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Neanderthals Had Wings

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posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:07 PM
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It seems like every few months we make a new discovery about our old cohorts the Neanderthals. They've gone from being an evolutionary dead-end of knuckle-draggers to being a part of some of our genetic make-up. In between these two distinctions, we've begun to discover aspects of their lives that parallel ours.

They apparently buried their dead and wore painted shells as jewellery. Such things can be taken to imply status and communities with bonds...bluntly, they had soul.

A recent paper has suggested that they wore bird's wings and feathers as decoration. That's a big proposition for a bunch of folk who left this world some 40 odd thousand years ago. How can the science support such an idea? Have they made it up?


A large and varied avifaunal bone assemblage from the final Mousterian levels of Grotta di Fumane, northern Italy, reveals unusual human modifications on species that are not clearly relatable to feeding or utilitarian uses (i.e., lammergeier, Eurasian black vulture, golden eagle, red-footed falcon, common wood pigeon, and Alpine chough). Cut, peeling, and scrape marks, as well as diagnostic fractures and a breakthrough, are observed exclusively on wings, indicating the intentional removal of large feathers by Neandertals.
Late Neandertals and the intentional removal of feathers as evidenced from bird bone taphonomy at Fumane Cave 44 ky B.P., Italy

In plain English, bird remains have been analysed from one of the main population centres of the Neanderthals. Some of the remains show cut marks and scraping on birds that weren't used for food. The evidence has been interpreted as showing that Neanderthals cut the wings off non-food birds like eagles, falcons and vultures.

Why would anyone take the time to kill or cut wings off birds that weren't worth eating?

Here are a few images that might explain why...


Copyright (c) Victor Englebert Englebert's website is full of stunning images.

Young Maori from ~1880s


Portrait of Mountain Chief (Piegan), in Native Dress with Feather Headdress and Peace Medal. ca. 1930. SPC Plains Blackfoot

Source:Sunlite.edu - another site of great images

There's an excellent blog that's worth following, A Very Remote Period Indeed... The author, Julien Riel-Salvatore (archaeologist), makes the point that....


To expand on that idea a bit, the use of feathers as parts of ornaments at Fumane also indicate that the behavior of decorating one's body among Neanderthals was fairly flexible. Up to now, we only had evidence of coloring minerals like the ochre I just mentioned but also including manganese in SW France and of shells being used as bodily decorations. By adding feathers to the roster of items used by Neanderthals to adorn themselves, the Fumane evidence suggests that Neanderthals were able to use a fairly broad range of materials to embody and visually broadcast some dimension(s) of their identity.
averyremoteperiodindeed.blogspot.com...

If the interpretation of evidence is correct, we might be glimpsing a Neanderthal society that was tribal and had a distinct culture. Isn't that pretty amazing?




posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
It seems like every few months we make a new discovery about our old cohorts the Neanderthals. They've gone from being an evolutionary dead-end of knuckle-draggers to being a part of some of our genetic make-up. In between these two distinctions, we've begun to discover aspects of their lives that parallel ours.
If the interpretation of evidence is correct, we might be glimpsing a Neanderthal society that was tribal and had a distinct culture. Isn't that pretty amazing?

Nice catch. We already know that Neanderthal had ritual and quite possibly music...no reason why they could not have had ceremonial wings. Perhaps clan totems factored in. S&F!



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:18 PM
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Not at all what the title suggested. Your title definitely needs to be changed.

So, they wore wings and jewelry. So what? I fail to see the significance.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 
It's a great bit of research by those guys. Every now and then, something is discovered that bridges the gap between our time now and their time thousands of years back. This example really caught my imagination.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:21 PM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 
Where's your soul? It's great news.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:24 PM
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Maybe they did wear the feathers...

But how can you say they didn't eat eagles or vultures?

We know that humans ate insects and tree bark when they starved. A vulture or eagle sounds very tasty when there is nothing else to eat....

I think they ate them.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 

I was sorely disappointed. The title lead me to expect an argument that Neanderthal might be the source of the "myth" of angels and/or demons. To find such a mundane topic was very disappointing.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 
I guess it's 'horses for courses.' No problem disagreeing.

I think it adds a dimension to Neanderthal society that wasn't quite there before.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


I haven't seen the exact evidence but I know archaeologists have a bad habit of saying something is decorative or ceremonial when they don't understand the utility.

I would first tend to think there are practical reasons for this. First off Muzzleflash is likely correct that they did eat them. It looks like their main evidence that they weren't eaten was that these aren't food animals. Second what practical uses could large feathers have? A: Camouflage for hunting: Remember Neanderthals weren't good at ranged killing so they had to get really close. Good camouflage or a blind would be essential. B: Could they have been used as an added level of water resistance and warmth to their furs? Feathers are very good at these things. C: Could they have been used in bedding?

Ceremonial is the last place I would go after all other utilitarian reasons can be shown unreasonable.

That said this is an awesome find! Because even if they were using feathers for other purposes it helps support a greater cognitive function and ability to plan ahead that is still being debated.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


The feathers that had been removed were the largest and most attractive feathers and the birds such as the Lamagier and other eagles wouldn't of made good eating, the feathers werent the soft belly feathers and as such wouldnt of made nice bedding either. Neanderthals are known to have used shells as jewellery and painted their bodies using pigments so it does make sense that they were adorning themselves with feathers too.

S&F OP



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 05:08 PM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
Maybe they did wear the feathers...
But how can you say they didn't eat eagles or vultures?
We know that humans ate insects and tree bark when they starved. A vulture or eagle sounds very tasty when there is nothing else to eat....
I think they ate them.

I'm not sure that eating wings came into vogue until the invention of beer. But, you know, I could be wrong, eh?



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 05:11 PM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by muzzleflash
Maybe they did wear the feathers...
But how can you say they didn't eat eagles or vultures?
We know that humans ate insects and tree bark when they starved. A vulture or eagle sounds very tasty when there is nothing else to eat....
I think they ate them.

I'm not sure that eating wings came into vogue until the invention of beer. But, you know, I could be wrong, eh?


Hehehe.

How do we know they didn't have something to drink back then?

Rotting fruit can do it can't it?

I once saw a video of African animals grouping up eating rotted fruit "partying together". The carnivores apparently came and ate some of it too, and did not attack the herbivores. They were so wasted.


So here's to Neanderthals having wings and getting lit!



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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It's all about souuul.....
I just think where science cannot figure something out they adlib and the rest of the community goes along with it so as to not be shunned or look stupid.
I do truly know that there is alot more that we do not know than we do know.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 06:44 PM
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Why is it my mind goes towards fletching? I am not saying that Neanderthals didn't use feathers for decorative purposes but my first thoughts goes to a practicle use. Hey maybe they were making feather dusters
who knows?



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 



A: Camouflage for hunting: Remember Neanderthals weren't good at ranged killing so they had to get really close. Good camouflage or a blind would be essential.


Not good at ranged killing ?: What makes you say so ?


@ Kandinsky
 


Cool find
Our history seems to go back longer , and is more advanced then what we thought.
Some day they might find Neanderthals build a city called Atlantis :O

They turn out to be more human with every new discovery. How exciting... Interesting times we live in. I love it.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 07:41 PM
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Nice post, as usual K. I love the idea of Neanderthals donning feathered garb or headdresses, perhaps in some ritualistic fashion or to signify status, "dumb brutes" indeed! Man has always had a fascination with raptors and birds of prey, from Europe to the Americas to Asia, why wouldn't our cousins the neanderthals not have the same sort of spiritual yearnings?

Don't let the naysayers of your post title get to you lol, the Neanderthals may not have been born with wings, but their desire to wear feathers may show they had spiritual aspirations.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 07:50 PM
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This is no surprise to me. Each day we find more about the different civilizations that lived here long ago. These people weren't neanderthals or cavemen...they were just natives and tribes.



posted on Mar, 4 2011 @ 05:34 PM
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I havent researched pre-human humans (haha) in too much depth untill recently, but the information you have presented here and the things I am discovering here and there on the web do not surprise me in the least.... We are so entrenched in the limited scope our "age of reason" will allow that we tend to be quite condescending and patronizing towards our ancestors, "Early humans wore jewelery sherlock!" "indeed watson indeed, whodve thought!"
Give me a break!
In my humble opinion early humans were at the peak of "evolution" it is we who are primitives!
We need to stop taking the words of dead men as face value fact, just because our institutions (that lie constantly to us on a daily bases!) venerate them as the standard! The "age of reason" is over, time to seek the truth about our roots and origins within...........
But thankyou for the info anyway, just more evidence to the fact that we dont know half as much as we like to believe!



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