As part of the new 102nd Four Stone Hearth, a piece by Julien Riel-Salvatore explaining his new paper about how Neanderthals were much more advanced than previously thought has caught fire. And why not? Neanderthals have had a long history of being derided as the dumb jocks of the humanoid evolutionary line. They had the brawn, but they lacked the brains.
While they certainly didn’t have the cognitive capacity that we do, they weren’t as dumb as all that.
I showed that, among, other things, around 42,000 calendar years ago (ca. 36.5 radiocarbon years BP), a new culture (better, behavioral adaptation) – the Uluzzian – emerged in southern Italy and is widely believed to have been made by Neanderthals. The thing is, the Uluzzian is associated with bone tools, stone armatures likely used as part of composite projectile weapons, shell ornaments, coloring material (ochre, limonite), and possible evidence of small game exploitation. These features are all generally associated with modern human groups, not so much with Neanderthals.
His post is a bit long, but it’s worth it if you’re into Neanderthals as much as I am.
Make sure to check out the 102’nd Four Stone Hearth Here