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......
  • New research suggests right-handedness prevailed 500,000 years ago

    04/21/2011 7:58:26 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    University of Kansas -- KU News ^ | April 18, 2011 | Brendan M. Lynch
    David Frayer, professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas, has used markings on fossilized front teeth to show that right-handedness goes back more than 500,000 years... His research shows that distinctive markings on fossilized teeth correlate to the right or left-handedness of individual prehistoric humans... The oldest teeth come from a more than 500,000-year-old chamber known as Sima de los Huesos near Burgos, Spain, containing the remains of humans believed to be ancestors of European Neandertals. Other teeth studied by Frayer come from later Neandertal populations in Europe... Overall, Frayer and his co-authors found right-handedness in 93.1 percent of...
  • Why our babies are just like infant Neanderthals

    03/25/2011 7:03:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | Thursday, March 24, 2011 | Daily Mail Reporter
    Anthropologists were surprised to discover that the grey matter of our infant ancestors, who became extinct about 28,000 years ago, shared the same shape and size. Adult Neanderthal brains were less globular and more elongated than ours. They also grew quicker and were slightly larger. Researchers suggest that this is because human brains spend the first 18 months developing more neural circuitry, helping them think... To compare the two brains, scientists assembled a virtual Neanderthal brain by scanning skull fragments and comparing the computer models at different stages of growth to the human baby brain... Humans are thought to have...
  • Prehistoric tools in Greek highlands may have been used by some of Europe's last Neanderthals

    03/25/2011 7:01:04 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Star Tribune ^ | March 9, 2011 | Nicholas Paphitis, AP
    ...The two sites used between 50,000 to 35,000 years ago were found last summer in the Pindos Mountains, near the village of Samarina -- one of Greece's highest -- some 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of Athens...
  • Neanderthals were fashionable in feathers

    02/28/2011 12:03:45 AM PST · by decimon · 25 replies
    Live Science ^ | February 23, 2011 | Charles Q. Choi
    Neanderthals plucked the feathers from falcons and vultures, perhaps for symbolic value, scientists find. This new discovery adds to evidence that our closest known extinct relatives were capable of creating art. Scientists investigated the Grotta di Fumane — "the Grotto of Smoke" — in northern Italy, a site loaded with Neanderthal bones. After digging down to layers that existed at the surface 44,000 years ago, the researchers discovered 660 bones belonging to 22 species of birds, with evidence of cut, peeling and scrape marks from stone tools on the wing bones of birds that had no clear practical or culinary...
  • Earliest humans not so different from us, research suggests

    02/14/2011 2:33:19 PM PST · by decimon · 26 replies
    University of Chicago Press Journals ^ | February 14, 2011 | Unknown
    That human evolution follows a progressive trajectory is one of the most deeply-entrenched assumptions about our species. This assumption is often expressed in popular media by showing cavemen speaking in grunts and monosyllables (the GEICO Cavemen being a notable exception). But is this assumption correct? Were the earliest humans significantly different from us? In a paper published in the latest issue of Current Anthropology, archaeologist John Shea (Stony Brook University) shows they were not. The problem, Shea argues, is that archaeologists have been focusing on the wrong measurement of early human behavior. Archaeologists have been searching for evidence of "behavioral...
  • Scientists Find DNA Change Accounting for White Skin (White People "Greatest Cause of Strife"!)

    01/30/2011 5:47:11 PM PST · by Williams · 133 replies · 1+ views
    Washington Post ^ | 1/28/11 | Rick Weiss
    Scientists said yesterday that they have discovered a tiny genetic mutation that largely explains the first appearance of white skin in humans tens of thousands of years ago, a finding that helps solve one of biology's most enduring mysteries and illuminates one of humanity's greatest sources of strife. .................

    01/29/2011 4:56:25 AM PST · by Pharmboy · 50 replies · 1+ views
    Discovery News ^ | Jan 28, 2011 | Jennifer Viegas
    Humans, versus other great apes, are built for running fast and long as opposed to very impressive strength, but what about Neanderthals? If a modern human and a Neanderthal competed in a marathon, who would win? (Comparison of Neanderthal and Modern Human skeletons. Credit: K. Mowbray, Reconstruction: G. Sawyer and B. Maley, Copyright: Ian Tattersall) In a short sprint, the Neanderthal might have had a chance, but most fit humans would always win longer races, suggests new research accepted for publication in the Journal of Human Evolution. Anthropologist David Raichlen of the University of Arizona and his colleagues determined that...
  • Dying young did not cause Neanderthals' demise

    01/10/2011 3:37:03 PM PST · by decimon · 24 replies
    AFP ^ | January 10, 2011 | Unknown
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – Dying young was not likely the reason Neanderthals went extinct, said a study out Monday that suggests early modern humans had about the same life expectancy as their hairier, ancient cousins. Scientists have puzzled over why the Neanderthals disappeared just as modern humans were making huge gains and moving into new parts of Africa and Europe, and some have speculated that a difference in longevity may have been to blame. If anything, higher fertility rates and lower infant mortality gave modern humans an advantage over the Neanderthals, who died off about 30,000 years ago, said the study...
  • Did first humans come out of Middle East and not Africa?...

    12/27/2010 4:13:51 PM PST · by decimon · 44 replies · 4+ views
    Daily Mail ^ | December 27, 2010 | Matthew Kalman
    Scientists could be forced to re-write the history of the evolution of modern man after the discovery of 400,000-year-old human remains. Until now, researchers believed that homo sapiens, the direct descendants of modern man, evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago and gradually migrated north, through the Middle East, to Europe and Asia. Recently, discoveries of early human remains in China and Spain have cast doubt on the 'Out of Africa' theory, but no-one was certain. The new discovery of pre-historic human remains by Israeli university explorers in a cave near Ben-Gurion airport could force scientists to re-think earlier theories.
  • US study finds Neanderthals ate their veggies

    12/27/2010 2:01:06 PM PST · by decimon · 27 replies · 5+ views
    AFP ^ | December 27, 2010 | Unknown
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US study on Monday found that Neanderthals, prehistoric cousins of humans, ate grains and vegetables as well as meat, cooking them over fire in the same way homo sapiens did. The new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) challenges a prevailing theory that Neanderthals' over reliance on meat contributed to their extinction around 30,000 years ago. Researchers found grains from numerous plants, including a type of wild grass, as well as traces of roots and tubers, trapped in plaque buildup on fossilized Neanderthal teeth unearthed in northern Europe and Iraq.
  • Genome of extinct Siberian cave-dweller linked to modern-day humans

    12/23/2010 10:27:59 AM PST · by LucyT · 26 replies · 2+ views ^ | 22-Dec-2010 | Bobbie Mixon, National Science Foundation
    Sequencing of ancient DNA reveals new hominin population that is neither Neanderthal nor modern human Researchers have discovered evidence of a distinct group of "archaic" humans existing outside of Africa more than 30,000 years ago at a time when Neanderthals are thought to have dominated Europe and Asia. But genetic testing shows that members of this new group were not Neanderthals, and they interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans who are alive today. Until last year, the mainstream view in genetics was that modern humans inherited essentially their entire DNA makeup from Neanderthal-related individuals when they migrated from...
  • DNA says new human relative roamed widely in Asia

    12/22/2010 2:22:43 PM PST · by decimon · 13 replies · 1+ views
    Associated Press ^ | December 22, 2010 | MALCOLM RITTER
    NEW YORK – Scientists have recovered the DNA code of a human relative recently discovered in Siberia, and it delivered a surprise: This relative roamed far from the cave that holds its only known remains. By comparing the DNA to that of modern populations, scientists found evidence that these "Denisovans" from more than 30,000 years ago ranged all across Asia. They apparently interbred with the ancestors of people now living in Melanesia, a group of islands northeast of Australia. There's no sign that Denisovans mingled with the ancestors of people now living in Eurasia, which made the connection between Siberia...
  • Ancient humans, dubbed 'Denisovans', interbred with us

    12/22/2010 6:26:50 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 56 replies · 6+ views
    BBC ^ | 12/22/10 | Pallab Ghosh
    Scientists say an entirely separate type of human identified from bones in Siberia co-existed and interbred with our own species.The ancient humans have been dubbed "Denisovans" after the caves in Siberia where their remains were found. There is also evidence that this population was widespread in Eurasia. A study in Nature journal shows that Denisovans co-existed with Neanderthals and interbred with our species - perhaps around 50,000 years ago. An international group of researchers sequenced a complete genome from one of the ancient hominins (human-like creatures), based on nuclear DNA extracted from a finger bone.
  • Bones Give Peek Into the Lives of Neanderthals

    12/21/2010 5:32:19 AM PST · by Pharmboy · 19 replies · 1+ views
    NY Times ^ | December 20, 2010 | CARL ZIMMER
    Deep in a cave in the forests of northern Spain are the remains of a gruesome massacre. The first clues came to light in 1994, when explorers came across a pair of what they thought were human jawbones in the cave, called El Sidrón. At first, the bones were believed to date to the Spanish Civil War. Back then, Republican fighters used the cave as a hide-out. The police discovered more bone fragments in El Sidrón, which they sent to forensic scientists, who determined that the bones did not belong to soldiers, or even to modern humans. They were the...
  • Neanderthals Fashioned Earliest Tool Made From Human Bone

    12/16/2010 12:41:36 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 44 replies
    LiveScience ^ | Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Charles Q. Choi
    Until now, the first evidence that human bones were used either symbolically or as tools were 30,000-to 34,000-year-old perforated human teeth found at excavations in southwest France. These were apparently used as ornaments. Now scientists have identified a human skull fragment dating back at least 50,000 years that bears signs it was used as a sharpener. It was found in a Neanderthal deposit -- the first time our relatives were discovered making tools from human bone. (Neanderthals are an extinct kind of human that were anatomically distinct from us modern humans.) The bone was first unearthed in 1926 at the...
  • Neanderthals: how needles and skins gave us the edge on our kissing cousins

    12/12/2010 12:19:16 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies
    The Observer ^ | Sunday, December 5, 2010 | Robin McKie
    Many treasures compete for attention, but there is one sample, kept in a small plywood box, that deserves especial interest: the Swanscombe skull. Found near Gravesend last century, it is made up of three pieces of the brain case of a 400,000-year-old female and is one of only half-a-dozen bits of skeleton that can be traced to men and women who lived in Britain before the end of the last ice age. Human remains do not get more precious than this. However, the Swanscombe find is important for another, crucial reason: the skull is that of a Neanderthal, that race...
  • Differences in human and Neanderthal brains set in just after birth

    11/09/2010 6:06:56 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 47 replies
    Eurekalert ^ | Monday, November 8, 2010 | Elisabeth N. Lyons
    The findings are based on comparisons of virtual imprints of the developing brain and surrounding structures (known as endocasts) derived from the skulls of modern and fossilized humans, including that of a newborn Neanderthal... "In modern humans, the connections between diverse brain regions that are established in the first years of life are important for higher-order social, emotional, and communication functions," Gunz said. "It is therefore unlikely that Neanderthals saw the world as we do." ...In fact, the elongated overall shape of the braincase hasn't changed much in the course of more than two million years of human evolution, despite...
  • Neanderthal Children Were Large, Sturdy

    10/25/2010 8:16:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies · 2+ views
    Discovery News 'blogs ^ | Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | Jennifer Viegas
    The remains of this infant -- a lower jaw and teeth unearthed in a Belgian cave -- are the youngest Neanderthal ever found in northwest Europe, according to a study that will appear in the Journal of Human Evolution. Since the remains of two adults were also previously discovered in the cave, the fossil collection may represent a Neanderthal family. If the trio said "cheese" for a family portrait, their smiles would have been hard to miss, since Neanderthal front teeth were larger than those for modern humans. When the infant died, "he already possessed Neanderthal characteristics, notably a strong...
  • Modern humans emerged far earlier than previously thought (China)

    10/25/2010 2:06:23 PM PDT · by decimon · 22 replies
    Washington University in St. Louis ^ | October 25, 2010 | Unknown
    An international team of researchers based at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, including a physical anthropology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, has discovered well-dated human fossils in southern China that markedly change anthropologists perceptions of the emergence of modern humans in the eastern Old World. The research was published Oct. 25 in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery of early modern human fossil remains in the Zhirendong (Zhiren Cave) in south China that are at least 100,000 years old provides the earliest evidence for the...
  • Scientists find sign cave dwellers took care of elderly

    10/21/2010 8:42:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies · 1+ views
    Google News ^ | Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | AFP
    Scientists said Monday they had uncovered evidence suggesting cave dwellers who lived in northern Spain some 500,000 years ago took care of their elderly and infirm. University of Madrid palaeontologists discovered the partial skeleton of a male of a European species ancestral to the Neanderthals who suffered from a stoop and possibly needed a stick to remain upright, they said in a statement. "This individual would be probably impaired for hunting, among other activities. His survival during a considerable period with these impairments allows us to hypothesize that the nomadic group of which this individual was part would provide special...
  • 400,000 year old spears found in an German coal mine!

    10/11/2010 6:38:35 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 63 replies ^ | 07-04-2010 | Staff
    Researchers in Germany have unearthed 400,000 year old wooden spears from what appears to be an ancient lake shore hunting ground stunning evidence that human ancestors systematically hunted big game much earlier than believed. The three spears, each carved from the trunk of a spruce tree, are 6 feet to more than 7 feet long. They were found with more than 10,000 animal bones, mostly from horses, including many obviously butchered. That indicates the ancient hunters were organized enough to trap horses and strong enough to kill them by throwing spears, perhaps ambushing herds that showed up for water. “There’s...
  • Neanderthals had feelings too, say York researchers

    10/05/2010 11:12:14 AM PDT · by decimon · 19 replies
    University of York ^ | October 5, 2010 | Unknown
    Pioneering new research by archaeologists at the University of York suggests that Neanderthals belied their primitive reputation and had a deep seated sense of compassion.A team from the University’s Department of Archaeology took on the ‘unique challenge’ of charting the development of compassion in early humans. The researchers examined archaeological evidence for the way emotions began to emerge in our ancestors six million years ago and then developed from earliest times to more recent humans such as Neanderthals and modern people like ourselves. The research by Dr Penny Spikins, Andy Needham and Holly Rutherford is published in the journal Time...
  • Neanderthals more advanced than previously thought (they were a different kind of human)

    10/05/2010 11:07:29 AM PDT · by WebFocus · 23 replies
    PHYSORG ^ | 10/05/2010
    For decades scientists believed Neanderthals developed `modern' tools and ornaments solely through contact with Homo sapiens, but new research from the University of Colorado Denver now shows these sturdy ancients could adapt, innovate and evolve technology on their own. The findings by anthropologist Julien Riel-Salvatore challenge a half-century of conventional wisdom maintaining that Neanderthals were thick-skulled, primitive `cavemen' overrun and outcompeted by more advanced modern humans arriving in Europe from Africa. "Basically, I am rehabilitating Neanderthals," said Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at UC Denver. "They were far more resourceful than we have given them credit for." His research, to...
  • Neanderthals were able to 'develop their own tools'

    09/27/2010 12:18:16 PM PDT · by decimon · 36 replies
    BBC ^ | September 24, 2010 | Katia Moskvitch
    Neanderthals were keen on innovation and technology and developed tools all on their own, scientists say.A new study challenges the view that our close relatives could advance only through contact with Homo sapiens. The team says climate change was partly responsible for forcing Neanderthals to innovate in order to survive. The research is set to appear in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory in December. "Basically, I am rehabilitating Neanderthals," said Julien Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado in Denver, who led the seven-year study. "They were far more resourceful than we have given them...
  • Volcanoes Killed Off Neanderthals, Study Suggests

    09/24/2010 8:52:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    National Geographic News ^ | September 22, 2010 | Ker Than
    The Neanderthals were a hardy species that lived through multiple ice ages and would have been familiar with volcanoes and other natural calamities. But the eruptions 40,000 years ago were unlike anything Neanderthals had faced before, Cleghorn and company say. For one thing, all the volcanoes apparently erupted around the same time. And one of those blasts, the Campanian Ignimbrite, is thought to have been the most powerful eruption in Europe in the last 200,000 years... The researchers acknowledge that there are gaps in the volcanoes theory. For instance, the time line needs to be better defined -- did...
  • Neanderthals more advanced than previously thought

    09/21/2010 4:51:39 PM PDT · by decimon · 51 replies · 1+ views
    University of Colorado Denver ^ | September 21, 2010 | Unknown
    They innovated, adapted like modern humansDenver (September 21, 2010) – For decades scientists believed Neanderthals developed `modern' tools and ornaments solely through contact with Homo sapiens, but new research from the University of Colorado Denver now shows these sturdy ancients could adapt, innovate and evolve technology on their own. The findings by anthropologist Julien Riel-Salvatore challenge a half-century of conventional wisdom maintaining that Neanderthals were thick-skulled, primitive `cavemen' overrun and outcompeted by more advanced modern humans arriving in Europe from Africa. "Basically, I am rehabilitating Neanderthals," said Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at UC Denver. "They were far more resourceful...
  • Neanderthal's Cozy Bedroom Unearthed

    08/06/2010 4:19:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 114 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Friday, August 6, 2010 | Jennifer Viegas
    Anthropologists have unearthed the remains of an apparent Neanderthal cave sleeping chamber, complete with a hearth and nearby grass beds that might have once been covered with animal fur. Neanderthals inhabited the cozy Late Pleistocene room, located within Esquilleu Cave in Cantabria, Spain, anywhere between 53,000 to 39,000 years ago... Living the ultimate clean and literally green lifestyle, the Neanderthals appear to have constructed new beds out of grass every so often, using the old bedding material to help fuel the hearth... Cabanes, a researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science's Kimmel Center for Archaeological Research, added that these hearth-side...
  • New Evidence for Multiregional Origins

    09/05/2001 5:05:20 PM PDT · by sarcasm · 33 replies · 2,677+ views
    Anthropology ^ | Alec Christensen
    Part 1: The debate Over recent years, there has been a loud debate within palaeoanthropology over the origins of anatomically modern humans, or AMH. Opinions have polarized into two camps: Multiregional Evolution, or MRE, and Out-of-Africa, or OOA. The former group of anthropologists, including Milford Wolpoff and Loring Brace, argue that ever since members of the genus Homo first spread out of Africa, probably before 1 million years ago (mya), we have all been members of one species. The many different populations of humans were all subject to natural selection, and gradually evolved along similar lines. These different populations may ...
  • In The Neanderthal Mind

    09/22/2004 5:32:57 PM PDT · by blam · 34 replies · 1,473+ views
    Science News ^ | 9-18-2004 | Bruce Bower
    Week of Sept. 18, 2004; Vol. 166, No. 12 , p. 183 In the Neandertal MindOur evolutionary comrades celebrated vaunted intellects before meeting a memorable demise Bruce Bower Call a person a Neandertal, and no one within earshot will mistake the statement for a compliment. It's a common, convenient way to cast someone as a stupid, brutish lout. From an evolutionary perspective, the invective has no basis in truth, say archaeologist Thomas Wynn and psychologist Frederick L. Coolidge. This interdisciplinary duo, based at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, has drawn on a range of scientific research and prehistoric...
  • DNA analysed from early European

    01/01/2010 3:19:58 PM PST · by decimon · 27 replies · 1,005+ views
    BBC ^ | Jan 1, 2010 | Paul Rincon
    Scientists have analysed DNA extracted from the remains of a 30,000-year-old European hunter-gatherer.> The researchers were able to assign the Kostenki individual to haplogroup "U2", which is relatively uncommon among modern populations. U2 appears to be scattered at low frequencies in populations from South and Western Asia, Europe and North Africa. Despite its rarity, the very presence of this haplogroup in today's Europeans suggests some continuity between Palaeolithic hunters and the continent's present-day inhabitants, argue the authors of the latest study. >