. You can also lay down a volley of them. It's not just a one shot deal like a stabbing spear.

    IIRC he didn't die from this as healing had begun. Instead he was killed by a cave roof fall. They were a very tough people.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • I guess it really shouldnn´t be surprising that forests have been considered dark, dangerous places for so long after the Neanderthals were gone...

    Surely their tough physique also gave them better chance of surviving bear attacks, which surely must have been a constant issue when you lived in Pleistocene woodland? A brown bear can easily dismantle a modern human but maybe a Neanderthal would fare a bit better...




  • They also had to deal with the European Cave Bear.

    ursus-spelaeus-cave-bear-size.jpg

    And they were shorter than 1.8 metres. In my collection hoard of weird tat I have a fragment of a Romanian Cave Bear's lower jaw.

    465240.jpg

    That measures left to right just over 16 Cm and the tooth is just over 5 Cm. Two inches in old money. And that's an adolescent.

    Neandertal remains and tools have often been found in close proximity to Cave Bears. This led some in the early to mid 20th century to smoke some quality weed posit a "Cave Bear Cult" among Neandertals. A combination of bad, sometimes scarily amateur hour fieldwork(and from top experts in the field with it) and dodgy supposition and a touch of romance. Even popular fiction in books and film lapped it up. EG the bestsellers and following flic; "Clan of the Cave Bear" is based on it(there was a remake and possible series shot in Ireland a few years, back. Came to nought). Total nonsense, or at least not even half a shred of evidence links the two culturally. I can't recall if there's any evidence of physical interaction at all between humans, us and Neandertals and Cave Bears. They simply shared similar living spaces.

    Well... not so much. For a start "Cave" Bears are so named because so many were found in caves. Because they used them for hibernation in the winter, and so many died during it, from disease, old age, or not enough reserves built up in summer. The rest of the year they were like... well, Bears. Which is grand enough if you're a feckin huge bear.

    Plus Neandertals, or us for that matter, weren't "cavemen". We both used the entrances of caves and similar overhangs for sheltered living quarters, reserving the caves themselves for more cultural religious purposes. Paintings and sculptures, likely religious or group ceremonies, that sorta thing. We did probably deserve more of the descriptor of "cave" than the bears did, to be fair. Well we had fire for a start, so we could see our way. When you look at deep caves with human and animal presences over millennia like Chauvet for example, note the footprints. The bears, wolves or whatever animals ventured in, did so by following the cave walls. Of course, they couldn't see in the total dark of a cave(and if you've ever been in a cave and switch off the lights, you will feel a dark you've never felt before).

    On that note, in Chauvet and a cave in Romania IIRC, there is debate over footprints of a modern human and a canine. Are they contemporaneous? Did the wolf follow the modern human, a kid in both cases, about 12/13 and do him/her in? Is this a domestic pet or something else? One night after a few ales, I had a look at the pics of the prints and one thing leapt out: They were mostly in the middle of the cave and walked into the cave mostly down the centre, with some exploration in the bigger chambers. Both of them could see. IMHO it was a young lad or lass with their doggie/early domesticated wolf having an oul explore as kids and dogs will, probably against their parents permission. :D And both were snapshots of time well over 20,000 years BC.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    And they were shorter than 1.8 metres. In my collection hoard of weird tat I have a fragment of a Romanian Cave Bear's lower jaw.

    465240.jpg

    That measures left to right just over 16 Cm and the tooth is just over 5 Cm. Two inches in old money. And that's an adolescent.

    Oh, of course! I said brown bear because it's about the worst beastie you could possibly stumble upon in the woods today, at least in Europe- but back then it was brown bear, cave bear, plus lions and hyenas and lots of wolves- often considerably bigger than today's versions.

    I'd still imagine that, if some humans today manage to survive being mauled by brown, black or sloth bears (although naturally not looking very nice afterwards), then surely some Neanderthals could take a beating and live to tell the tale?
    Especially considering that they'd be looked after by others, if those old, toothless, armless chaps are any indication?
    Wibbs wrote: »
    I can't recall if there's any evidence of physical interaction at all between humans, us and Neandertals and Cave Bears. They simply shared similar living spaces.

    Are you saying that those finds of stone "tabernacles" found with cave bear skulls inside were not real after all, or just that there's no evidence of interaction with the live bears?

    Wibbs wrote: »
    The bears, wolves or whatever animals ventured in, did so by following the cave walls. Of course, they couldn't see in the total dark of a cave(and if you've ever been in a cave and switch off the lights, you will feel a dark you've never felt before).

    I didn´t know they followed the walls, that is interesting. I thought their superior senses of hearing and smell would be enough to guide them in the caves, but of course, total darkness probably makes anybody nervous...

    Apparently cave lions and cave leopards entered the caves specifically to hunt hibernating bears, not unlike what Siberian tigers are known to do now...
    Wibbs wrote: »
    On that note, in Chauvet and a cave in Romania IIRC, there is debate over footprints of a modern human and a canine. Are they contemporaneous? Did the wolf follow the modern human, a kid in both cases, about 12/13 and do him/her in? Is this a domestic pet or something else? One night after a few ales, I had a look at the pics of the prints and one thing leapt out: They were mostly in the middle of the cave and walked into the cave mostly down the centre, with some exploration in the bigger chambers. Both of them could see. IMHO it was a young lad or lass with their doggie/early domesticated wolf having an oul explore as kids and dogs will, probably against their parents permission. :D And both were snapshots of time well over 20,000 years BC.

    Aaaw, I liked the idea of the wolf eating somebody. :(

    I remember reading that wolves were actually pretty rare in Europe's open plains due to hyena competition, and that they only became common (and apex predators) after the hyenas were gone during the coldest part of the Ice Age. But I also remember reading that there was evidence of direct competition between hyenas and Neanderthals for living space and food. It seems only appropriate that hyenas would be the Neanderthal's "nemesis" for a while, just as wolves were probably ours. They are bigger and tougher than wolves. Wonder if the tought of domesticating a hyena ever crossed a Neanderthal's mind...


  • Advertisement


  • https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-37904-w
    The earliest spear is a fragment that dates to ca. 400,000 BP from Clacton-on-Sea (UK), and was crafted out of yew

    looks like 20m was doable , two bus lengths
    Neandarthals were a lot stronger than Humans too and if they were ambush predators then fast twitch muscles.



    How big were their tribes ?




  • Nice bit of practical archaeology, but Neandertals have little enough to do with it. The spears in question are around 400,000 years old, the classical Neandertal doesn't show up until around 200-300,000 years ago. A lot can happen in that time. For example I've read for years now that Neandertal shoulder joints were different to ours, more rigid and with slightly less movement that would affect throwing as an action(it's a compromise with us and the same extra mobility in the joint increases the risk of rotator cuff injury).

    Their tribes seem to generally quite small, akin to wolves. Small family groups with a pair of adults, maybe some older adults and then kids and mostly with defined territories. Against that are the deliberately built stone circles set deep in a French cave. That would have required a larger group, or maybe not? I suspect that trend also changed over time. In one period you have the small familial groups, in others, slightly larger, but nowhere near as large as our groups became and with almost no evidence of much inter-group trade going on.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • What prevented them from becoming more numerous, tho? Was it about their own biological traits? Did they reproduce more slowly, less often? Did they die young more often? Did they reach sexual maturity later? Or did it have more to do with the scarcity of resources around them? If we were so closely related, why did we become so prolific and they didn´t? (Although they were pretty widespread, that's for sure...)

    Re: spears, I would imagine that if monkeys and apes can throw rocks and other objects with surprising accuracy, throwing a spear maybe wasn´t beyond a Neanderthal's ability, even if they weren´t as good at it as we are?

    (I'm sure we've discussed the issue in an earlier thread but I'm too lazy to dig it up :D)




  • Adam Khor wrote: »
    What prevented them from becoming more numerous, tho?)
    They were apex predators which in simple terms they pretty much always stay quite rare in the landscape. IE for every T-rex you needed x thousands of prey animals in their territory. Now that can shift with population increases, change in predator diets(increase of prey choices), migrations into new territory etc, but generally speaking it stays pretty stable.

    We Modern Humans were/are the odd one out as predators go. We tend to be a bit like locusts in that we can often strip an area of resources. Consider that in the many hundreds of thousands of years of Neandertals and previous folks like them, no indications of any mass extinctions have been found, yet when we come along you can pretty accurately track our progress across the world by the appearance of mass extinctions.

    We also seem to be more gregarious, more social and build much larger groups of people, not just small family groups that they had. Larger groups mean more trade and more people available to exploit resources(and less inbreeding).

    We also tended to have much wider food choices, so when large prey animals go extinct we can fall back on other food resources. We also needed fewer calories to survive. Now more recently this has been challenged by findings that showed Neandertals could also exploit more resources. And that's true, but if you note where they do this, it's usually towards the end of their time on the planet and at the edge of their previous territories that had been taken over by us. IE places like Gibraltar. The folks there have about the widest range of exploited foods of any Neandertals. And it looks like they were the last pocket of them as a distinct people(so far found).

    The narrative usually goes that they dwindled in numbers until there was only one or two left and that was that. I suspect that we came along when there were only a few left and... well maybe we just killed them, but humans can be as much altruistic as violent so there's a hope in me that maybe we took them in and the last of them passed into history surrounded by us.

    What's sobering to think is that back then the sea was much lower and the base of Gibraltar had a large Eden like plain in front of it full of food and the coast of Africa was much closer. On clear nights they would surely have been able to see across that narrow strait the campfires of the people who would replace them.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • I just got Chris Stringers book 'origin of our species' yesterday and funnily found this paleontology forum.

    I heard one of Stringers talks where he says they've found evidence they used body paint and jewellery which is pretty cool.


  • Advertisement


  • It's a good book that one W.
    I heard one of Stringers talks where he says they've found evidence they used body paint and jewellery which is pretty cool.
    There's still a fair bit of inference and imagination going on in the area too W. Always was. Now we're getting better, but I'd still be cautious myself.

    EG the idea that they deliberately buried their dead is still usually published as pretty established, yet the actual evidence is extremely weak to non existent. Now we can infer that they may have on occasion from other angles. EG we have more male skeletons that female, a pattern that we also see in the early days in modern human confirmed burials too(what happened to women who died, who knows, but it seems more men were buried. Maybe women were laid to rest in places that don't preserve so well? Men in caves, women in open ground sorta thing). We also have a fair number of Neandertal children in the record, from newborns to older kids and that almost requires deliberate burial as their bones are far more delicate, but were they buried as a spiritual/emotional thing or as a way to keep scavengers sniffing around the camp, or as a way to remove the emotional trauma from parents? Who knows.

    They did seem to collect pigment resources and some Spanish seashells have pigment preserved within them. One has been suggested as a pendant, but I'm not nearly so sure.
    18u6tulfzfrnqjpg.jpg
    This does preserve pigment in the inside surface, but the "suspension hole" they suggest doesn't look like one and shows no wear from any cord that would have been used to suspend it. Body paint seems more likely alright. Interestingly they seem to favour darker colours, even crushed mica for sparkles(like some modern makeup), which suggests they were lighter skinned. Darker skinned tribal folks today favour lighter pigments. The colour of your "canvas" makes some choices for you. On the other hand some of the pigments could have been used in things like fire starting, or they could have used the pigments for things like suncream, or a barrier against midges and other biting insects, or even camouflage.

    Personally I have long suspected they did use body paint and other ornament and one reason stands out for me: group affiliation and territorial marking. Territorial animals use various ways of marking their territory, usually scent. Humans including Neandertals have a much less acute sense of smell. They also appear to have been small groups with defined territories(we were more the wandering types). So it makes sense that one group might be the "Red painted people" another, the "black feather people". Which would also help explain the puzzle why evidence of body art is different in each group where it's been found. Copying another group would make no sense to them.

    Its also starting to be fairly clear they also had more external art. Stone circles in deep caves many tens of thousands of years before we come along and cave art in Spain also a few thousand years before we come along. The latter I'm still so so about. It could have been us. The current story is that modern humans showed up in Europe much later than in say Asia. Like tens of thousands of years later. I mean we made it all the way to Australia around 60,000 years ago, but we left Europe alone until 40,000 years ago? I'm not so sure. Though one thing is noticeable about the possible Neandertal art:

    Alongside blobs of colour and the occasional handprint it is stylistically different to our stuff
    panel-78-la-pasiega-cave-painting.jpg
    It's much more abstract. Like what the feck is the yoke on the right? :D
    dn21458-1_300.jpg
    Another thing that's just occurred; it's all one colour. As well as being more figurative we also use multiple pigments, certainly in our earliest art.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wow awesome pictures. The whole different colours for different groups is really interesting.

    I suppose the fact they where apex predators would indicate smaller groups or communities unlike homo sapiens.

    I've read they might have also been affected population wise by severe weather conditions.




  • Wow awesome pictures. The whole different colours for different groups is really interesting.

    Yeah W. When you compare them it kinda jumps out at ya. Here's one of our artworks, one of the earliest on the planet and the most complex, found in a cave in France called Chauvet and dated to 35-37,000 years ago. A time when there were still isolated pockets of our friends the Neandertals on the fringes.

    chauvet-cave-136.jpg?imgmax=1600

    Here's another panel from the same cave.

    Chauvethorses.jpg

    Shading and colour. IIRC dating showed the horse on the bottom was painted last and with a good few centuries between paintings. In our modern world of time and the perception, or rather refinement of it, it's easy to forget that in those far of times and cultures, time had a very different flavour. They would have a sense of the past through ancestors and stories and the future would be expected to not change much except for the names of people. Technology wouldn't have changed within living memory, so the notion of "progress" and the future we have would be lost on them. When we think of the word "traditional", there's an element of "old, conservative, nostalgia" to it, to them it would be their lives. No real nostalgia for a past that was the same as their present and the future would be the same again. Annnnd I digress again. :s

    But yeah, the complexity goes way up and you have shading and different colours and majority black rather than red or ochre, and you even have something like "animation" of sorts in the multi images of the horns on the rhino.

    Now here's another possible Neandertal gallery:

    cave-art-neanderthal.jpg

    Again abstract. And using red. And while I'm at it digressing... Something else occurred to me re. colours. We showed up in an ice age, black is easy to find, the soot from your fires, ochres and other pigments might be harder to come by under snow and ice and permafrost ground, so they stuck with more black? Neandertals living in a warmer spell may have found ochre more easy to find and it was unusual more "special", unlike soot.
    In my own collection of Neandertal tools, I have a scraper made of a particular type of colourful jasper only found in one place in France called Fontmaure. Its not a great material for making stone tools, full of internal fractures and such. But I noticed on this particular tool in the red parts, which are more like clay than stone, faint scratch marks that look like they were removing the red clay. Not so easy to see in a pic sadly, but it's on the right:

    471376.jpg

    The red stuff looks like it originally filled that cleft of rock so they would have gotten a sugar lump size of material from it. I've other stone tools that show a selection for unusual spaces or marks in the material to keep them central. Including fossils. Here's one, a so called "handaxe" where the maker has deliberately selected around the really crappy material that would weaken the tool they would otherwise lop off, but this bit of really crappy material has a piece of fossil shell in it.

    471377.jpg

    Maybe fossils were an inspiration too. I mean if you see the image of a seashell, or a plant or a bone in the stone, that appears to be made of stone, stone that you see as the Mother Earth, it's a stone picture. You might be tempted to improve it, maybe by adding pigment to very nice fossils, and/or then copy them and then extend that to animals you see around you and put them "in" Mother Earth too?

    I've read they might have also been affected population wise by severe weather conditions.
    It could have been an element alright W, but they had lived through many previous climate changes including many more ice ages than we had experienced.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    panel-78-la-pasiega-cave-painting.jpg
    It's much more abstract. Like what the feck is the yoke on the right? :D
    dn21458-1_300.jpg
    .

    First thing that came to my mind was a hummingbird. Then I remembered they are only found in the New World. :B

    Maybe they used a lot of red because of some symbolism? Blood = life, death?




  • Very good point AK. In our in many ways over coloured world we can forget that the colour of blood is one of the most vibrant in the natural world, the same through all seasons and climates, particularly for a predator species with extra curiosity going on, who would attach the symbolic to it as well.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • https://www.sciencenews.org/article/fossil-teeth-push-human-neandertal-split-back-about-1-million-years-ago
    Moving back the date of an evolutionary split between Neandertals and H. sapiens appears reasonable based on the new data, says paleoanthropologist Aurélien Mounier of Musée de l’Homme in Paris. The timing of that split could still change, though, if further research modifies the Spanish fossils’ age, he says.

    Other Spanish hominid teeth dating to nearly 800,000 years ago display some Neandertal features, supporting the new study’s conclusions

    051419_bb-fossilized-teeth_feat-rev.jpg




  • Were Neanderthals right or left handed?

    https://www.sapiens.org/column/field-trips/handedness-neanderthals/

    ma-neandertal-p.jpg

    Interestingly, right handedness also appears dominant among chimpanzees, but to a lesser degree than in humans (60-70% as opposed to 90% in humans).




  • One for Wibbs, perhaps?
    Not an Irish find, sadly! This was given to me by a former work colleague about eight years ago now. He knew I had a particular interest in prehistoric stone tools, and was curious if I could help him date it. I never got a chance to give it back to him before he left, so it's been with me ever since. Provenance is scant to be honest; he purchased it at a flea market while on holiday in the south of England, and the only thing he could recall is that it was from a collection of flint tools gathered by a gentleman who lived in Deal in Kent. We can't be certain if it was a British find either.

    It measures approximately 120mm. long and is approximately 80mm. at its widest. It is a patinated brown flint. It predates the Mesolithic, I know, but wouldn't have a clue how old this hand axe is likely to be.

    48389971512_325a593a75_b.jpg

    48389836351_af33fd1c6b_b.jpg

    48389986407_86ccdb45eb_b.jpg

    48389982252_0cac3e7c2e_b.jpg

    48389978492_4c6e571ae4_b.jpg

    I just found a similar looking hand axe on the UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme website, and curiously enough, it would appear to have been found in Kent:

    https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/871664


  • Advertisement


  • Very nice bit of kit HM! :) I'd definitely place it as Palaeolithic. Neandertal/Mousterian in nature. around 200,000 years, but it could have been made anywhere from 400,000 years to 100,000, without an exact location it's difficult to pin it down as there wasn't so much by way of innovation for many thousands of years and there were local flavours too. There was a more recent Neandertal presence in England, but the tools I've seen from that period seem to mostly to be flakes and points from the levallois technique of knapping, rather than larger biface material like this.

    Funny before you mentioned the English connection I'd have put a bet down that it was French. Mind you that would have just been my hunch based on "style" and the flint.

    I dunno about you HM, but I find something like this fascinating and sobering to hold in the hand. They still fit as our hands haven't changed much and there's that visceral connection to another human being from so so far in the past. Someone who would look a bit different to you and me, but was still human where it mattered.

    Pity it wasn't labelled :( I've always been careful to label my stuff, both personal finds when I was a kid and stuff I've acquired since. It was drummed into me by a chap working in the Natural History museum who I brought a few fossils to when I was 11. Still, Kent narrows it down to some degree.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    Very nice bit of kit HM! :) I'd definitely place it as Palaeolithic. Neandertal/Mousterian in nature. around 200,000 years, but it could have been made anywhere from 400,000 years to 100,000, without an exact location it's difficult to pin it down as there wasn't so much by way of innovation for many thousands of years and there were local flavours too. There was a more recent Neandertal presence in England, but the tools I've seen from that period seem to mostly to be flakes and points from the levallois technique of knapping, rather than larger biface material like this.

    Funny before you mentioned the English connection I'd have put a bet down that it was French. Mind you that would have just been my hunch based on "style" and the flint.

    I dunno about you HM, but I find something like this fascinating and sobering to hold in the hand. They still fit as our hands haven't changed much and there's that visceral connection to another human being from so so far in the past. Someone who would look a bit different to you and me, but was still human where it mattered.

    Pity it wasn't labelled :( I've always been careful to label my stuff, both personal finds when I was a kid and stuff I've acquired since. It was drummed into me by a chap working in the Natural History museum who I brought a few fossils to when I was 11. Still, Kent narrows it down to some degree.

    Thanks a million, Wibbs!
    Extraordinary to think that something I'm holding was made by another human species well over a hundred thousand years ago - that blows my mind!




  • Footprints of Neanderthal children discovered in France!

    11482690-3x2-large.jpg?v=3

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-09-10/fossil-footprints-made-by-neanderthal-children-in-france/11485942
    The footprints were made on a sand dune a couple of kilometres from the sea around 35,000 years before our species — Homo sapiens — is thought to have arrived in this part of Europe.

    Although no skeletal remains have been found at the Le Rozel site, Dr Duveau said the shape of the footprints was consistent with what we know about the anatomy of Neanderthals, gleaned from remains found at other sites.

    "They are relatively broader, especially in the midfoot, than the footprints made by Homo sapiens, which corresponds to a more robust foot and a less pronounced arch," he said.

    The footprints were also found alongside many flaked stone tools crafted using the distinctive Mousterian style that has been associated with Neanderthals.

    11491730-3x4-medium.jpg?v=2
    To work out who was in the group, the researchers measured the best-preserved footprints and worked out a size-to-height ratio, as well as measuring the depth of the imprints.

    They compared the footprints to 3D models of ancient and modern human footprints from other sites, as well as those from an experiment with local people of different ages walking barefoot on sand.

    Most of the Neanderthal group was less than 130 centimetres tall, but at 175cm one individual stood head and shoulders above the rest.




  • Neanderthals used Imperial eagle talons for symbolic purposes:

    https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/11/eaax1984

    (I remember reading something of the sort before?)

    F2.large.jpg?width=800&height=600&carousel=1




  • Adam Khor wrote: »
    (I remember reading something of the sort before?)
    We did AK(and of course you did :) ), from an Italian site IIRC. At time various reconstructions came along:

    o-NEANDERTAL-FEATHERS-facebook.jpg
    His nose isn't nearly big enough, his brow ridges are too small, and he has photogenic cheekbones. :D

    180824-bling-4.jpg?fit=clip&w=835
    That's much closer I reckon, though with a touch too much more Native American for my tastes.

    One slight issue I have with this new Spanish site is that it's described as Chatelperronian. Now the Chatelperronian is a contentious period in of itself, with some researchers regarding it as a short interim period where Neanderthals copied or were influenced by us newbs in the neighbourhood, others consider it a misinterpreted, even a later, short lived Modern Human site and culture. The original "signature" site in France is tiny too. The other issue is the sample size of one. To be fair that's common in human origin stuff and a goodly few samples of one have proved to be groundbreaking. Another influence may be the current Spanish intellectual view that Neandertals were just as cultural as us. However, while I may have some wait and see questions, I very much welcome this newly uncovered research.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Inbreeding, Allee effects and stochasticity might be sufficient to account for Neanderthal extinction:

    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225117

    Anterior tooth use in early humans and Neanderthals:

    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0224573




  • Further evidence that Neanderthals actively targeted large raptors to get their feathers and talons, with a special preference for the golden eagle:

    https://www.audubon.org/news/did-neanderthals-catch-and-kill-golden-eagles-their-feathers-and-talons

    strikingimage3.jpg
    when the Finlaysons reviewed the bird remains from some 154 Neanderthal sites, they found large-bodied raptors—largely Golden Eagles— at 75 (or nearly half) of those sites.

    The proportion of large raptors far exceeded what’s natural in the wild, given that apex predators tend to be among the rarest animals in a given environment. This prevalence of eagles was particularly notable to Eugene Morin, an anthropologist at the University of Trent who was not involved in the study. “We don't have evidence that they're using waterfowl or things like ducks or geese or swans,” he says. “They’re systematically using large raptors such as vultures and eagles and large falcons.”

    The Finlaysons argue that not only were Neanderthals targeting raptors, but that they particularly valued Golden Eagles, given their prevalence in the deposits. The eagle remains largely constituted wing bones and talons, which are far from the most appetizing parts of the bird. The wings showed signs of being scraped, perhaps to dislodge big primary feathers for decoration. And then there were the eagle talons, which had been carefully detached from the toe bones—evidence of intentional butchery and polishing. This is likely an early step in a long-continuing human tradition, Finlayson says: catching eagles and carrying their parts as a token of the bird’s strength.

    By the time modern humans arrived in Europe 45,000 years ago, and before raptor remains begin turning up in their sites, Neanderthals had been capturing eagles and other large raptors for at least 85,000 years, Finlayson says. It’s possible that our ancestors watched them hunt and harvest eagle feathers and talons—and learned.




  • Neanderthals gathered sea food in great amounts, cave find shows.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/26/cave-find-shows-neanderthals-collected-seafood-scientists-say

    3325.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&
    The findings chime with recent evidence that Neanderthals had “surfers’ ear” and may have dived to collect shells for use as tools. Previous finds in Spain have shown they decorated seashells and were producing rock art 65,000 years ago.

    The discovery appears to throws cold water on the idea that the marine-rich diet of modern humans, high in fatty acids, helped them to outcompete Neanderthals as a result of better cognition.


  • Advertisement


  • "Throws cold water" :D

    I love puns. :o


Advertisement