17 of 19
17
(forget Darwin) Them and Us: how Neanderthal predation created modern humans begins
Posted: 05 June 2010 11:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 177 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2892
Joined  2005-06-15
Accipiter - 05 June 2010 09:44 PM
Peter - 04 June 2010 11:57 AM

Is there any evidence to suggest why the Neandertals resorted to cannibalism in those 2 instances? Could there have been a food shortage?

It’s actually not even certain whether it was cannibalism, or else some sort of funeral practice of removing the flesh from the bodies (a fairly common funeral practice even today).  Granted, it does seem more likely to be the former than the latter, but we really don’t know.

Of course, even if it was cannibalism, then it does nothing for Vendramini’s theories.  After all, it isn’t Neandertals eating Neandertals that his claims depend on.  Neandertal Predation Theory means Neandertals eating our own non-Neandertal ancestors.  And if there is the slightest evidence of that having ever happened, I’m not aware of it.  I don’t know of a single Neandertal site where they found the chewed-up remains of Homo sapiens.  Or remains of Homo sapiens that weren’t chewed on, for that matter.

Surely given all the centuries they were around there must have been the odd occasion when Neandertals were caught out food wise. In a life or death situation I wouldn’t be surprised if they partook of eating the odd Homo Sapien.

Of course that’s still very different from regarding Homo Sapiens as a normal part of their diet.

 Signature 

I’m not some ordinary moron.
I’m an Oxy-Moron!

Mental Giant: A very tall person who is more than slightly confused.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 June 2010 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 178 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5149
Joined  2005-01-27

As long as we don

 Signature 


“By the sweat on our brows, and the strengths of our backs…Gentlemen. Hoist the Colours! And you, madam, I warn you, I know the entire Geneva Convention by heart!”
Trust me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2010 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 179 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5149
Joined  2005-01-27

Neanderthals more advanced than previously thought

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 be published in December’s Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, was based on seven years of studying Neanderthal sites throughout Italy, with special focus on the vanished Uluzzian culture.

About 42,000 years ago, the Aurignacian culture, attributed to modern Homo sapiens, appeared in northern Italy while central Italy continued to be occupied by Neanderthals of the Mousterian culture which had been around for at least 100,000 years. At this time a new culture arose in the south, one also thought to be created by Neanderthals. They were the Uluzzian and they were very different.

Riel-Salvatore identified projectile points, ochre, bone tools, ornaments and possible evidence of fishing and small game hunting at Uluzzian archeological sites throughout southern Italy. Such innovations are not traditionally associated with Neanderthals, strongly suggesting that they evolved independently, possibly due to dramatic changes in climate. More importantly, they emerged in an area geographically separated from modern humans.

“My conclusion is that if the Uluzzian is a Neanderthal culture it suggests that contacts with modern humans are not necessary to explain the origin of this new behavior. This stands in contrast to the ideas of the past 50 years that Neanderthals had to be acculturated to humans to come up with this technology,” he said. “When we show Neanderthals could innovate on their own it casts them in a new light. It `humanizes’ them if you will.”

Thousands of years ago, southern Italy experienced a shift in climate, becoming increasingly open and arid, said Riel-Salvatore. Neanderthals living there faced a stark choice of adapting or dying out. The evidence suggests they began using darts or arrows to hunt smaller game to supplement the increasingly scarce larger mammals they traditionally hunted.

“The fact that Neanderthals could adapt to new conditions and innovate shows they are culturally similar to us,” he said. “Biologically they are also similar. I believe they were a subspecies of human but not a different species.”

The powerfully built Neanderthals were first discovered in Germany’s Neander Valley in 1856. Exactly who they were, how they lived and why they vanished remains unclear.

Research shows they contributed between 1 and 4 percent of their genetic material to the people of Asia and Europe. Riel-Salvatore rejects the theory that they were exterminated by modern humans. Homo sapiens might simply have existed in larger groups and had slightly higher birthrates, he said.

“It is likely that Neanderthals were absorbed by modern humans,” he said. “My research suggests that they were a different kind of human, but humans nonetheless. We are more brothers than distant cousins.”

Source

 Signature 


“By the sweat on our brows, and the strengths of our backs…Gentlemen. Hoist the Colours! And you, madam, I warn you, I know the entire Geneva Convention by heart!”
Trust me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 September 2010 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 180 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  8165
Joined  2005-02-06

Neanderthals more advanced than previously thought

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.

To be fair, there already were quite a lot of European archaeologists who were of the opinion that Neandertals innovated on their own. This news-release is a bit ignorant in that sense.

It are mainly Anglo-Saxon archaeologists like Mellars wo took/take the line that phenomena like the Chatelperronian/Castelperronian and the Ulluzian were Neandertal “immitations” of the culture of the first incoming Homo sapiens in Europe. But that always has been disputted by a large contingent of (mainly) continental scholars, one of the most vocal being Jos

 Signature 

———
The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 September 2010 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 181 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  8165
Joined  2005-02-06
Accipiter - 05 June 2010 09:44 PM
Peter - 04 June 2010 11:57 AM

Is there any evidence to suggest why the Neandertals resorted to cannibalism in those 2 instances? Could there have been a food shortage?

It’s actually not even certain whether it was cannibalism, or else some sort of funeral practice of removing the flesh from the bodies (a fairly common funeral practice even today).  Granted, it does seem more likely to be the former than the latter, but we really don’t know.

Uhm, well: it definitely is cannibalism at Moula-Quercy. Not just flesh has been removed: but long bones and jaws have been broken open to remove the nutritious marrow. The pattern of butchery tool marks and bone breakage is completely similar to that of the deer bones found on the same site. I have no doubt they ate them.

As for the reasons: difficult to say. Maybe they were starving. Maybe they were annoyed with their neighbours, and hungry, and decided to solve the one problem with the other. Maybe this cave housed the mentally deranged Stone Age equivalent of Emperor Bokassa. Cannot say anything about that for sure.

The point however is, that there is plenty of evidence for (non-ritual) cannibalism by Homo sapiens. It is ridiculous to ignore this and instead cast the Neandertals as the big habitual cannibals, based on just two Neandertal sites from a 150 000+ period.

 Signature 

———
The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 October 2010 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 182 ]
New Member
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2010-10-04

I am in the middle of reading the book that started this thread and must say I am blown away by the concept of killer apes. A very enjoyable read and the author is very convincing with his theory.

My passion is in mythology and religion and I have been recently drawn to docos and books on the Pleistocene Epoch.

I have always been intirgued by ancient humans belief that Gods, trolls, fairies, dragons, monsters and goblins where real and should be feared. And then I discovered that our prehistoric ancestors lived in a hostile world filled with monsters and goblins that where very real and existed as megafauna and sub-species of human. (homo erectus?)

I’m just a factory worker who enjoys reading books so I don’t know how much truth there is in the book “Them+Us,” but one thing that got me excited was that if our prehistoric ancestors where indeed at the mercy of not just gigantic cave lions and cave bears, and now predator Neandathals, then once upon a time the self sacraficing hero, the slaying of monsters and the eternal struggle of good vs evil was not just the stuff of myths and legends for our prehistoric ancestors, but a harsh reality.

LaMa, can you recommend any books on up to date facts concerning Neandathal? I would love to learn more about what you have been adding to this thread. I’m getting a bit tired of the main stream docos about bone flute music loving, timid Neandathals that bury there dead with flowers. “Them+Us” Neandathals are far more believable and explain why the human race is a destructive, xenophobic war mongers and why our male youth have made violent video games into a billion dollar industry. 

I’m off to watch a DVD about advanced ice age civilization and how they are linked to Atlantis. Should be a hoot.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 October 2010 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 183 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5149
Joined  2005-01-27

My passion is facts and science.

 Signature 


“By the sweat on our brows, and the strengths of our backs…Gentlemen. Hoist the Colours! And you, madam, I warn you, I know the entire Geneva Convention by heart!”
Trust me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 October 2010 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 184 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  61098
Joined  2005-04-14
tonkatough - 04 October 2010 10:13 AM

. . . then once upon a time the self sacraficing hero, the slaying of monsters and the eternal struggle of good vs evil was not just the stuff of myths and legends for our prehistoric ancestors, but a harsh reality.

What do you mean, “once upon a time”?  It’s still going on today.  Some different characters, but the same basic situations.

 Signature 

“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2010 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 185 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  8165
Joined  2005-02-06
tonkatough - 04 October 2010 10:13 AM

LaMa, can you recommend any books on up to date facts concerning Neandathal? I would love to learn more about what you have been adding to this thread. I’m getting a bit tired of the main stream docos about bone flute music loving, timid Neandathals that bury there dead with flowers.

There really isn’t a comprehensive, timely, balanced book on Neanderthals at the moment (maybe I ought to write one). Some scientific issues are still fierce battlegrounds, and that reflects in books: they rarely are balanced. The best way to grasp current ideas and knowledge on Neandertals is from articles in journals, but I admit those are not too accessible by non-professionals, alas.

The point is, by using strong stereotypes it is very easy to paint an image: however, it will fall apart when carefully contrasted with the archaeological evidence.

As I wrote earlier in this thread, cannibalism is a very powerful stereotype when you want to dehumanize a subject (Neandertals in this case). Eating your own kind is the epitomy of “Evil” and “un-human” and “primitiveness” and it is a steroetype that over the ages has been used a lot to villify various groups (not just Neandertals, but various groups of recent humans as well). It has been used to dehumanize Neandertals from the beginning , as a means to push their “primitiveness” (all to the greater glory of “us”, Homo sapiens).

Stereotypes are powerful. People dig stereotypes. Even though stereotypes in the vast majority of cases are wrong.

The scientific truth is, that there is no evidence that Neandertals were fierce habitual cannibals. A story that includes that as an element, is simply wrong. No matter how entertaining that story might be.

They practised cannibalism on a few occasions, but it is rare in the archaeological record (basically, only two sites yield acceptable evidence: Moula-Quercy and El Sidron). Compared to the much more ubiquitous evidence for cannibalism in the archaeological (and ethnographic) record of Homo sapiens, it is no match to the latter!

 Signature 

———
The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2010 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 186 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2892
Joined  2005-06-15
Unfairly Balanced - 04 October 2010 04:46 PM

My passion is facts and science.

I respect a person with passion.

 Signature 

I’m not some ordinary moron.
I’m an Oxy-Moron!

Mental Giant: A very tall person who is more than slightly confused.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 October 2010 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 187 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2892
Joined  2005-06-15

According to this news story they cared.

Neanderthals had feelings of empathy and sympathy, say UK scientists

EARLY humans like Neanderthals had a deep seated sense of compassion that belied their primitive reputation, new research from UK archaeologists suggests.

A team from the University of York, northern England, found that between around 500,000 and 40,000 years ago, early humans in Europe, such as Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthals, developed commitments to the welfare of others.

 Signature 

I’m not some ordinary moron.
I’m an Oxy-Moron!

Mental Giant: A very tall person who is more than slightly confused.

Profile
 
 
   
17 of 19
17