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
Kyle Munkittrick thinks so. John Hawks isn’t so sure:
Of course today this is all just idle talk. Someone who’s talking about other extinct species, I don’t take very seriously. We’re talking about an ancient population of humans here. Not like quaggas; more like Tasmanians — a group of people whose culture hasn’t survived, and yet still has many living descendants. This shouldn’t be a conversation about cloning, it should be about the logical consequence: adoption. Who will step up to adopt a Neandertal child, and why aren’t they helping living children instead?
This is about as cool as it gets:
In the 7 May 2010 issue of Science, Green et al.
report a draft sequence of the Neandertal genome composed of over 3
billion nucleotides from three individuals, and compare it with the
genomes of five modern humans. A companion paper by Burbano et al. describes a method for sequencing target regions of Neandertal DNA. A News Focus , podcast segment, and special online presentation
featuring video commentary, text, and a timeline of Neandertal-related
discoveries provide additional context for their findings.
Ever wondered what Neandertal music sounded like?
A musical experience with a difference is being previewed at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff – an attempt to recreate the sound of the Neanderthals.
Jazz composer Simon Thorne was given the task of creating the “soundscape” to provide a musical backdrop to some of the ancient exhibits on display.
The musician says the work is “probably the most unusual” he has undertaken.
Did competition between humans and Neanderthal’s in the same ecological niche lead to the extinction of the Neanderthal’s?
If you speak Spanish, this Neanderthal blog looks cool … I don’t, so I must drool from the sidelines.
Kinda like this guy: