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Neanderthal Hunters Rivalled Human Skill
BBC ^ | 9-23-2003 | Will Knight

Posted on 09/24/2003 8:19:27 AM PDT by blam

Neanderthal hunters rivalled human skills

17:34 23 September 03

NewScientist.com news service

Neanderthals were not driven from northern Europe by vastly superior human hunters, suggests an analysis of hunting remains.

The study by Donald Grayson of the University of Washington and Francoise Delpech of the University of Bordeaux challenges a popular theory that the primitive peoples died out because they were far less skillful hunters.

The pair examined the fossilised remains of butchered animals from a cave in southwest France.

Neanderthals inhabited southern France from 65,000 years before the present until roughly 40,000 to 35,000 years ago. Neanderthals disappeared from the region about the time the earliest anatomically modern humans, known as Cro-Magnon appeared.

Precisely why Neanderthals disappeared remains a puzzle. But the idea that early humans were much more intelligent, dexterous and socially sophisticated is being questioned by a growing body of archaeological evidence.

Grayson and Delpech found no difference in the prey caught and butchered by Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon after studying more than 7200 bones and teeth from large hoofed animals.

Nimble-fingered

Both Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon feasted on a wide variety of ungulate species including reindeer, roe deer and horse. In both cases the proportion of different species consumed varied according to climatic changes.

"This study suggests Cro-Magnon were not superior in getting food from the landscape," says Grayson. "We could detect no difference in diet, the animals they were hunting and the way they were hunting across this period of time, aside from those caused by climate change."

Recent analysis of Neanderthal hand bones also shows that they were as nimble-fingered as early humans. Other archaeological evidence indicated that they may have been as intelligent and socially sophisticated as early humans.

Handheld spears

"Clearly they did pretty well for hundreds of thousands of years," says Chris Stringer, an archaeologist at the UK's Natural History Museum. "One has to assume they knew how to get meat when they needed it."

But Stringer adds that modern humans may have had better hunting technology, including harpoons, composite tools and possibly even fishing nets compared to the Neanderthals’ handheld spears.

Neanderthals also appear to have suffered more hunting injuries, he told New Scientist. These factors, combined with particularly difficult environmental conditions, may have given early humans a crucial edge.

"Being able to exploit the environment a little bit more efficiently could in the long run have led to the end of the Neanderthals," Stringer says.

Journal reference: Journal of Archeological Science: (doi:10.1016/S0305-4403(03)00064-5)

Will Knight


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; dietandcuisine; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; human; hunters; multiregionalism; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals; skill
"Neanderthal hunters rivalled human skills "

Title correction: Neanderthals were human too.

I think the Neanderthals assimilated with us...we are Neanderthals.

1 posted on 09/24/2003 8:19:27 AM PDT by blam
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To: farmfriend
The Neanderthal Theory
2 posted on 09/24/2003 8:21:33 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Red Heads 'Are Neanderthals'
3 posted on 09/24/2003 8:23:41 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
they may have been as intelligent and socially sophisticated as early humans.

Nowadays they pride themselves on their empathetic skills, and call themselves "Progressives".

4 posted on 09/24/2003 8:26:37 AM PDT by theDentist (Liberals can sugarcoat sh** all they want. I'm not biting.)
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To: blam
Neanderthal is considered a sub-species of Homo sapiens. Their cranial capacity was larger than ours; they buried their dead in formal ceremonies and used the bow, among other artifacts. I'm inclined to think that they simply assimilated with the other sapiens subspecies. In fact, there are millions of people nowadays who carry one or more physical traits that we ascribe to neanderthal.
5 posted on 09/24/2003 8:35:31 AM PDT by Agnes Heep
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To: blam
The problem was, that there was insufficient emphasis in multiculturalism in those days. Had there been "Neanderthal Month" or a Neanderthal Pride Association, the Neanderthal culture, language and religion would still be celebrated and all major universities would have Neanderthal affirmative action programs to create diversity in place.
6 posted on 09/24/2003 8:45:49 AM PDT by Blue Screen of Death
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To: Agnes Heep
It is no longer politically correct to suggest that some humans have "neanderthal characteristics" - even though examples may be seen every day.

If I'm not mistaken, the current feel-good belief is that we "all have African roots".
7 posted on 09/24/2003 8:45:53 AM PDT by genefromjersey (So little time - so many FLAMES to light !!)
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To: genefromjersey
Fossil Challenge To Africa Theory
8 posted on 09/24/2003 9:12:17 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
The Neanderthal question was solved some time ago by the famous game biologist, Valerius Geist (you may have read his columns in hunting & fishing magazines.) Too bad the rest of the anthropological world still hasn't caught on:

The Neanderthal Paradigm -- Valerius Geist Ph.D.

9 posted on 09/24/2003 9:23:59 AM PDT by Rytwyng
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To: genefromjersey
It is no longer politically correct to suggest that some humans have "neanderthal characteristics"

Are you kidding? Afrocentrists CONSTANTLY accuse whites of being part Neanderthal... despite the fact that modern genetics shows otherwise.

10 posted on 09/24/2003 9:24:55 AM PDT by Rytwyng
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To: blam
Neanderthals inhabited southern France from 65,000 years before the present until roughly 40,000 to 35,000 years ago.

I think recent behavior belies this statement.

11 posted on 09/24/2003 10:02:03 AM PDT by bruin66 (Free Martha!)
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To: blam
Backwards people still do inhabit France....
12 posted on 09/24/2003 10:24:12 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: blam
Interesting-and notable that the "Afro-centric" crowd HATES the idea !

Logic suggests multi-origin, and I've seen some references that infer there were human populations in the Americas long before the "Asiatics" arrived.( No hard evidence of this, unfortunately ! )
13 posted on 09/24/2003 10:41:23 AM PDT by genefromjersey (So little time - so many FLAMES to light !!)
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To: blam
Redheads 'are neanderthal' RED hair may be the genetic legacy of Neanderthals, scientists believe. Researchers at the John Radcliffe Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford say that the so-called “ginger gene” which gives people red hair, fair skin and freckles could be up to 100,000 years old... Neanderthals have been characterised as migrant hunters and violent cannibals who probably ate most of their meat raw. They were taller...than Homo sapiens, but with... bigger faces and noses, receding chins and low foreheads.

Someone post a picture of Julia Roberts. I think we've discovered the reason for her idiocy.

14 posted on 09/24/2003 10:57:06 AM PDT by razorbak
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To: blam
Neanderthals also appear to have suffered more hunting injuries

Neanderthal men preferred close combat with large game animals. It's a man thing. Neanderthal women used to gossip endlessly about this and other amusing man topics.

15 posted on 09/24/2003 11:02:58 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: RightWhale
I don't understand. Neanderthals extinct? Haven't these guys been Arkansas?
16 posted on 09/24/2003 11:06:25 AM PDT by old3030
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To: genefromjersey
"I've seen some references that infer there were human populations in the Americas long before the "Asiatics" arrived.( No hard evidence of this, unfortunately ! )"

Gene, You've not been paying attention.

European DNA Found In 7-8,000 Year Old Skeleton In Florida (Windover)

Bye, Bye Beringia (8,000 Year Old Site In Florida) (Windover)

17 posted on 09/24/2003 11:40:06 AM PDT by blam
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To: RightWhale
"It's a man thing. Neanderthal women used to gossip endlessly about this and other amusing man topics."

And they drank a lot. I've read other accounts about Zana that claimed she had thick, dark red hair. BTW, I think they should dig up some of her kids and extract some DNA.

Zana

The Legend:
In the mid-eighteenth century, hunters in the Ochamchir region of Georgia (a Province of Russia on the edge of the Black sea) captured a 'wild woman' who had ape-like features, a massive bosom, thick arms, legs, and fingers, and was covered with hair. This 'wild woman', named Zana by her captors, was so violent at first that she had to spend many years in a cage with food being tossed to her.
Eventually, she was domesticated and would perform simple tasks, like grinding corn. She had an incredible endurance against cold, and couldn't stand to be in a heated room.

She enjoyed gorging herself on grapes from the vine, and also had a weakness for wines, often drinking so heavily she would sleep for hours. As Colin Wilson points out in The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Mysteries, this is likely how she became the mother of many children to different fathers. These children usually died when she tried to wash them in the freezing river, a mistake that is understandible if she expected the children to have her own resistance to cold; but being half Homo sapiens, they just froze. The villagers just started to take her children away from her and raise them as their own; unlike their mother, the children developed the ability to communicate as well as any other villager.

Zana died in the village about 1890; the youngest of her children died in 1954. Her story was researched by Professor Porchnev who interviewed many old people (one as old as a hundred and five) who remembered Zana, as well as two of her grandchildren. the grandchildren had dark skin and a Negroid look, and the grandson, named Shalikula, had jaws so powerful that he could lift a chair with a man sitting in it.

18 posted on 09/24/2003 11:49:35 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I've seen that material. I'm looking for something in the 50,000 - 100,000 year old range. It is generally hard to find any remains of "super antiquity" because natural erosion processes tend to dissolve bone. Once in a blue moon, you get a "peat bog" situation, such as they found in Florida. Now THAT would be something !
19 posted on 09/24/2003 1:12:38 PM PDT by genefromjersey (So little time - so many FLAMES to light !!)
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To: genefromjersey
Calico: A 200,000-Year-Old Site In The Americas
20 posted on 09/24/2003 2:37:33 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
"I'm looking for something in the 50,000 - 100,000 year old range."

Only 2-5,000 people worldwide survived the Toba eruption 75,000 years ago, there are few human traces for many, many years afterward.

21 posted on 09/24/2003 3:22:59 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Neanderthals were not driven from northern Europe by vastly superior human hunters...

I am not sure that any of the points made here refute the proposition that the Neanderthals were exterminated by cousins who were superior at war making. The authors only argue that both groups successfully brought the same food to the table.

22 posted on 09/24/2003 7:01:48 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: blam
Helen Thomas is proof that Neanderthals still exist.
23 posted on 09/24/2003 7:07:17 PM PDT by HP8753 (My cat hates static electricity....)
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Not a ping, just a GGG update.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

24 posted on 01/16/2005 7:07:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on January 13, 2005)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
The Neandertal Enigma
by James Shreeve

in local libraries
"Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


25 posted on 11/08/2012 5:39:12 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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