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Neanderthals not so stupid after all- New evidence shows they may have used specialized tools.

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posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 08:38 PM
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Archaeologists published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which described the discovery of four fragments of bone tools known as lissoirs at two Neanderthal sites in southwest France.


The implements are the oldest specialized bone tools found in Europe, said study lead author Marie Soressi, an archaeologist from Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Prior to the finds, tools unearthed at Neanderthal sites were almost exclusively made of stone, while bone tools were more common at early modern-human sites — leading many scholars to believe that Neanderthals adopted the technology from their more advanced relatives.

But the recently unearthed lissoirs, about 41,000 to 51,000 years old, could predate the arrival of modern humans in Europe and suggest that Neanderthals might have figured out how to make the tools independently, Soressi and her team wrote.

Radiocarbon dating dated one of the lissoirs to 51,000 years ago — thousands of years before modern humans landed in Europe. That suggests that our ancestors may have adopted the practice of making bone tools from the continent's earlier Neanderthal inhabitants.


Seems like our bird brained ancestors weren't so bird brained after all. The more we find the more we are realizing just how complex they were, only further pushing back the birth of early technologies. Pretty cool.

Story.




posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 08:45 PM
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No one with any knowledge of the subject has EVER claimed that Neanderthal were stupid or "bird-brained." Indeed, the average size of a Neanderthal brain is bigger than that of Homo sapiens by a few CC. This could be a statistical variation (not enough skulls to measure for a true average), but still, the point is made. A Neanderthal with a decent haircut might be a little more heavy set and robust than the average today, but there is nothing about him that would suggest he wasn't capable of anything any one of us has accomplished.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 05:35 AM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


I think that most attentive people today understand that Neanderthals had few traits that wouldn't compare well against us at that time. They created musical instruments, had burial rites (including the deposit of flowers) and used adornments...

My view is that they we pushed to extinction by us and all that remains of them is the result of interbreeding. There is no point is pointing out our nature and success as the best argument for it...



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 



Originally posted by schuyler
No one with any knowledge of the subject has EVER claimed that Neanderthal were stupid or "bird-brained." Indeed, the average size of a Neanderthal brain is bigger than that of Homo sapiens by a few CC.


Bigger does not mean better. Functionality determines whether the brain is better or worse than another. I am not surprised that they used tools. Just because they were "older" humans that doesn't automatically mean that they were stupider.



posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by arpgme
reply to post by schuyler
 



Originally posted by schuyler
No one with any knowledge of the subject has EVER claimed that Neanderthal were stupid or "bird-brained." Indeed, the average size of a Neanderthal brain is bigger than that of Homo sapiens by a few CC.


Bigger does not mean better. Functionality determines whether the brain is better or worse than another. I am not surprised that they used tools. Just because they were "older" humans that doesn't automatically mean that they were stupider.


Depends on what you mean by "better," and I was not claiming that anyway. I didn't say they had "better brains." I'm just pointing out that they are not "bird brained" and that, as you and I both agree, there's no evidence that they were less intelligent. Their brain size suggests a rough equivalency in capability, though the debate rages on in such issues as language capability, for example.

I maintain that if you took any of us and placed us back 50,000 years ago with the infrastructure then available to humans of any variety, we would do no better than they and, indeed, might be at a significant disadvantage. But assuming we could "grow up" in and be part of their culture, we'd be making stone tools, too. There would be no renaissance. And if you could clone one of them and raise them here, they'd have a normal life--and probably excel at sports.





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