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Keyword: neanderthals

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  • Neanderthal skull fragment discovered in Nice

    09/03/2011 4:50:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Riviera Times ^ | Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | unattributed
    Part of a prehistoric skull, dating back 170,000 years, has been discovered during an archaeological dig in Nice. Experts say the discovery could reveal important clues to the evolution of humans. Students Ludovic Dolez and Sébastian Lepvraud were working on the excavation site, Lazaret Caves, on 13th August, when they came across the partial remains of a forehead belonging to a Homo Erectus. Paleontologist Marie-Antoinette de Lumley, who has been in charge of excavation at Lazaret since 1961, said the bone is an important find: "It belonged to a nomad hunter, less than 25 years old. He may be able...
  • Gardens were important to ancient civilizations

    09/01/2011 4:50:15 PM PDT · by Renfield · 9 replies
    We tend to think of garden design as a relatively new vocation. The truth told by archaeological findings not only lays such thoughts to rest, it tells a tale of a rich and ancient heritage of garden design. One such finding shows a garden of Ninevah, in present-day Iraq, that dates back to 650 BC. There are date palms, trees and shrubs of many types. True, an enemy's severed head is seen hanging from one of the trees, but times were different, or are they? They did like their gardens, however. Our vision of ancient Egyptian temples is one of...
  • Neanderthal survival story revealed in Jersey caves

    08/30/2011 8:16:45 PM PDT · by decimon · 58 replies
    BBC ^ | August 29, 2011 | Becky Evans
    New investigations at an iconic cave site on the Channel Island of Jersey have led archaeologists to believe the Neanderthals have been widely under-estimated.Neanderthals survived in Europe through a number of ice ages and died out only about 30,000 years ago. The site at La Cotte de St Brelade reveals a near-continuous use of the cave site spanning over a quarter of a million years, suggesting a considerable success story in adapting to a changing climate and landscape, prior to the arrival of Homo sapiens. New investigations at an iconic cave site on the Channel Island of Jersey have led...
  • Neanderthal sex boosted immunity in modern humans

    08/26/2011 10:40:58 AM PDT · by decimon · 46 replies · 2+ views
    BBC ^ | August 26, 2011 | Matt McGrath
    Sexual relations between ancient humans and their evolutionary cousins are critical for our modern immune systems, researchers report in Science journal.Mating with Neanderthals and another ancient group called Denisovans introduced genes that help us cope with viruses to this day, they conclude. Previous research had indicated that prehistoric interbreeding led to up to 4% of the modern human genome. The new work identifies stretches of DNA derived from our distant relatives. In the human immune system, the HLA (human leucocyte antigen) family of genes plays an important role in defending against foreign invaders such as viruses. The authors say that...
  • DNA study deals blow to theory of European origins

    08/24/2011 11:07:22 AM PDT · by decimon · 38 replies
    BBC ^ | August 23, 2011 | Paul Rincon
    A new study deals a blow to the idea that most European men are descended from farmers who migrated from the Near East 5,000-10,000 years ago. The findings challenge previous research showing that the genetic signature of the farmers displaced that of Europe's indigenous hunters. The latest research leans towards the idea that most of Europe's males trace a line of descent to stone-age hunters. But the authors say more work is needed to answer this question. The study, by an international team, is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Archaeological finds show that modern humans...
  • Stone Age toe could redraw human family tree

    The Denisova cave had already yielded a fossil tooth and finger bone, in 2000 and 2008. Last year, Pääbo's DNA analysis suggested both belonged to a previously unknown group of hominins, the Denisovans. The new bone, an extremely rare find, looks likely to belong to the same group... The primitive morphology of the 30,000 to 50,000-year-old Denisovan finger bone and tooth indicates that Denisovans separated from the Neanderthals roughly 300,000 years ago. At the time of the analysis, Pääbo speculated that they came to occupy large parts of east Asia at a time when Europe and western Asia were dominated...
  • Ancient DNA reveals secrets of human history

    08/09/2011 11:36:54 AM PDT · by neverdem · 50 replies
    Nature News ^ | 9 August 2011 | Ewen Callaway
    Modern humans may have picked up key genes from extinct relatives. For a field that relies on fossils that have lain undisturbed for tens of thousands of years, ancient human genomics is moving at breakneck speed. Barely a year after the publication of the genomes of Neanderthals1 and of an extinct human population from Siberia2, scientists are racing to apply the work to answer questions about human evolution and history that would have been unfathomable just a few years ago. The past months have seen a swathe of discoveries, from details about when Neanderthals and humans interbred, to the important...
  • Study: Neanderthals, Modern Humans Same Species

    01/10/2002 5:42:43 AM PST · by blam · 83 replies · 4,240+ views
    USA Today ^ | 12-26-2001 | Michael A. Stowe
    <p>Humanity's first steps out of Africa along a path that led ultimately to dominion over the earth are subject to intense scientific debate. So is the role played by the Neandertals who roamed across Europe for 100,000 years before quietly disappearing. The two issues may well be related, and a University of Tennessee anthropologist reports statistical evidence that Neandertals and emerging modern humans likely interbred and evolved together.</p>
  • Science Shows Cave Art Developed Early

    10/03/2001 12:16:47 PM PDT · by blam · 118 replies · 4,616+ views
    BBC ^ | 10-3-2001
    Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK Science shows cave art developed early Chauvet cave paintings depict horses and other animals By BBC News Online science editor Dr David Whitehouse A new dating of spectacular prehistoric cave paintings reveals them to be much older than previously thought. Carbon isotope analysis of charcoal used in pictures of horses at Chauvet, south-central France, show that they are 30,000 years old, a discovery that should prompt a rethink about the development of art. The remarkable Chauvet drawings were discovered in 1994 when potholers stumbled upon a narrow entrance to several underground chambers ...
  • Modern humans crowded out Europe's Neanderthals

    07/28/2011 2:57:29 PM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies
    AFP ^ | July 28, 2011 | Unknown
    A swell of modern humans outnumbered Neanderthals in Europe by nearly 10 to one, forcing their extinction 40,000 years ago, suggested a study of French archaeology sites on Thursday. Scientists have long debated what caused the Neanderthals to die off rather suddenly, making way for the thriving population of more advanced Homo sapiens who likely moved in from Africa. The latest theory, published in the journal Science, is based on a statistical analysis of artifacts and evidence from the Perigord region of southern France, where lies the largest concentration of Neanderthal and early modern human sites in Europe. Researchers at...
  • Few grandparents until 30,000 years ago

    07/23/2011 6:46:46 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 58 replies
    Telegraph UK ^ | July 20, 2011 | Martin Beckford
    Grandparents barely existed until as recently as 30,000 years, research suggests, because early humans died so young. But when people did start to survive into older age, it had "far-reaching effects" that led to the development of new tools and art forms. The advantages that humans enjoyed by having larger families with older relatives could have helped them "out-compete" rivals such as Neanderthals, it is claimed... In the article, Rachel Caspari describes how analysis of the teeth of Neanderthals found in Croatia, who lived about 130,000 years ago, suggests "no one survived past 30". Because of gaps in the fossil...
  • Westerners 'programmed for fatty foods and alcohol'

    07/15/2011 7:28:54 PM PDT · by decimon · 35 replies
    BBC ^ | July 14, 2011 | Unknown
    Westerners could be genetically programmed to consume fatty foods and alcohol more than those from the east, researchers have claimed. Scientists at the University of Aberdeen say a genetic switch - DNA which turns genes on or off within cells - regulates appetite and thirst. The study suggests it is also linked to depression. Dr Alasdair MacKenzie conceded it would not stop those moving to the west adapting to its lifestyle. > "The fact that the weaker switch is found more frequently in Asians compared to Europeans suggests they are less inclined to select such options. "These results give us...
  • Mating with Neanderthals Good for Human Health

    06/17/2011 2:29:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 48 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Friday, June 17, 2011 | Tim Wall
    Interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals may have given Europeans and Asians resistance to northern diseases that their African ancestors didn't have. Peter Parham, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford, recently presented evidence to the Royal Society in London that Europeans gained many of the genes for human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) from neanderthals. The antigens helped them adapt to diseases in the north much more quickly than would have otherwise occurred. Comparisons of the human and Neanderthal genomes were conducted by Parham to locate similarities and differences in the DNA of modern human populations and Neanderthals. Parham found that modern...
  • Clues to Neanderthal hunting tactics hidden in reindeer teeth

    05/24/2011 6:46:09 AM PDT · by decimon · 17 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | May 16, 2011 | Sara Coelho
    Scientists have found that our cousins the Neanderthal employed sophisticated hunting strategies similar to the tactics used much later by modern humans. The new findings come from the analysis of subtle chemical variations in reindeer teeth.Reindeer and caribou are nowadays restricted to the northernmost regions of Eurasia and America. But many thousands of years ago, large reindeer herds roamed throughout Europe and were hunted by the Neanderthal people. Kate Britton, an archaeologist now at the University of Aberdeen, and her colleagues were part of a team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, that studied the Jonzac Neanderthal...
  • Late Neandertals of Russia's North

    05/12/2011 3:54:54 PM PDT · by Palter · 24 replies
    Dienekes' Anthropology Blog ^ | 12 May 2011 | Dienekes' Anthropology blog
    Ah, the irony! Right after a paper on Neandertal extinction c. 40,000 years ago, we now get a paper about Neandertal survival as late as 31,000 years ago in Russia's north. The two are not entirely incompatible, however, as Neandertals could very well have survived in the periphery of the sapiens range later than in its center. To give an analogy with the more recent spread of agriculturalists, it is precisely in northern Eurasia, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and Central/South Africa, i.e., areas distant from the primary centers of plant and animal domestication that relic pre-farming groups have...
  • Europeans never had Neanderthal neighbors. Russian find suggests Neanderthals died out earlier.

    05/11/2011 7:41:02 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 144 replies
    Nature News ^ | 05/11/2011 | Ewen Callaway
    The first humans to reach Europe may have found it a ghost world. Carbon-dated Neanderthal remains from the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains suggest that the archaic species had died out before modern humans arrived. The remains are almost 10,000 years older than expected. They come from just one cave in western Russia, called Mezmaiskaya, but bones at other Neanderthal sites farther west could also turn out to be more ancient than previously thought, thanks to a precise carbon-dating technique, says Thomas Higham, a palaeoanthropologist at the University of Oxford, UK, and a co-author of a study published this week...
  • Caves in Spain Yielding More Early Human Finds

    05/11/2011 1:45:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Monday, May 9, 2011 | By Dan McLerran
    "We know now that the sediments in the cave were laid down long, long before the last ice age, and that it's Paleolithic "Levalloisian" chert flakes, some of which have edges modified by "Mousterian" retouch are among the oldest of this kind not only in Europe but even in Africa, and are accompanied by an "Acheulian" hand-axe on a stone cobble," reports Michael Walker. "The entire 5-meter deep block of sediment in the cave belongs to the end of the early Early Pleistocene ( 2,588,000-781,000years ago) according to new optical sediment luminescence dating carried out at Oxford University in 2007...
  • Neanderthals and Early Humans May Not Have Mingled Much

    05/10/2011 5:06:10 AM PDT · by Pharmboy · 47 replies
    NY Times ^ | May 9, 2011 | Nicholas Wade
    An improvement in the dating of fossils suggests that the Neanderthals, a heavily muscled, thick-boned human species adapted to living in ice age Europe, perished almost immediately on contact with the modern humans who started to enter Europe from the Near East about 44,000 years ago. Until now bones from several Neanderthal sites have been dated to as young as 29,000 years ago, suggesting there was extensive overlap between the two human species. This raised the question of whether there had been interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals, an issue that is still not resolved. RSS Feed RSS Get Science News...
  • Heidelberg Man Links Humans, Neanderthals

    05/09/2011 11:34:59 AM PDT · by Renfield · 43 replies
    Discovery News ^ | 05-04-2011 | Jennifer Viegas
    The last common ancestor of humans and Neanderthals was a tall, well-traveled species called Heidelberg Man, according to a new PLoS One study. The determination is based on the remains of a single Heidelberg Man (Homo heidelbergensis) known as "Ceprano," named after the town near Rome, Italy, where his fossil -- a partial cranium -- was found. Previously, this 400,000-year-old fossil was thought to represent a new species of human, Homo cepranensis. The latest study, however, identifies Ceprano as being an archaic member of Homo heidelbergensis......
  • Did Neanderthals Believe in an Afterlife?

    04/21/2011 8:06:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Jennifer Viegas
    Evidence for a likely 50,000-year-old Neanderthal burial ground that includes the remains of at least three individuals has been unearthed in Spain... The deceased appear to have been intentionally buried, with each Neanderthal's arms folded such that the hands were close to the head. Remains of other Neanderthals have been found in this position, suggesting that it held meaning. Neanderthals therefore may have conducted burials and possessed symbolic thought before modern humans had these abilities... So far they have found buried articulated skeletons for a young adult female, a juvenile or child, and an adult -- possibly male -- Neanderthal......