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Why did the Neanderthals disappear?

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posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 04:24 PM
They were expert toolmakers, they lived in communal groups and looked after each other, they fashioned clothing to keep warm, they may have developed art/sculptures and they may also have been able to communicate verbally. Their brain capacity was as large or larger than ours, they were stronger physically.
Did they become extinct due to competition for resources from modern humans, did they become absorbed genetically with modern man. Their extinction seems to have occured very quickly somewhere between 25,000 - 30,000 years ago.
Neanderthals were basically carnivores, could this have had something to do with their demise, a shortage of game might have meant that they were unable to supplement their diet with flora (fruits/berries etc) unlike our ancestors.

BBC news

The discovery suggests the ancient hunter-gatherers made tools by sticking stone heads to wooden handles with glue.

This requires technical competence and puts Neanderthals on an intellectual par with early modern humans,

www.archchannel page 2

The two lived alongside one another in Europe from 40,000 years ago until around 27,000 years ago. But did they also live with one another?

One thing is clear. The creator of the artworks from the late Paleolithic could not have been Neolithic man. So who was it? Surely not the Neanderthal, this ungainly companion? "There is that possibility," says Nicholas Conrad.

www.archchannel page 3

This conclusion, according to Serre, is wrong. "When," he emphasizes, "when there had been a gene flow, then it was presumably small. We can by no means rule out, however, that Neanderthals contributed to the genotype of modern man." And thus is not extinct in a biological sense, but is still present in the nuclei of our cells.

www.archchannel page 4

Stone tools have been discovered during mining for brown coal in eastern Germany that are over 100,000 years old and upon which the remnants of oak bark extract still adhere: A material still used today for tanning leather and making waterproof shoes. The Neanderthals must have developed the technique themselves because modern man was still not yet there.

These early humans thus lived in the same area as Neanderthals during the same time. From this perspective, humans are NOT the only species that have developed culture, intelligence, language and self-awareness. Neanderthals were skilled
hunters and craftsmen who made tools, used fire, cared for their sick and injured and even had a few symbolic notions, probably with some facility for language.

These heavily built and muscled people had a brain volume of 1200 to 1800 cubic centimetres, equal to and even larger than modern human brains. Neanderthals were much more muscular than are modern humans - bulking about 30 percent more in weight.


Neanderthals and Modern Humans in Western Asia

These similarities between young Neanderthals and modern humans indicate that some of the features that distinguished Neanderthals from early modern humans in adulthood may have resulted from behaviors that differentially altered skeletal traits during growth, not from genetic differences. This increases the chances that these two groups belonged to a single species.

A flint object with a striking likeness to a human face may be one of the best examples of art by Neanderthal man ever found, the journal Antiquity reports.

"This object shows that art was not born in the brain of Homo sapiens but much earlier in the brains of predecessors like the Neanderthal man and even, no doubt, in Homo erectus.

Neanderthals and humans lived side by side

A species that had everything going for it or so it seems, comparable to modern humans at the time.

Was the Neanderthal extinction in the end just bad luck, the encroaching cold, scarce resources, competition from modern humans and the smaller population in comparison all playing a part in their demise? Does Neanderthal man still survive in some small part perhaps within our genome?
Was there some other reason for their extinction?

All thoughts and theory's welcome.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 04:30 PM
They left because the neighborhood was going downhill.

Seriously, you have some good questions here. It is a mystery, and one that is very likely never to be answered.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 04:38 PM
They didn't adapt to changing consciousness...

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 04:39 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

it could very well have been due to real estate value's.

I think we are getting closer to an answer though John, there continues to be some excellent research in this area.
From a conspiracy angle though, it is only recently that scientists have begun to compare Neanderthal man favorably with Homo Sapiens. Is this because we were attempting to prove that we were evolutionarily better than other species previously. Is there something that academia would prefer to remain hidden?

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 04:41 PM
They didn't adapt. Sure they were quite advanced, but they got stuck at some point and stopped adapting and getting smarter.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 04:46 PM
reply to post by mojo4sale

Humans are bred to feel better than everybody else. And that is evident in our preocupation with religion, which is nothing more than a schoolboy attempt at proving who is worthier of the love of a Creator.

Science is not immune to such a basic thing as this. It is evident in the way science is always slow to accept new ideas, no matter how well founded they are. And science will, whenever ET comes knocking, if he hasn't already, try the same line there by denying the possibility, and then by trying to find enough fault with them when they can't be ignored, to make them seem "lower" than we humans.

My opinion only.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 04:50 PM
reply to post by Vipassana

Not according to some of the latest research which suggests that they were living in close proximity with modern humans and adapting their tool use to that being used by Homo Sapiens as well as sharing resources and perhaps knowledge.
Yes they may have been in a genetic bottleneck, but if the juvenile remains found in Spain (i think) can be proven to be a hybrid then that would change that thinking as well.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 04:54 PM
I'm sure a photo hunt would show many images of people with physical characteristics of the Neanderthal (Neandertal). I have personally met some individuals that displayed the brow ridge commonly associated with them. I hold for a merging of the two cultures.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:05 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

ive met a few of those too, usually bouncers at Heavy Metal concerts.

One of the links in the OP suggests that the body shape of the Neandertal was more enviromental than gene related. Due to the fact that they had been around longer than modern man and had already survived one ice age their body's had developed to survive in colder climate. Thus the shorter/squat body so that less heat is lost through the extremities.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:07 PM
They may have merged, but thats due to domination from the other species. Otherwise a more significant percentage of humans would exhibit Neanderthal characteristics.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:14 PM
reply to post by Vipassana

Possibly true. It could also have something to do with the vitality of their genes when compared to the new comers. It may have been that they did not "breed" all year like modern humans, so there was a deminishing return factor.

And Mojo, there is a lot to the body type idea you brought up. I have Indian Insurance. Like most Native Americans, Even when I am in the best of health (read younger) I have a roll of fat at my waste. My heritage of feast and famine sems to be the culprit.

Or maybe it's owning a fridge.

[edit on 27-10-2007 by NGC2736]

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:20 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

I have some of that "insurance" too john but im not native NA. Mine has a lot more to do with a beverage made from wheat, barley, hops and yeast.

I think one of the links in my OP also covered the question of breeding. It seems to be a fact that modern humans were much more prolific breeders than the Neandertal.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:28 PM
reply to post by mojo4sale

Sorry, I missed reading that. It's what comes of hurrying. (I have to go back to the hospital where my son is yet this evening, so as soon as the wife is ready I have to leave.)

I like the beverage myself, so that may be part of the reason on me as well.
But once long ago I heard of a university study about the reason for the love handles, and it made good sense. Or a good excuse, anyway.

Another factor could have been the "beauty" concept. Perhaps more males from the newcomers bred as opossed to the Neanderthal because more females saw them as "better looking".

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:32 PM
That idea plays directly into consciousness then. A notion of beauty is a new complex of thinking.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:35 PM
New , yes. But not always better. I can think of a lot of better women than Paris H or Britt Baby to have kids by.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:41 PM
reply to post by Vipassana

But if the Neanderthal were creating art then surely that suggests that they had a concept of "beauty".

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 05:50 PM
Art is considered a concept of future more than beauty. At least the art that they were creating, which was designed for communication to future persons.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 06:12 PM
I've heard a few reasons as to why the Neanderthals died out, one idea I've heard was that they were primarily built for ambushing prey in forests or slow moving targets like mammoths, their heavy set body and large frame helped them in this method of hunting but with the reduction of forests in Europe and thus development of more open environments they weren't physically able to adapt, where as homo-sapian's were.

I'm not sure as to the fact forests did recede or that this was their method of hunting, but the general idea of their hunting methods favouring ambush's where their brute strength would be helpful sounds plausible to me.

On a whole though I think I'd agree with the theory they were simply designed for a particular environment, they were fantastic at what they did but when change came they simply weren't able to adapt very well and thus homo-sapian's the far more adaptable species came to true prominence.

That is after all why most species die off, a failure to adapt.

[edit on 27-10-2007 by UK Wizard]

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 06:25 PM
Neanderthals were less social & less aggressive. Homo Sapiens formed very large tribes & were more ruthless. Probably there was some interbreeding; mostly by dominant male homo sapiens.

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 06:35 PM

Originally posted by Vipassana
Art is considered a concept of future more than beauty. At least the art that they were creating, which was designed for communication to future persons.

Creating a mask is not for communication purposes but more likely Shamanistic or religious purposes.

It is being debated whether these artifacts were actually made by Neanderthal and not Modern man. If they are proven to be Neanderthal they consist of artifacts that convey beauty (ornamentation) and esoteric thinking (hybrid man and lion).

Link 1

An ornamented lion, sculptures of waterfowl, wooly rhinos and wild horses, as well as figures half lion and half man. The pieces are between 30,000 and 36,000 years old

Link 2, with pictures.

If Mousterian civilization is specific to Neandertals in Europe, "the Mask" thus leads us to think that Neandertals were capable of an artistic production more advanced than than anyone suspected until now.
This protofigurine is a flint improved by Mousterians to accentuate the appearance of a face which the stone offered

Washington State University

The deceased was buried in a fetal position with tools and food; a bear skull lies at the edge of the grave. Flower pollen found in the grave suggests that medicinal plants were scattered over the body as well. These practices obviously suggest complex beliefs and rituals.

The fact that the individual with an injury this severe survived into a relatively advanced age implies the existence of a complex social life in which other group members would have shared food and life-supporting tasks. This individual must have contributed something other than physical strength to the social group in which he lived.

Their burial practices also suggest a belief in an afterlife hence tools and food buried with the deceased. Not the rituals of a species that would be unable to understand the concept of beauty, grief, love imo.

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