Neanderthals: New Findings & Theories

Coal

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The samples displayed several episodes of injury and recovery, suggesting that Neanderthals must have had a well-developed system of care in order to survive.
That rather feels like the old adage 'they knew how to build house 200 years ago as they's still standing today'.

Of course the rubbish houses have long gone, and in the same way we're looking at survivors and inferring that there were some survivors, doesn't mean they had anything other than rudimentary care for each other, such as feeding someone who can't hunt at the moment.
 

Mikefule

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That rather feels like the old adage 'they knew how to build house 200 years ago as they's still standing today'.

Of course the rubbish houses have long gone, and in the same way we're looking at survivors and inferring that there were some survivors, doesn't mean they had anything other than rudimentary care for each other, such as feeding someone who can't hunt at the moment.
Good point well made.

It's similar with music: "The [preferred decade] had all the great pop music; most of this modern pop music is rubbish."

Yes, most modern pop music is rubbish, and most of the pop music in the preferred decade was rubbish, but the best few songs have become established as classics. The fact that the good survives does not preclude that a lot of bad was lost. No doubt many Neanderthals died slow painful deaths from injuries, and no doubt many buildings from 200 years ago needed demolishing about 100 years ago.
 

James_H

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Yes, most modern pop music is rubbish, and most of the pop music in the preferred decade was rubbish, but the best few songs have become established as classics. The fact that the good survives does not preclude that a lot of bad was lost. No doubt many Neanderthals died slow painful deaths from injuries, and no doubt many buildings from 200 years ago needed demolishing about 100 years ago.
Look at any top ten from the 1960s and it's full of absolute toss, with the odd Hendrix or Beatles number in there too.
 
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Not so burly after all.

Though humans often consider ourselves far more evolved and refined than Neanderthals, new research has shown we have a lot common with our stocky, hairy cousins in terms of behavior and development. Now, scientists say Neanderthals’ thoraxes—the cozy cavities enclosed by the ribs, breastbone, and spine—might actually have been the same size as ours, not larger, as was previously assumed.

The size and shape of the thorax—which contains the lungs, heart, and other precious organs—holds important clues about human evolution, including posture, gait, and lung capacity. But it has been tough for researchers to analyze Neanderthal torsos because ribs and spines are fragile, and therefore scarce in the fossil record.

So, a team of researchers took the skeleton with the most complete thorax, called Kebara 2, and sent it through a computerized tomography (CT) scan. Next, the researchers used visualization software to create a 3D virtual model of the torso, which they then compared with CT scans of 16 modern men around the same height as the fossil.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...ly_2018-10-30&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2458707
 

Mikefule

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Haha! I read the article and followed links and ended up reading about "Rockism" which is a pejorative term for the set of beliefs that rock music played with real guitars and drums, and written by the artists, is inherently better than mass produced and ephemeral pop music. What made me chuckle is that the opposite faction (pro-pop, anti-rock) is called the "poptimists".

Jeez, with the world economy on the brink of collapse, an expansionist Russia, an isolationist USA, mass migrations threatened from Africa into Europe, a clash of bronze age, iron age and mediaeval religions threatening the largely secularist ideals of the west, and the seas so full of plastic that there is a potential living to be made recycling dolphins into Lego bricks, we now have to contend with meaningless clashes between the devotees of rockism and poptimism.

Still as a healthy white atheist married heterosexual male with no dependent children, I might at last acquire a "protected characteristic" under anti discrimination laws: I love rock & roll*. :D

*... so put another dime in the jukebox, baby.
 
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And kids today think they have it hard.

Neanderthal children shivered and suffered in ancient Europe
By Ann Gibbons Oct. 31, 2018 , 2:05 PM

Pity the poor Neanderthal mother: She had to nurse her children through colder winters and more illnesses than the mothers of most prehistoric modern humans in Europe, according to a new study of the teeth of two Neanderthal kids who lived 250,000 years ago in France. And both Neanderthal toddlers suffered from repeated lead exposure—the earliest known evidence of lead poisoning in members of the human family. The study offers a startlingly intimate view of the lives of ancient children.

The study is “mind blowing” because it gives such a detailed record of how harsh winters, the water supply, and nursing duration can influence growth in early childhood, says paleoanthropologist Leslea Hlusko of the University of California, Berkeley, who was not part of the team. The researchers “provide powerful insight into some of the most intimate moments of life—the relationship between the Neanderthal as a baby and its mama.” ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/neanderthal-children-shivered-and-suffered-ancient-europe
 
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The Neanderthal narrative keeps on shifting and changing:

The Myth Of the Traumatized Neanderthal
Contrary to popular belief, they weren’t exceptionally prone to head injuries, and certainly no more so than early humans.


But in a new study—the largest of its kind—Katerina Harvati and her colleagues at the University of Tübingen have shown that head injuries really weren’t that common in Neanderthals, and certainly no more so than in contemporaneous Homo sapiens. “This implies that Neanderthal trauma does not require its own special explanations, and that risk and danger were as much a part of the life of Neanderthals as they were of our own evolutionary past,” writes Marta Mirazon Lahr from the University of Cambridge, in an accompanying editorial.

By combing through previous studies, Harvati’s colleague Judith Beier compared the skulls of 114 Neanderthals and 90 modern humans, all of whom lived in Europe and Asia between 20,000 and 80,000 years ago. (The term “modern human” here refers to Homo sapiens, rather than present-day people.) She estimated that between 4 and 33 percent of Neanderthals would have had some kind of head injury, compared with 2 to 34 percent of contemporaneous modern humans.


https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/11/myth-traumatized-neanderthal/575776/
 
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