Neanderthals: New Findings & Theories

blessmycottonsocks

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Following the death of the Asterix creator Albert Uderzo, I did a little Googling about the history of the Gauls.
On the Wiki page, I spotted this Roman Denarius from 48 BC, depicting a Gallic captive/slave.
It struck me as a remarkably Neanderthal-like profile, with its heavy brow-ridges, large eyes and prominent nose. Whoever the unfortunate enslaved Gaul was whose profile was chosen to adorn the coin, we'll never know, but I wouldn't be surprised if his Neanderthal DNA % was significantly higher than the European average for the time.
Of course, it could be something of a caricature, but it still looks like the archetypal caveman to me - but some 50,000 years too late.

Gaul_Denarius.JPG
 
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Naughty_Felid

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Following the death of the Asterix creator Albert Uderzo, I did a little Googling about the history of the Gauls.
On the Wiki page, I spotted this Roman Denarius from 48 BC, depicting a Gallic captive/slave.
It struck me as a remarkably Neanderthal-like profile, with its heavy brow-ridges, large eyes and prominent nose. Whoever the unfortunate enslaved Gaul was whose profile was chosen to adorn the coin, we'll never know, but I wouldn't be surprised if his Neanderthal DNA % was significantly higher than the European average for the time.
Of course, it could be something of a caricature, but it still looks like the archetypal caveman to me - but some 50,000 years too late.

View attachment 24462
nah - a bit of a reach.
 

EnolaGaia

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nah - a bit of a reach.
I tend to agree, though I can see the resemblance.

Ancient coinage isn't exactly known for precisely realistic portraiture. Moreover, it's entirely conceivable there'd have been a bit of bias toward accentuating coarse features in depicting a person from the empire's hinterlands and a "mere" slave at that.
 
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blessmycottonsocks

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"it's entirely conceivable there'd have been a bit of bias toward accentuating coarse features"

Exactly.
The historical Gaul was prime Neanderthal territory though until maybe 30,000 years ago.
Also this coin seems to depict a somewhat more realistic profile than many highly-stylised Romano-Celtic coins of the era
I just felt it would be nice to consider that this was a reasonably realistic depiction of a genuine Gaul, who had inherited some atavistic traits from his great great (x who knows how many) grandparents.
 

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ramonmercado

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See food -> eat it.

Surf’s up, Neandertals.

Our close evolutionary cousins obtained shellfish, crabs, fish and other marine munchies along Europe’s Atlantic coast with all the savvy and gusto of ancient humans who foraged along southern Africa’s shoreline, say archaeologist João Zilhão of the University of Barcelona and his colleagues.

Neandertals consumed a diverse menu of sea and land foods while occupying Figueira Brava cave, on Portugal’s coast, for extended periods between around 106,000 and 86,000 years ago, Zilhão’s group says. Excavations there show for the first time that Neandertals matched Stone Age Homo sapiens in their ability to exploit seafood rich in brain-enhancing fatty acids, the scientists report in the March 27 Science. This discovery adds to controversial evidence that Neandertals engaged in various behaviors traditionally thought to have characterized only H. sapiens, such as creating cave art and elaborate personal ornaments (SN: 10/28/19; SN: 3/20/15).

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/neandertals-extensive-seafood-menu-rivals-ancient-humans
 

EnolaGaia

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New, more substantial, discoveries indicate Neanderthals rather than "modern" humans first developed fiber technologies.
Fascinating Discovery Suggests Neanderthals Invented String

Scientists working in the south of France have discovered a small Neanderthal cord fragment dating back to over 41,000 years ago. It’s now the oldest evidence of fiber technology in the archaeological record, and further testament to the remarkable cognitive abilities of these extinct humans.

Neanderthals manufactured glue, wore eagle talons as jewelry, decorated themselves with feathers, started their own fires, made cave paintings, and fashioned tools from seashells. We can now add fiber technology to this impressive list, thanks to new research published today in Scientific Reports.

Archaeologist Bruce Hardy, a researcher from Kenyon College in Ohio and the first author of the new study, said it’s further evidence that Neanderthal brain power was comparable to anatomically modern humans. ...

Prior to this discovery, the oldest direct evidence of textile and cord technology came from the Ohalo II site in Israel. These cords, dated to 19,000 years old and linked to modern humans, were made from several fibers that were given a clockwise twist. ...

At the Abri du Maras site in southern France, archaeologists had previously found evidence of Neanderthal textile use in the form of single twisted fibers, but it wasn’t enough for scientists to be sure. The newly discovered cord fragment, also at Abri du Maras, is different because it’s composed of multiple fibers twisted into yarn that were then twisted back to form a cord. ...
FULL STORY: https://gizmodo.com/fascinating-discovery-suggests-neanderthals-invented-st-1842774242
 

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Following the death of the Asterix creator Albert Uderzo, I did a little Googling about the history of the Gauls.
On the Wiki page, I spotted this Roman Denarius from 48 BC, depicting a Gallic captive/slave.
It struck me as a remarkably Neanderthal-like profile, with its heavy brow-ridges, large eyes and prominent nose. Whoever the unfortunate enslaved Gaul was whose profile was chosen to adorn the coin, we'll never know, but I wouldn't be surprised if his Neanderthal DNA % was significantly higher than the European average for the time.
Of course, it could be something of a caricature, but it still looks like the archetypal caveman to me - but some 50,000 years too late.

View attachment 24462
Bollocks, it looks nothing like Asterix, they should have got a better artist.
 

ramonmercado

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Don't blame your looks and moods on your Neanderthal DNA.

If you think you got your freckles, red hair, or even narcolepsy from a Neanderthal in your family tree, think again.

People around the world do carry traces of Neanderthals in their genomes. But a study of tens of thousands of Icelanders finds their Neanderthal legacy had little or no impact on most of their physical traits or disease risk.

Paleogeneticists realized about 10 years ago that most Europeans and Asians inherited 1% to 2% of their genomes from Neanderthals. And Melanesians and Australian Aboriginals get another 3% to 6% of their DNA from Denisovans, Neanderthal cousins who ranged across Asia 50,000 to 200,000 years ago or so.

A steady stream of studies suggested gene variants from these archaic peoples might raise the risk of depression, blood clotting, diabetes, and other disorders in living people. The archaic DNA may also be altering the shape of our skulls; boosting our immune systems; and influencing our eye color, hair color, and sensitivity to the Sun, according to scans of genomic and health data in biobanks and medical databases.

But the new study, which looked for archaic DNA in living Icelanders, challenges many of those claims. Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark scanned the full genomes of 27,566 Icelanders in a database at deCODE Genetics in Iceland, seeking unusual archaic gene variants. The researchers ended up with a large catalog of 56,000 to 112,000 potentially archaic variants—and a few surprises.

They found, for example, that Icelanders had inherited 3.3% of their archaic DNA from Denisovans and 12.2% from unknown sources. (84.5% came from close relatives of the reference Neanderthals.)

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/neanderthal-dna-you-carry-may-have-surprisingly-little-impact-your-looks-moods
 

Jim

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Don't blame your looks and moods on your Neanderthal DNA.

If you think you got your freckles, red hair, or even narcolepsy from a Neanderthal in your family tree, think again.

People around the world do carry traces of Neanderthals in their genomes. But a study of tens of thousands of Icelanders finds their Neanderthal legacy had little or no impact on most of their physical traits or disease risk.

Paleogeneticists realized about 10 years ago that most Europeans and Asians inherited 1% to 2% of their genomes from Neanderthals. And Melanesians and Australian Aboriginals get another 3% to 6% of their DNA from Denisovans, Neanderthal cousins who ranged across Asia 50,000 to 200,000 years ago or so.

A steady stream of studies suggested gene variants from these archaic peoples might raise the risk of depression, blood clotting, diabetes, and other disorders in living people. The archaic DNA may also be altering the shape of our skulls; boosting our immune systems; and influencing our eye color, hair color, and sensitivity to the Sun, according to scans of genomic and health data in biobanks and medical databases.

But the new study, which looked for archaic DNA in living Icelanders, challenges many of those claims. Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark scanned the full genomes of 27,566 Icelanders in a database at deCODE Genetics in Iceland, seeking unusual archaic gene variants. The researchers ended up with a large catalog of 56,000 to 112,000 potentially archaic variants—and a few surprises.

They found, for example, that Icelanders had inherited 3.3% of their archaic DNA from Denisovans and 12.2% from unknown sources. (84.5% came from close relatives of the reference Neanderthals.)

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/neanderthal-dna-you-carry-may-have-surprisingly-little-impact-your-looks-moods
12% from humanoids unknown, interesting.
 

EnolaGaia

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Newly published research suggests modern humans arrived in Neanderthal-occupied European regions earlier, and the overlap between the two populations lasted longer, than previously suspected.
Longer overlap for modern humans and Neanderthals

Modern humans began to edge out the Neanderthals in Europe earlier than previously thought, a new study shows.
Tests on remains from a cave in northern Bulgaria suggest Homo sapiens was there as early as 46,000 years ago.

This is up to 2,000 years older than evidence from Italy and the UK.

Around this time, Europe was populated by sparse groups of Neanderthals - a distinct type of human that vanished shortly after modern humans appeared on the scene.

There's considerable debate about the length of time that modern humans overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe and other parts of Eurasia.

This has implications for the nature of contact between the two groups - and perhaps clues to why Neanderthals went extinct.

Two new scientific papers ... describe the finds at Bacho Kiro cave. ...

Prof Chris Stringer, research leader for human evolution at the Natural History Museum in London, who was not involved with the latest study, said: "In my view, this is the oldest and strongest published evidence for an IUP (Initial Upper Palaeolithic) presence of H. sapiens in Europe, several millennia before the Neanderthals disappeared." ...

At the least, the new finds suggest there was around 5,000 years of chronological overlap between Neanderthals and modern humans in Europe. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52614870
 
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EnolaGaia

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Here are the bibliographic particulars and DOI links for the newly published research cited above.

Fewlass, H., Talamo, S., Wacker, L. et al. A 14C chronology for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition at Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria. Nat Ecol Evol (2020).
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-1136-3

Hublin, J., Sirakov, N., Aldeias, V. et al. Initial Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens from Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria. Nature (2020).
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2259-z
 

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More on the Bacho Kiro cave with an emphasis on the homo sapiens remains.

A tooth and six bone fragments found in a Bulgarian cave are the oldest directly dated remains of Homo sapiens in Europe, scientists say.

Until now, most of the earliest fossils of humans on the continent ranged in age from around 45,000 to 41,500 years old. But those ages are based on dates for sediment and artifacts associated with the fossils, not the fossils themselves. The newfound remains date to between roughly 46,000 and 44,000 years ago, researchers report May 11 in Nature.

A previous report of the earliest human fossil in Europe centered on a skull fragment from what’s now Greece (SN: 7/10/19). That fossil may date to at least 210,000 years ago, which would make it the oldest by far, but the dating and species identification of that find are controversial.

The new discoveries at Bulgaria’s Bacho Kiro Cave have added evidence for a scenario in which African H. sapiens reached the Middle East approximately 50,000 years ago (SN: 1/28/15) and then rapidly dispersed into Europe (SN: 11/2/11) and Central Asia (SN: 10/22/14), the scientists conclude.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/earliest-known-humans-europe-bacho-kiro-bulgaria
 
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ramonmercado

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The benefits of a Neanderthal gene.

One in three women in Europe inherited the receptor for progesterone from Neandertals -- a gene variant associated with increased fertility, fewer bleedings during early pregnancy and fewer miscarriages.

This is according to a study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

"The progesterone receptor is an example of how favourable genetic variants that were introduced into modern humans by mixing with Neandertals can have effects in people living today," says Hugo Zeberg, researcher at the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, who performed the study with colleagues Janet Kelso and Svante Pääbo.

Progesterone is a hormone, which plays an important role in the menstrual cycle and in pregnancy. Analyses of biobank data from more than 450,000 participants -- among them 244,000 women -- show that almost one in three women in Europe have inherited the progesterone receptor from Neandertals. Twenty-nine percent carry one copy of the Neandertal receptor and three percent have two copies.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200526151738.htm
 

EnolaGaia

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New genomic research indicates modern humans, Denisovans, and Neanderthals were genetically similar enough to interbreed and produce offspring who were healthy and fertile. Such interbreeding has long been hypothesized. This study supports that hypothesis in terms of genomic similarities.
Neanderthals, Denisovans, humans genetically closer than polar bears, brown bears

Several genomic studies have previously shown that Neanderthals, Denisovans and anatomically modern humans interbred. Now, new research suggests the trio of populations were so genetically similar that they most certainly produced healthy, fertile hybrids.

In a new study, published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists quantified the genetic differences between early humans and their closest relatives, Neanderthals and Denisovans.

The analysis showed the genetic distance values separating the three human species were smaller than the differences between modern animal species -- like brown bears and polar bears -- known to produce healthy hybrid offspring. ...
FULL STORY:
https://www.upi.com/Science_News/20...r-than-polar-bears-brown-bears/6821591204002/

PUBLISHED REPORT (Accessible at the link):
A mitochondrial genetic divergence proxy predicts the reproductive compatibility of mammalian hybrids
Richard Allen† , Hannah Ryan† , Brian W. Davis , Charlotte King , Laurent Frantz , Evan Irving-Pease , Ross Barnett , …
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Published:03 June 2020
https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.0690
 

blessmycottonsocks

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This remarkable carving in mammoth ivory from the Dolni Vestonice region in the Czech Republic, has been dated to around 26,000 years.
It depicts an early European (Cro-Magnon) with some noticeably atavistic robust features.
If this is a Palaeolithic "selfie" as many have speculated, just possibly the brow ridges, large eyes and nose and heavy jaw could suggest a degree of Neanderthal ancestry in this obviously talented artist.

IMG_1022.JPGIMG_1023.JPG
 

Kondoru

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If its lifelike it certainly seems to be of someone who is from that direction.

(How do they know it is a self portrait? Did the artist have a mirror???)
 

blessmycottonsocks

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If its lifelike it certainly seems to be of someone who is from that direction.

(How do they know it is a self portrait? Did the artist have a mirror???)
A smooth piece of obsidian or possibly even just water in a pool would have made an ersatz mirror back then I guess.
If not a selfie, then maybe a brother or some tribal hero had to pose for the likeness.
Whoever the model was, it's a remarkably evocative piece of ancient art that really speaks to us over the millennia.
 

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This remarkable carving in mammoth ivory from the Dolni Vestonice region in the Czech Republic, has been dated to around 26,000 years.
It depicts an early European (Cro-Magnon) with some noticeably atavistic robust features.
If this is a Palaeolithic "selfie" as many have speculated, just possibly the brow ridges, large eyes and nose and heavy jaw could suggest a degree of Neanderthal ancestry in this obviously talented artist.

View attachment 27217View attachment 27218
Thats really cool. 8 cm tall apparently.

Why the idea it was a selfie though? Some cro magnon dude could of made it for his sweetheart. Some kid could've made it whilst sat around the hearth during long winter lockdown and weeks to get it right, ready for her to enter the Great Spring Fest Cave Talent Show and Mammoth Hunt.

Also he really really reminds me of someone.
 

EnolaGaia

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The first paleoclimatic analysis of the Mediterranean area's transition period from Neanderthals to modern humans indicates climate change wasn't extreme enough to explain the Neanderthals' extinction in that area.
Neanderthals of Western Mediterranean did not become extinct because of changes in climate

Homo Neanderthaliensis did not become extinct because of changes in climate. At least, this did not happen to the several Neanderthals groups that lived in the western Mediterranean 42,000 years ago. A research group of the University of Bologna came to this conclusion after a detailed paleoclimatic reconstruction of the last ice age through the analysis of stalagmites sampled from some caves in Apulia, Italy.

The researchers focused on the Murge karst plateau in Apulia, where Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens coexisted for at least 3,000 years, from approximately 45,000 to 42,000 years ago. This study was published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Data extracted from the stalagmites showed that climate changes that happened during that time span were not particularly significant. "Our study shows that this area of Apulia appears as a 'climate niche' during the transition from Neanderthals to Homo Sapiens" explains Andrea Columbu, researcher and first author of this study. "It doesn't seem possible that significant climate changes happened during that period, at least not impactful enough to cause the extinction of Neanderthals in Apulia and, by the same token, in similar areas of the Mediterranean". ...
FULL STORY: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/udb-now072020.php
 

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Feeling the pain

Neanderthals may have had a lower threshold for pain
People who inherited a special ion channel from Neanderthals experience more pain


Date: July 23, 2020

Source: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Summary: Nerve cells have a special ion channel that has a key role in starting the electrical impulse that signals pain and is sent to the brain. New research finds that people who inherited the Neanderthal variant of this ion channel experience more pain.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200723115900.htm
 
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Xanatic*

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Aren't redheads, which some say neanderthals were, supposed to have a higher pain treshold?
 
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