Neanderthals: New Findings & Theories

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
51,991
Reaction score
27,267
Points
309
Location
Eblana
Sturdy babies, they had the classical shape from birth.

Neandertal babies had chests shaped like short, deep barrels and spines that curved inward more than those of humans, a build that until now was known only for Neandertal adults, researchers say.

Neandertals must have inherited those skeletal features rather than developing them as their bodies grew, says a team led by paleobiologist Daniel García-Martínez of the National Research Center on Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain. Stocky, big-brained hominids such as Neandertals needed chest cavities arranged in this way from birth to accommodate lungs large enough to meet their energy needs, the scientists contend October 7 in Science Advances.

García-Martínez and his colleagues digitally reconstructed rib cages of four previously excavated, partial Neandertal skeletons from infants and young children. The youngsters are estimated to have died when they were about one to two weeks old, four months or less, 1.5 years and 2.5 years. These finds, dating to between around 40,000 and 70,000 years ago, came from sites in France, Syria and western Russia. Each fossil child had a short, deep rib cage and a short spine behind the ribs relative to human infants. On the most complete specimen — the 1.5-year-old child — the researchers determined that the spine curved sharply into the chest cavity. ...


https://www.sciencenews.org/article/neandertal-babies-chest-shape-ribcage-skeleton-anthropology
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
We know that Homo sapiens supplanted Homo neanderthalensis over a period of more than 100,000 years. It's often claimed this replacement occurred gradually and in a more or less benign matter (e.g., via interbreeding). This article makes the case for a more violent version of the story - one involving what can be called a long war and which fits what we (think we ... ) know about animal and human behaviors and what certain fossil evidence suggests.
Neanderthals And Humans Were at War For Over 100,000 Years, Evidence Shows

... Neanderthals fascinate us because of what they tell us about ourselves – who we were, and who we might have become. It's tempting to see them in idyllic terms, living peacefully with nature and each other, like Adam and Eve in the Garden.

If so, maybe humanity's ills – especially our territoriality, violence, wars – aren't innate, but modern inventions.

Biology and palaeontology paint a darker picture. Far from peaceful, Neanderthals were likely skilled fighters and dangerous warriors, rivalled only by modern humans. ...

The best evidence that Neanderthals not only fought but excelled at war, is that they met us and weren't immediately overrun. Instead, for around 100,000 years, Neanderthals resisted modern human expansion. ...
Human-Neanderthal-War.jpg

FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/how-ne...-battled-for-supremacy-for-over-100-000-years

Republished From:
War in the time of Neanderthals: how our species battled for supremacy for over 100,000 years
https://theconversation.com/war-in-...d-for-supremacy-for-over-100-000-years-148205
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
51,991
Reaction score
27,267
Points
309
Location
Eblana
A bit thumb-tied.

Neanderthal thumbs were better adapted to holding tools in the same way that humans hold a hammer, new research suggests.

The findings suggest Neanderthals may have found precision grips more challenging than power squeeze grips.

Precision grips involve holding an object between the tip of the finger and the thumb, and power squeeze grips are where objects are held like a hammer, between the fingers and the palm with the thumb directing force. ...

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40090418.html
 

Naughty_Felid

kneesy earsy nosey
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
8,588
Reaction score
11,526
Points
294
A bit thumb-tied.

Neanderthal thumbs were better adapted to holding tools in the same way that humans hold a hammer, new research suggests.

The findings suggest Neanderthals may have found precision grips more challenging than power squeeze grips.

Precision grips involve holding an object between the tip of the finger and the thumb, and power squeeze grips are where objects are held like a hammer, between the fingers and the palm with the thumb directing force. ...

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40090418.html
is there a difference in the tools fashioned? Should be fairly straightforward. The tools the Neanderthal made look as complex as our ancestors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jim

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Newly published research provides some details about 'Altamura Man' - a Neanderthal who fell down a shaft or sinkhole and left a remarkably complete skeleton. To date, the skeleton has remained in situ, making it difficult to examine.
Teeth reveal details about a Neanderthal who fell down a well

Altamura Man is one of the most complete and best preserved Neanderthal skeletons ever discovered. His fossilized bones, however, have remained hidden from view at the bottom of a sinkhole near Altamura, a town in southern Italy.

That's where he fell and starved to death more than 130,000 years ago.
Cavers came face to face with his skull, covered in limestone deposits, for the first time in 1993. Frustratingly for scientists, though, its inaccessible location -- a 20-minute journey from the surface through narrow crevices -- has made study of the skeleton extremely difficult. The body remains lodged in a small chamber deep in the karst cave system. ...

This new research, published in the journal PLOS on Wednesday by Moggi-Cecchi and his colleagues, is beginning to yield more information about the man.

Based on photos, videoscope footage and X-rays taken in the depth of cave, scientists have published an initial study of the man's jaw, including an almost complete set of teeth. They suggest that the man was of adult age, but not old, and he had also lost two teeth before he died.

"The tooth loss is something interesting. We have a large fossil record of Neanderthals, and it's not typical. In terms of oral health, they were in good shape," said Moggi-Cecchi.

The roots of some teeth were exposed, which could suggest gum disease was at play, he said. Some teeth in the lower jaw also had deposits of dental calculus -- calcified plaque that's familiar to dentists today. ...

Like other Neanderthals, this ancient man's front teeth are larger than those of modern humans -- but his molars are the same size as those of humans. Neanderthal jaws are broader, and they lack the protruding chin that's typical of modern humans. ...

Our archaic relatives used their front teeth almost as a "third hand" to hold meat while cutting it or to hold skins or leather for preparation, Moggi-Cecchi explained. Altamura Man had "marked wear" that might be related to this kind of activity.

For a more detailed analysis, however, Moggi-Cecchi said that it would be necessary to get the skull inside a lab as the teeth, like the rest of the skeleton, are covered in calcite -- mineral deposits from the limestone karst. ...

Scientists hope one day that the skeleton, or at least part of it, will be removed from the cave to allow in-depth study. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/02/europe/neanderthal-teeth-altamura-man-italy-scn/index.html
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Here are the bibliographic details and abstract for the published research on Altamura Man. The full research paper is accessible at the link below.

In situ observations on the dentition and oral cavity of the Neanderthal skeleton from Altamura (Italy)
Alessandro Riga, Marco Boggioni, Andrea Papini, Costantino Buzi, Antonio Profico, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Damiano Marchi, Jacopo Moggi-Cecchi , Giorgio Manzi
PLOS ONE: December 2, 2020
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0241713

Abstract
The Neanderthal specimen from Lamalunga Cave, near Altamura (Apulia, Italy), was discovered during a speleological survey in 1993. The specimen is one of the most complete fossil hominins in Europe and its state of preservation is exceptional, although it is stuck in calcareous concretions and the bones are mostly covered by calcite depositions. Nevertheless, it is possible to carry out some observations on craniodental features that have not previously been described. In this work, we present an account of the oral cavity, made possible by the use of a videoscope, which allowed us to reach some hidden parts of the mandible and palate. This is the first detailed overview of the teeth and maxillary bones of the Neanderthal skeleton from Altamura. The dentition is almost complete. However, two teeth (upper right P3 and upper left M1) were lost ante mortem and four teeth (lower right I1 and P3 and lower left I1 and I2) were lost most probably post mortem. Dental wear is marked. The erupted M3s and the inversion of the compensating curve of Wilson in the M1s and M2s but not in the M3s suggest that the individual is fully adult, but not old. Although most of the teeth have their roots exposed for several millimeters, the periodontal bone appears to be in good condition overall, except in correspondence of the two ante-mortem tooth losses. X-rays of the anterior teeth show a periapical lesion, probably linked to the advanced dental wear. We also observed a weak expression of taurodontism in the posterior dentition and the presence of a retromolar space, features consistent with an attribution to the Neanderthal hypodigm; this attribution is also supported by aspects of the cranial morphology, the morphometric analysis of the scapula and preliminary mtDNA data. There is also a well-developed palatine torus, to the best of our knowledge a feature not previously described in Neanderthals.

FULL ARTICLE:
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241713
 

Nemo

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
1,167
Reaction score
1,211
Points
169
Early humans may have survived the harsh winters by hibernating

Seasonal damage in bone fossils in Spain suggests Neanderthals and their predecessors followed the same strategy as cave bears.

Bears do it. Bats do it. Even European hedgehogs do it. And now it turns out that early human beings may also have been at it. They hibernated, according to fossil experts.


Evidence from bones found at one of the world’s most important fossil sites suggests that our hominid predecessors may have dealt with extreme cold hundreds of thousands of years ago by sleeping through the winter.


The scientists argue that lesions and other signs of damage in fossilised bones of early humans are the same as those left in the bones of other animals that hibernate. These suggest that our predecessors coped with the ferocious winters at that time by slowing down their metabolisms and sleeping for months.


The conclusions are based on excavatins in a cave called Sima de los Huesos – the pit of bones – at Atapuerca, near Burgos in northern Spain.
(C) The Guardian. '20


Hibernating right now, seems like a very good idea. :sleep:
 
Last edited:

blessmycottonsocks

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
5,684
Reaction score
9,835
Points
284
Location
Wessex and Mercia
I was under the impression that the last outpost of homo sapiens neanderthalensis was the Iberian peninsula and Gibraltar in particular.
DNA evidence now suggests that, the reason (East) Asians have significantly more Neanderthal DNA than Europeans is because Neanderthals survived for far longer in that region and a second wave of interbreeding took place.

https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/why-asians-carry-more-neanderthal-dna-than-others/

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/science/a-new-theory-on-how-neanderthal-dna-spread-in-asia.html

Also, a question for anyone who understands DNA analysis: as modern human DNA varies significantly not just between people of different ethnicities, but even between people within one culture, can the same be said about Neanderthal DNA? I.e. would Asian Neanderthal DNA differ significantly from European Neanderthal DNA or could two Neanderthals occupying the same area have differing DNA? Is there some part of their DNA however that identifies them as being unequivocally Neanderthal?
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
... Also, a question for anyone who understands DNA analysis: as modern human DNA varies significantly not just between people of different ethnicities, but even between people within one culture, can the same be said about Neanderthal DNA? I.e. would Asian Neanderthal DNA differ significantly from European Neanderthal DNA or could two Neanderthals occupying the same area have differing DNA?
We have only a relatively small sample set for Neanderthal fossils, and an even smaller sample set for Neanderthal DNA. What we think we know of Neanderthal genomics and genetic variation is somewhat tentative, probabilistic more than precise, newly-emergent and hence probably subject to change as more evidence is obtained and analyses are done. Still, there seems to be confidence on some basic issues:

- Neanderthal breeding populations - both overall and within particular locales and timeframes - seem to have been smaller than modern humans of equivalent vintage.

- Neanderthal populations therefore had much more in-breeding than modern human populations of equivalent vintage, resulting in significantly less genetic variation for the Neanderthal species (or sub-species, if you prefer) overall.

- The consistency and relatively low variability in Neanderthal genomics (as known / analyzed to date) is believed to represent a stable genomic profile that can be traced and distinguished from modern humans. Which leads to your next question ...


Is there some part of their DNA however that identifies them as being unequivocally Neanderthal?
Yes. The Neanderthal genome differs from the modern human genome by circa 202 nucleotides out of the circa 16,500 comprising mitochondrial DNA.* These nucleotides / bases are unique markers for pure Neanderthal heritage.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal_genome_project

* This number may of course vary with further evidence and analyses, but the basic claim that Neanderthal DNA is distinguishable from modern human DNA via nucleotide composition is quite "solid."
 

blessmycottonsocks

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
5,684
Reaction score
9,835
Points
284
Location
Wessex and Mercia
"The Neanderthal genome differs from the modern human genome by circa 202 nucleotides out of the circa 16,500 comprising mitochondrial DNA.* These nucleotides / bases are unique markers for pure Neanderthal heritage. "

Thanks for that comprehensive reply. So, when it is stated that people of European ancestry may have 2 to 4% Neanderthal DNA, do we mean that some of those 202 nucleotides are detectable in them? As the ethnic group with the highest amount of Neanderthal DNA are the aboriginal Taiwanese (estimated at up to 6%), presumably their genetic makeup would contain a higher proportion of these nucleotides?
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
... So, when it is stated that people of European ancestry may have 2 to 4% Neanderthal DNA, do we mean that some of those 202 nucleotides are detectable in them?
Yes, but that's not the whole story ... The 202 nucleotides I cited relate to mitochondrial DNA, which is a small minority of humans' overall DNA inventory. I couldn't locate similar comparative figures for the majority nuclear DNA. Canonical nucleotide differences between sub-species) have been determined to apply to both DNA categories. Having said that ...

As the ethnic group with the highest amount of Neanderthal DNA are the aboriginal Taiwanese (estimated at up to 6%), presumably their genetic makeup would contain a higher proportion of these nucleotides?
I've never been clear as to how such comparative figures (usually cited as percentage differences in DNA) are calculated. I'm not even sure all teams or authors formulate such figures in the same manner. I'd feel safer claiming there's a higher incidence of Neanderthal-specific bases (or whatever they're tallying) than to say there's a higher proportion, because I'm unclear as to what proportionality would be in play.

There's an additional confounding factor in the case of East Asian populations. East Asian populations exhibit a substantial amount of Denisovan-specific DNA, whereas early modern humans to the west don't. To the very sketchy extent Denisovans have been analyzed to date it appears they (almost?) exclusively interbred, and had a much higher degree of intrinsic DNA correspondence, with Neanderthals. One might therefore wonder whether a higher expression of Neanderthal DNA in East Asia simply results from being a population originally descended from Neanderthals and near-Neanderthals (i.e., Denisovans).
 

blessmycottonsocks

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
5,684
Reaction score
9,835
Points
284
Location
Wessex and Mercia
So basically, Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis would shag pretty well anyone, irrespective of looks but, once they had paired up with a mate, their lifestyle would tend towards monogamy.

Further evidence that they behaved the same as Homo Sapiens Sapiens do/did (give or take a bit of cannibalism).

Time to stop referring to the differences between Neanderthals and humans, as Neanderthals were clearly human too.
 

Mikefule

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
725
Reaction score
2,443
Points
149
Location
Lincolnshire UK
Further evidence that they behaved the same as Homo Sapiens Sapiens do/did (give or take a bit of cannibalism).

Time to stop referring to the differences between Neanderthals and humans, as Neanderthals were clearly human too.
Any species with "Homo" at the beginning is human in the broadest sense.
Neanderthals were Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Man, the wise, from the Neanderthal valley.
We are Homo sapiens sapiens. Man, the wise, the wise.

Therefore, it is officially acknowledged that they were human too.

("Sapiens" means "wise" but the term was conferred on ourselves by ourselves so other species may disagree!)

The convention is either to refer to "neanderthals" and "modern humans" or to use the Latin names H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens.

However, I think you are make a broader philosophical point: that they were more like us that we tend to acknowledge. They had feelings, relationships, ambitions, skills, communities, loyalties, weaknesses and so on.

I think anyone with any knowledge of, or interest in, the subject at all would agree with you, although many might be surprised by the degree of similarity.

Using "Neanderthal" to mean "stupid and sub human" is mainly the province of the tabloid headline writer and the self-appointed "moral majority".

Indeed, most people would agree that the idea we were taught at school — that humans are the only intelligent species — is demonstrably wrong for two main reasons. The first is that many other species including dolphins, dogs, octopuses, and corvids demonstrate intelligence. (The second is that many humans don't.)

"Give or take a bit of cannibalism"? There is plentiful evidence of cannibalism in H sapiens. I am unaware of evidence of the absence of cannibalism in H neanderthalensis. Therefore, cannibalism is not a distinguishing factor.
 

blessmycottonsocks

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
5,684
Reaction score
9,835
Points
284
Location
Wessex and Mercia
Any species with "Homo" at the beginning is human in the broadest sense.
Neanderthals were Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Man, the wise, from the Neanderthal valley.
We are Homo sapiens sapiens. Man, the wise, the wise.

Therefore, it is officially acknowledged that they were human too.

("Sapiens" means "wise" but the term was conferred on ourselves by ourselves so other species may disagree!)

The convention is either to refer to "neanderthals" and "modern humans" or to use the Latin names H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens.

However, I think you are make a broader philosophical point: that they were more like us that we tend to acknowledge. They had feelings, relationships, ambitions, skills, communities, loyalties, weaknesses and so on.

I think anyone with any knowledge of, or interest in, the subject at all would agree with you, although many might be surprised by the degree of similarity.

Using "Neanderthal" to mean "stupid and sub human" is mainly the province of the tabloid headline writer and the self-appointed "moral majority".

Indeed, most people would agree that the idea we were taught at school — that humans are the only intelligent species — is demonstrably wrong for two main reasons. The first is that many other species including dolphins, dogs, octopuses, and corvids demonstrate intelligence. (The second is that many humans don't.)

"Give or take a bit of cannibalism"? There is plentiful evidence of cannibalism in H sapiens. I am unaware of evidence of the absence of cannibalism in H neanderthalensis. Therefore, cannibalism is not a distinguishing factor.
Obviously, evidence from extreme circumstances, such as the Donner Party, siege of Stalingrad and even cultural practices probably still going on in Papua New Guinea, show that modern humans will indulge in cannibalism.
I only referred to that because it featured in the BBC Future link posted above.
Neanderthals were absolutely human, otherwise interbreeding could not have occurred.
Hence I would prefer that we dropped the them and us attitude.
 

Xanatic*

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
4,402
Reaction score
4,734
Points
159
There have been a number of human species, neanderthals are just one of them.
 

Nemo

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
1,167
Reaction score
1,211
Points
169
This can go here https://inews.co.uk/news/science/an...terbreeding-modern-humans-neanderthals-852189

Ancient teeth provide a great example of interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals
The teeth were found on the south west coast of Jersey and are seen as best physical example of interbreeding
author avatar image
By Tom Bawden
February 1, 2021 12:01 am

(Photo: Natural History Museum)

This is the best example if interbreeding yet

Thirteen ancient teeth found on the southwest shores of Jersey contain features of both Neanderthals and modern humans – providing the most striking example of interbreeding between the two groups yet unearthed.
It was already well known that ancient and modern humans interbred as Neanderthal DNA is found in people all over the world.
But the discovery of these 40-odd thousand year old teeth on the archaeological site of La Cotte de St Brelade in Jersey provides the best physical illustration of their interbreeding so far, researchers say.
“We consider this the strongest direct evidence yet found in fossils,” said Professor Chris Stringer, of the Natural History Museum.

(c) iNews. '21.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Language is considered one of the key developments in human evolution. Neanderthal linguistic capabilities have been a subject of debate in attempting to determine which modern human abilities may or may not have emerged until home sapiens arrived on the scene. New research results indicate Neanderthals were physiologically capable of hearing and producing speech sounds in the frequency range of modern human speech.
In a Momentous Discovery, Scientists Show Neanderthals Could Produce Human-Like Speech

Based on a detailed analysis and digital reconstruction of the structure of the bones in their skulls, the study settles one aspect of a decades-long debate over the linguistic capabilities of Neanderthals.

"This is one of the most important studies I have been involved in during my career," said palaeoanthropologist Rolf Quam of Binghamton University.

"The results are solid and clearly show the Neanderthals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech. This is one of the very few current, ongoing research lines relying on fossil evidence to study the evolution of language, a notoriously tricky subject in anthropology." ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/neanderthals-could-both-hear-and-produce-human-like-speech
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Here are the bibliographic details and abstract from the published article on Neanderthal speech capabilities.

Conde-Valverde, M., Martínez, I., Quam, R.M. et al.
Neanderthals and Homo sapiens had similar auditory and speech capacities.
Nat Ecol Evol (2021).
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01391-6

Abstract
The study of audition in fossil hominins is of great interest given its relationship with intraspecific vocal communication. While the auditory capacities have been studied in early hominins and in the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins, less is known about the hearing abilities of the Neanderthals. Here, we provide a detailed approach to their auditory capacities. Relying on computerized tomography scans and a comprehensive model from the field of auditory bioengineering, we have established sound power transmission through the outer and middle ear and calculated the occupied bandwidth in Neanderthals. The occupied bandwidth is directly related to the efficiency of the vocal communication system of a species. Our results show that the occupied bandwidth of Neanderthals was greater than the Sima de los Huesos hominins and similar to extant humans, implying that Neanderthals evolved the auditory capacities to support a vocal communication system as efficient as modern human speech.

SOURCE: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-021-01391-6#citeas
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
43,983
Reaction score
35,861
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
They must have sounded pretty scary!
Maybe they had no volume control on their voices. Shouting all the time gets you killed.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Newly published research on Neanderthal remains from Belgium has revised the dating on fossils previously believed to demonstrate Neanderthals survived in Europe as late as circa 24,000 years ago. The revised dating pushes these fossils back to circa 44,000 to 40,000 years ago.
Neanderthals Vanished From Europe Thousands of Years Earlier Than We Thought

ISSAM AHMED, AFP 9 MARCH 2021

Neanderthal fossils from a cave in Belgium believed to belong to the last survivors of their species ever discovered in Europe are thousands of years older than once thought, a new study said Monday.

Previous radiocarbon dating of the remains from the Spy Cave yielded ages as recent as approximately 24,000 years ago, but the new testing pushes the clock back to between 44,200 to 40,600 years ago.

The research appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was carried out by a team from Belgium, Britain and Germany.

Co-lead author Thibaut Deviese from the University of Oxford and Aix-Marseille University told AFP he and colleagues had developed a more robust method to prepare samples, which was better able to exclude contaminants. ...

Certain stone tool use has been attributed to Neanderthals and has been interpreted as a sign of their cognitive evolution, said Deviese.

But if the timeline for Neanderthals' existence is being pushed back, Deviese added, then Paleolithic industries should be re-examined to determine if they really were the work of the extinct hominid species.
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/neande...pe-thousands-of-years-earlier-than-we-thought
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Here are the bibliographic details and abstract from the published research report.

Reevaluating the timing of Neanderthal disappearance in Northwest Europe
Thibaut Devièse, Grégory Abrams, Mateja Hajdinjak, Stéphane Pirson, Isabelle De Groote, Kévin Di Modica, Michel Toussaint, Valentin Fischer, Dan Comeskey, Luke Spindler, Matthias Meyer, Patrick Semal, Tom Higham
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Mar 2021, 118 (12)
e2022466118
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2022466118

Abstract
Elucidating when Neanderthal populations disappeared from Eurasia is a key question in paleoanthropology, and Belgium is one of the key regions for studying the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition. Previous radiocarbon dating placed the Spy Neanderthals among the latest surviving Neanderthals in Northwest Europe with reported dates as young as 23,880 ± 240 B.P. (OxA-8912). Questions were raised, however, regarding the reliability of these dates. Soil contamination and carbon-based conservation products are known to cause problems during the radiocarbon dating of bulk collagen samples. Employing a compound-specific approach that is today the most efficient in removing contamination and ancient genomic analysis, we demonstrate here that previous dates produced on Neanderthal specimens from Spy were inaccurately young by up to 10,000 y due to the presence of unremoved contamination. Our compound-specific radiocarbon dates on the Neanderthals from Spy and those from Engis and Fonds-de-Forêt demonstrate that they disappeared from Northwest Europe at 44,200 to 40,600 cal B.P. (at 95.4% probability), much earlier than previously suggested. Our data contribute significantly to refining models for Neanderthal disappearance in Europe and, more broadly, show that chronometric models regarding the appearance or disappearance of animal or hominin groups should be based only on radiocarbon dates obtained using robust pretreatment methods.

SOURCE: https://www.pnas.org/content/118/12/e2022466118
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
51,991
Reaction score
27,267
Points
309
Location
Eblana
Some Neanderthals liked it hot.

Here’s a scene guaranteed to melt the popular stereotype of Ice Age Neandertals as spear-wielding mammoth hunters confined to Eurasia’s frigid inner core.

New illustrations show what’s currently known about the environment inhabited periodically by Neandertals in Iberia, or what’s now Spain and Portugal, from at least 350,000 years ago to nearly 100,000 years ago. Paleoartist Gabriela Amorós Seller of the University of Murcia in Spain, used colored pencils to illustrate an idyllic view of a Neandertal man and child lounging on flat ground downslope from Bolomor Cave, near the Mediterranean coast of what’s now eastern Spain.

Excavations in the cave have produced evidence of the trees, plants and animals shown in the drawing, presented in the March 15 Quaternary Science Reviews. Amorós Seller also illustrated Bolomor Cave’s Neandertal-era entrance and surrounding greenery. She and her colleagues regard these scientifically informed drawings as more than simply appealing to the eye. Art that shows the basic makeup of an ancient environment can inspire scientists to ask new questions. For instance, her group now wants to explore how ancient Iberian plants grew in the wild and what they looked like before being modified over the past few thousand years by farming practices. ...

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/neandertal-spain-cave-warm-weather-landscape-art-illustration
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Newly published research based on analyses from eastern European sites indicates modern humans interbred with Neanderthals more often, and possibly later, than previously believed. This research also demonstrates a closer genetic affinity between the earliest modern humans to enter Europe and later modern humans in eastern Asia (rather than western Europe) - suggesting these sites represent a previously unsuspected separate wave of modern human migration into Europe.
DNA Reveals Humans Interbred With Neanderthals a Surprisingly Short Time Ago

Genetic sequencing of human remains dating back 45,000 years has revealed a previously unknown migration into Europe and showed intermixing with Neanderthals in that period was more common than previously thought. ...

The research is based on analysis of several ancient human remains - including a whole tooth and bone fragments - found in a cave in Bulgaria last year.

Genetic sequencing found the remains came from individuals who were more closely linked to present-day populations in East Asia and the Americas than populations in Europe.

"This indicates that they belonged to a modern human migration into Europe that was not previously known from the genetic record," the research, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, said.

It also "provides evidence that there was at least some continuity between the earliest modern humans in Europe and later people in Eurasia", the study added. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/a-previously-unknown-human-migration-was-just-revealed-in-genetic-data

See Also: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/europe-oldest-known-humans-mated-neandertals-dna-fossils
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
21,748
Reaction score
31,063
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Here are the bibliographic details and abstract from the newly published research report. The full report is accessible at the link below.

Hajdinjak, M., Mafessoni, F., Skov, L. et al.
Initial Upper Palaeolithic humans in Europe had recent Neanderthal ancestry.
Nature 592, 253–257 (2021).
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03335-3

Abstract
Modern humans appeared in Europe by at least 45,000 years ago ..., but the extent of their interactions with Neanderthals, who disappeared by about 40,000 years ago, and their relationship to the broader expansion of modern humans outside Africa are poorly understood. Here we present genome-wide data from three individuals dated to between 45,930 and 42,580 years ago from Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria ... They are the earliest Late Pleistocene modern humans known to have been recovered in Europe so far, and were found in association with an Initial Upper Palaeolithic artefact assemblage. Unlike two previously studied individuals of similar ages from Romania and Siberia who did not contribute detectably to later populations, these individuals are more closely related to present-day and ancient populations in East Asia and the Americas than to later west Eurasian populations. This indicates that they belonged to a modern human migration into Europe that was not previously known from the genetic record, and provides evidence that there was at least some continuity between the earliest modern humans in Europe and later people in Eurasia. Moreover, we find that all three individuals had Neanderthal ancestors a few generations back in their family history, confirming that the first European modern humans mixed with Neanderthals and suggesting that such mixing could have been common.

FULL REPORT: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03335-3
 
Top