(I am not sure if this is the right place for this topic, so i apologise if it is in the wrong section)
"A division of labor according to sex and age gave modern humans an advantage over Neandertals, a new study says.
The emergence of "female labor roles" played an important role in human evolutionary history, because it allowed early-human hunter-gatherer
societies to draw on more food resources and live in larger communities, researchers say.
It may help explain why the Neandertals (also spelled "Neanderthals"), who occupied Europe until modern humans arrived some 45,000 years ago, went
Personally, i don't think it was sex-based roles that gave us the advantage over our ancient human cousins, but simply the fact that there is an
awful lot more evidence that we had people, even whole groups of them living in the same quarters, who specialised in performing/producing better
tools, clothes, food, hunting, jewellery making etc.
I can imagine that the typical group of modern humans would consist of those who specialised in these sorts of tasks as well as people who were also
taught the basics of how to survive in general until they decided on a particular profession as well. If you don't have to go out and hunt every day,
but instead concentrate on making needles or stone tools spear heads, scrappers or knives for other people in return they supply you with food and you
supple them with the particular goods you are making, then it gives both people a lot more time to perfect their skills on such area's.
Neandertal weapons, although sophisticated in their own way, hardly compare at all to the stone tools that we were making at any given time- our tools
are lighter, more efficient at doing their job and took more skill to make. This leads me to believe that the reason why Neandertals produced a lower
quality/less advanced and smaller selection of stone tools was not due to lack of intelligence, but rather due to the way their societies were
structured, did not encourage people to specialise in certain arts. This is why their technology progressed very slowly (which inevitable lead to
things like a less varied diet), while ours came on in leaps and bounds.
I am sure that Neandertals went extinct due to climate change related events- IMHO, we simply were never in large enough numbers to make any impact
competition-wise on their population, Neandertals were more at risk from being out-competed for their food by wolves than from us, there is also next
to no evidence for any conflict between us and them. It is also now known that their numbers started to fall before we even encountered them too, so
at least to a certain extent we are not to blame for their demise.
What I think happened was that Neandertals became specialised in the animals they preyed on, and not the way they organised their societies. Their
diet was not very varied and concentrated largely on big game, while we concentrated on a variety of animals (everything from birds or fish to deer
etc) and had a much larger non-animal product aspect to our diet than theirs (like the eating of berries and plants or the grinding of grain).
When the climate started to change, the big game like giant Irish elk and mammoth were the first to suffer- the larger and more active the animal, the
more food it needs, and these were large and active animals which not only lived in a harsh cold environment but also tended to specialise a lot in
what they ate. So when the plants they ate as food started to die off or be replaced by other plants due to climate change, these animals plummeted in
numbers along with the Neandertals.
(more in a mo)