Skip to comments.Neanderthal Women Joined Men in the Hunt (Eat your heart out, feminists)
Posted on 12/07/2006 5:42:12 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger
A new explanation for the demise of the Neanderthals, the stockily built human species that occupied Europe until the arrival of modern humans 45,000 years ago, has been proposed by two anthropologists at the University of Arizona.
Unlike modern humans, who had developed a versatile division of labor between men and women, the entire Neanderthal population seems to have been engaged in a single main occupation, the hunting of large game, the scientists, Steven L. Kuhn and Mary C. Stiner, say in an article posted online yesterday in Current Anthropology.
Because modern humans exploited the environment more efficiently, by having men hunt large game and women gather small game and plant foods, their populations would have outgrown those of the Neanderthals.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
If you have more people hunting it sure does seem like you would get more meat, if you're using the same methods.
Logically, this doesn't pass the smell test.
Whoa! The one on the left is HOT!
This is just story-telling. You have no idea what Neanderthals did or did not do.
Let's not pretend we know and then imagine that our stories are truth.
Again, more pretend understanding to support imaginary stories made up out of whole cloth.
You don't really know this. You think this is true.
What if Neanderthals were only "a Yarn" told by "EVOS"?...
Again, using the same methods, more people hunting usually means more prey caught.
Now if hunting methods differ, now we're talkiing about a whole new ballgame.
Oh God, Don't do that.
You ruined my vision of a cave girl as looking like Barbara Bach in a fur bikini.
The point is that you should communicate so that it is clear that you are saying what you 'think' rather than writing as though you know.
Blatant statements like, 'Because this' or 'We know that' are deceiving because you don't.
I'm not sure the researcher's whole argument is really applicable. I may not be up to date, in that I'm not sure the result has held up over time, but I recall research from some years ago regarding a study of stress patterns in Neanderthal leg bones. It indicated a heavy predominance of lateral stresses, indicating that Neanderthals spent most of their time walking on uneven ground, along hillsides, etc. Anatomically modern sapiens, by contrast, showed stress patterns indicative of smoother striding gaits.
The conclusion was that Neanderthals, unlike sapiens, probably seldom covered large distances, and may even have typically spent their whole lives in a single river valley or other similarly small geographic area.
If this is true -- that Neanderthals didn't track game animals over large distances, but only hunted them opportunistically when they were within a limited range -- then there isn't that much significance one way or the other to women accompanying men on hunts.
Hunts among primitive hunter/gatherers are often very significant projects covering spans of day, weeks, even months. It may have been nothing like that with Neanderthals. If their hunts were short, opportunistic affairs then I'd think it would be, if anything, MORE (not, as this researcher suggests, less) adaptive to have the entire group, including both sexes, participate.
I'm not saying that modern humans didn't win out because of a division of labor that the Neanderthals did not use.
I'm saying that logically, from the facts we do know, it wasn't because that division of labor gave more food during the winter.
Total nonsense! The men hunted big game with their bare hands while the wimmin gossiped about the men back home around the fire. The lead hunter would jump out from behind a rock or a tree and crack the aurochs or mammoth right in the nose and then the rest of the men would run up and try to strangle the beast. That's what the wimmin gossipped about, whose turn it was to jump out in front of the sabretooth tiger.
You don't understand what science is and what it is not.
Science is observable, testable and repeatable. Speculations about sustenance-levels for 'stone age man' are just that, speculations.
In order to be science, they would need to be observable, testable and repeatable. They are none of the above.
From samplings of bone, teeth, waste dumps/pits, etc found in archeological digs related to the stone age scientists have discovered that humans during that period ate a largely meat diet.
Sorry to say that I do know what science is and is not, and the difference between proven scientific fact and an opinion.
You might want to brush up on the subject you're pontificating on.
women went along on the hunts.....Hell, yes. Easier than tryin' to find some OTHER bait. Sheesh.
I'm a feminist and I'm not furious at this. It proves that women's contributions to survival were equally vital to the survival and success of our species. This theory makes a lot of sense ... to survive and thrive, people have to work together and diversity is strength. Everyone doing the same task is redundant and not sustainable in the long run.
This is true in any organization or human endeavor by the way ... even in sports, not every member of the team has the same strength and the same task ... it takes a variety of skills and abilities to win. The examples are endless.
The point of feminism is that historically women's contributions have not been equally VALUED along with men's in society.
The women who gathered the berries and created vessels for storing food for hard times do not get as much credit as the hunters who brought home the wooly mammouth for lunch. But in reality, both tasks were equally valuable in terms of survival.
No, from samplings scientists *believe* that humans during that period ate a largely meat diet. They are, after all, samplings and you cannot claim they represent an actual observation and measurement of what 'humans ate during that period'. Clearly, they are speculations based on samples.
"Sorry to say that I do know what science is and is not, and the difference between proven scientific fact and an opinion."
I think you just proved yourself wrong. But that's OK. It's normal among those who have never been taught you to make a distinction between evidence and interpretations of evidence.
But as for being failures, consider that the Neanderthal line lasted for tens of thousands of years in some of the most inhospitable climates. It is not enough to ask what killed them off, but also how they lasted so long.
All that tells you is that, among the evidence that you found, both sexes suffered a lot of broken bones and that you found knives but very few weapons like bows or spear throwers.
That's all it really means.
Everything beyond that is purely in the realm of speculation and that is the difference between science and story-telling.