The Well-Tailored Neanderthal; Or, They Walk Among Us!

CygnusRex

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jan 4, 2002
Messages
533
Reaction score
4
Points
49
Free trade may have finished off Neanderthals

15:42 01 April 2005
NewScientist.com news service
Celeste Biever


Modern humans may have driven Neanderthals to extinction 30,000 years ago because Homo sapiens unlocked the secrets of free trade, say a group of US and Dutch economists. The theory could shed new light on the mysterious and sudden demise of the Neanderthals after over 260,000 years of healthy survival.

Anthropologists have considered a wide range of factors which may explain Neanderthal extinction, including biological, environmental and cultural causes. For example, one major study concluded that Neanderthals were less able to deal with plunging temperatures during the last glacial period.

Another possibility is that they were less able hunters as a result of poorer mental abilities, says Eric Delson, an anthropologist at Lehman College, City University of New York, US. But he adds that most theories are reliant on guesswork. Exactly how humans ousted Neanderthals remains a puzzle. “They were successful for such a long time,” he points out.

Jason Shogren, an economist at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, US, says part of the answer may lie in humans’ superior trading habits. Trading would have allowed the division of labour, freeing up skilled individuals, such as hunters, to focus on the tasks they are best at. Others, perhaps making tools or clothes or gathering food, would give the hunters resources in return for meat.

Largely unorganised
The idea that specialisation leads to greater success was first used in the 18th century to explain why some nations were wealthier than others. But this is the first time it has been applied to the Neanderthal extinction puzzle, says Shogren.

He cites archaeological evidence that suggests that humans, who joined Neanderthals in Europe about 40,000 years ago, specialised and traded both within and between regions. The evidence includes complex living quarters with different sections partitioned for different functions. Neanderthals, in contrast, lived in “largely unorganised” living spaces.

There is also evidence that the early humans, mainly one population called the Gravettians, imported materials. Ivory, stones, fossils, seashells and crafted tools were found dispersed through many regions. This greater pool of resources led to increased innovation, says Shogren.

Simulated circumstances
Shogren tested his theory with simulations of population growth. He even gave the Neanderthals, who were larger than Homo sapiens, a head start by assuming they were better hunters and individually brought home more meat - which may or may be true.

But because humans were allowed to trade, in two of three similar simulations, they overcame this initial handicap and ousted the Neanderthals within 7000 years. In the third simulation, the two ended up co-existing.

“It’s an intriguing and novel idea,” says Delson. “But it requires stronger support.” He points out that the Gravettians in particular only emerged 28,000 years ago, while the last of the Neanderthals died about 29,000 years ago.

So the Gravettians could not have had very much influence in the extinction of the Neanderthals, he argues. “He also assumes that all they ate was meat, which of course is not true,” he adds.

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, co-authored by Erwin Bulte of Tilburg University in the Netherlands and Richard Horan at Michigan State University in East Lansing, US.
Source
 

rossba1

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
225
Reaction score
5
Points
49
Ive met Chris Stringer a couple of times. Very, very interesting guy. I guess this fossil fraud mixes stuff up a bit but im sure theres lots of other evidence for neanderthals in Northern Europe e.g. theres this recent paper thats dated a neanderthal footprint in Romania slightly before anatomically modern humans (although the identification is a bit circular). I dont see why they shouldnt have been there when AMH's turned up.
hope this URL works

http://tinyurl.com/t93cr
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
Great to see these fossils getting studied esp. as others have fallen by the wayside due to new dates:

Fossils Rekindle Neanderthal Debate

Age of Bones Calls Into Question How Early Humans Died

By Guy Gugliotta
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 19, 2005; Page A03

For decades, scientists have argued over the disappearance of Neanderthals from prehistoric Europe about 30,000 years ago. Did they die from some mysterious disease? Or did modern humans simply supplant them, either by obliterating them or by interbreeding?

In research reported today in the journal Nature, an Austrian-led team has added fuel to the debate, confirming that fossil remains from a famous archaeological site in the Czech Republic are 31,000 years old -- putting them at the period when Neanderthals vanished.

The bones from the Mladec Caves represent the only known remains in Europe that can be linked directly to "Aurignacian" stone and bone tools, ornaments, and other artifacts made 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, when humans first began to fashion objects with aesthetic as well as utilitarian purposes.

While the bones -- from six individuals found in the caves -- are generally regarded as "modern," some of the fossil skulls show "archaic" features, among them heavy brow ridges and protruding bone in the back of the head, that are more associated with Neanderthals.

"These characteristics could be explained by interbreeding, or seen as Neanderthal ancestry," team leader Eva Maria Wild of the University of Vienna said in an e-mail. "The finds are essential in the ongoing debate over the emergence of modern humans in Europe. The discussions will continue."

Modern humans arrived in Europe about 40,000 years ago, from Africa via the Middle East. By 27,000 years ago they had completely replaced the ice-age Neanderthals, who had lived in Europe for at least 100,000 years and became extinct for unknown reasons.

Until recently, much of the understanding of modern humans' early sojourn in Europe was based on a small number of fossil remains, among them those from Mladec, along with a much larger number of archaeological sites containing items such as flint chopping tools, exquisitely carved knives and elaborate cave paintings. Most of the sites were discovered decades, or even centuries, ago. Mladec was found in the early 19th century and systematically excavated in 1881.

In recent years, however, modern dating techniques have shown that the bones in most of these Aurignacian sites are much younger than the artifacts, calling into question the link between modern humans and their supposed tools.

The Wild team's work was the latest research to reexamine the early conclusions. Wild said the team used radiocarbon analysis on teeth and one bone. The results made Mladec the only known Aurignacian artifact site with human remains from the same period.

"It's nice to know that at least one of the sites matches the bones," said paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History.

Anthropologist Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis, a member of the Wild team and a leading exponent of the Neanderthal disappearance-through-interbreeding school, said the new findings have thrown the debate over Neanderthals' fate "into a jumble."

"Either there's been an evolutionary leveling, or there has been some level of interbreeding, and we will never know how much," Trinkaus said. "My answer is, why not [interbreeding]? They were all dirty and smelly, and didn't have much opportunity" for social activity, he said.

But Tattersall, a leading opponent of the interbreeding theory, said the Mladec remains were "perfectly routine Homo sapiens [modern humans]. The only people who believe otherwise are those with an ax to grind."

Still, Trinkaus, Tattersall and other scholars acknowledged that the new findings were unlikely to settle the debate. "I think most people believe [the Mladec remains] are Homo sapiens, " said University of Arizona archaeologist Steven Kuhn.

"But while the majority believe that the Neanderthals did not have a huge input, they can't rule out some input" in the development of modern Europeans, he added. "And a little is more than zero."
Source

The real tragedy about Mladec is that an awful lot of human remains and ine jewellery and other artefacts were found and they were all stored in a castle that the Germans torched when they retreated from the region at the end of WWIIw. The surviving finds were protected when a bit of wall or door fell over them.

The paper:

Eva M. Wild, Maria Teschler-Nicola, Walter Kutschera, Peter Steier, Erik Trinkaus and Wolfgang Wanek (2005) Direct dating of Early Upper Palaeolithic human remains from Mladec. Nature. 435 (7040). 332 - 5.

The human fossil assemblage from the Mladec caron Caves in Moravia (Czech Republic)1 has been considered to derive from a middle or later phase of the Central European Aurignacian period on the basis of archaeological remains (a few stone artefacts and organic items such as bone points, awls, perforated teeth)2, despite questions3 of association between the human fossils and the archaeological materials and concerning the chronological implications of the limited archaeological remains4. The morphological variability in the human assemblage, the presence of apparently archaic features in some specimens, and the assumed early date of the remains have made this fossil assemblage pivotal in assessments of modern human emergence within Europe5, 6, 7. We present here the first successful direct accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating of five representative human fossils from the site. We selected sample materials from teeth and from one bone for 14C dating. The four tooth samples yielded uncalibrated ages of approx31,000 14C years before present, and the bone sample (an ulna) provided an uncertain more-recent age. These data are sufficient to confirm that the Mladec caron human assemblage is the oldest cranial, dental and postcranial assemblage of early modern humans in Europe and is therefore central to discussions of modern human emergence in the northwestern Old World and the fate of the Neanderthals.
-------------------
Editor's Summary

19 May 2005

Czech mates

The human remains from the Mladec caron caves in the Czech Republic feature strongly in discussions of the transition from Neanderthals to early modern humans in Europe. Although generally accepted as modern Homo sapiens, features of the cranial morphology have prompted speculation about anatomical links to the preceding Neanderthals. The first direct radiocarbon dating of five human fossils from Mladec caron is now available. The results confirm them as the oldest substantial remains of early modern humans in Europe. Both robust and less robust skulls are around 31,000 years old, though the two forms may reflect differences between males and females, rather than 'archaic' (Neanderthal-like) and 'gracile' early modern humans.
www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n704 ... 19-14.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
Re: Well! You Chaps Are In Luck!

AndroMan said:
I read a book, or two, by Stan Gooch, years back, who deals with this very problem.

And he's on at Unconvention 2003!

Stan Gooch - WHEN NEANDERTHAL WOMEN RULED THE EARTH
I begin with the fact that, as a hybrid cross between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon (which some sections of academia are again starting to deny), we have inherited two very different sets of basic instincts - a situation frequently found when widely separated species of animals are experimentally crossed. I suggest that both our personal and social problems arise from this, including the division of the political world into left and right wings. However, this is but one example of the permanent duality of our universe at every level. Incidentally, positive/negative, female/male, matter/anti-matter, cerebellum/cerebrum. (Neanderthal had a much larger cerebellum than Cro-Magnon, and women have larger cerebella than men, and so on.)

Stan Gooch gave up a career as a professional psychologist to pursue his ideas about the nature and origin of consciousness. Literary Review has called him "one of the most formidable and consistent thinkers alive today" and his ideas about the cultural legacy of the Neanderthals and their lasting impact on the psyche of Cro-Magnon man are set out in a series of books, including The Paranormal, Guardians of the Ancient Wisdom, The Double Helix of the Mind, and Cities of Dreams. (Recently, archaeologists confirmed his 1989 prediction that Neanderthal man was red-haired).
Very controversial, but interesting. I'm not sure that DNA research backs the theory.
As he has written a letter into the latest FT I'll continue the discussion from here:

www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 723#551723

Handedness, matriarchal rule and other claims

In his letter (FT199:73) Stan Gooch states (in connection with the punishment of left handedness:

The origin of this situation is that we are a hybrid cross between the two early varieties of man, Neadnerthal and Cro-Magnon. Neanderthal was left handed, totally sexually promiscuous and ruled by women (exactl like the recently discovered bonobo chimpanzees). Cro-Magnon was right-handed, goverened by pair bonding, and ruled by men.
The main one we can look at here is handedness.

Handedness is important as it appears in children at about the same time as language. Also while our primte cousins show no preference they also don't have the brian assymetry we have so it may be possible to look at endocranial casts and comapre them to evidence for handedness in the archaeological record.

Schick and Toth have a gret general book on the study of stone tools (its a standard textbook) "Making Silent Stones Speak" which looks at this in depth. Nick Toth did a pioneering study on H. habilis sites and ound that handidness seems to have occured from about the same time as brain reorganisation:

Toth, N. (1985) Archeological evidence for preferential right handedness in the lower and middle Pleistocene and its possible implications. Journal of Human Evolution. 14. 607 - 14.

And they summarise the studies and bring in brain studies - the archaeological evidence (page 142):

Let's look at what a right-handed tool maker typically does during
hard-hammer percussion. As outlined above, a right-handed individual
normally holds the hammer stone in the dominant right hand (which gives more precision and power to the flaking blows and lessens the chance of hitting one's fingers) and the core to be flaked in the more passive left hand. The left hand essentially acts like a vise to securely grasp the core during repeated blows from the hammer stone, orienting the core properly for each successive impact.

Now, what effect does this setup have upon the flaking process? If a sequence of flakes is removed from one face of a core, there is a tendency for the left hand holding the core to rotate it in a clockwise direction as the flakes are removed. One hits off a flake, rotates the cobble a little, and strikes off another to the right of the first, rotates it slightly again and flakes again, and so forth. If the core is made on a cobble or thick coritcal flake, we can see this clockwise rotational bias by examining the flakes that have been produced. Successive flakes tend to have part of a flake scar on the left (where the previous flake had been struck off) and part of the cobble's cortex on the right. Thus, large samples of these flakes can tell us something about handedness: whether the cobble was being rotated in this way, as would a right-handed person, or whether it was being turned by a left-handed person, in the opposite hand and producing the opposite pattern. Experiments show that right-handed tool makers produce significantly more oreinted flakes. In our experiments, (we being right-handed), a ratio of 57-43 of right-oriented flakes was produced.

This is an experimental result that can be applied directly to early
Stone Age artifacts. So far, every site we've examined from the early Stone Age, including those at Koobi Fora dated from about 1.9 to 1.5 million years ago, shows exactly the same pattern. Thus it appears that by the time of early toolmaking in the archaeological record, these ancestral hominid populations may have already become preferentially right-handed. For whatever reason or reasons, right-handedness seems to be an ancient trait in humans.
Stirnger and Gamble's equally classic book on Neanderthals and they look at the range of evidence (from brain studies to tooth wear to stone tool making - page 83):

An additional conclusion we can draw from endocranial casts is that Neanderthals and early modern humans -- like people today -- had cerebral dominance, i.e. the right and left halves of the brain were specialized for particular functions. In living people, there is a clear statistical relationship between having a larger occipital lobe on the left side, a larger frontal lobe on the right side, and right-handedness. Most Neanderthal and early modern human endocranial casts display a similar pattern, indicating the predominance of right-handers even in prehistoric times -- a conclusion reinforced, as we have seen, by their stronger right arms, by the cut marks on several Neanderthal front teeth, and by evidence from the resharpening of stone tools.
Quotes are lifte from here (although I've checked them) and it has a lot of other quotes from Schick and Toth's book on this kind of thing:

www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199511-12/0030.html

If people are interested in the links between handedness and language this is a reasonable summary:

www.bbsonline.org/documents/a/00/00/22/ ... ballis.htm

---------------
The evidence for his other claims: matriarchal societies, promiscuity, living at night, drinking blood, exposing their buttocks in defeat, having haematite in their heads to help them navigate around, etc. are non existent or at best wild extrapolations.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Handedness doesn't appear at the same time as language - though Corballis (. http://www.bbsonline.org/Preprints/Corballis/Referees/) believes that right handedness may have evolved due to 'left-hemispheric dominance for vocalization' (not quite the same thing). I believe in Carlson et al (2004) it maintains that hand dominance can be observed in the womb - don't have the book handy right now, but I think it was bloody early too. However, found something interesting about animals and handedness...

[/quote]Reply to Hopkins and Cantalupo: Chim-panzee Right-Handedness Reconsidered—Sampling Issues and Data PresentationA. Richard Palmer*Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta,Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, CanadaGENERAL ISSUES REGARDING PRIMATELATERALITY STUDIESHopkins et al. (2001) deserve much credit for hav-ing raised the bar for laterality studies in nonhumanprimates by routinely studying such a large numberof individuals and by developing well-defined tasks,such as the TUBE task, to try to quantify individuallaterality in a reliable way. They also deserve creditfor repeating prior studies to assess the consistencyof results, because true replications are so rarelyconducted (Palmer, 2000). Nonetheless, the reply byHopkins and Cantalupo raises several importantissues regarding their and others’ work on chimpan-zee handedness.First, Hopkins and Cantalupo are correct that theunexpected patterns revealed by funnel graphs ofthe 1994 handedness data (Hopkins, 1994; Palmer,2002) only became apparent because sample size(number of handedness observations per individual)varied. They are also correct that standardizing thenumber of observations per individual totally elim-inates any possible sample-size effects: a funnelgraph is only useful after the fact, as a form ofquality-check of the data. The real question, how-ever, is not as Hopkins and Cantalupo suggest,“How many observations to take per individualchimpanzee?,” but rather, “What aspects of the be-havioral sampling protocol gave rise to the unex-pected patterns in the first place?”Eliminating variation in the number of observa-tions per individual merely eliminates the symp-toms, but not the underlying cause(s), of the unusualdistributions reported in Palmer (2002): why wasright-handedness of individual chimpanzees morepronounced among those individuals for whichfewer observations were recorded? If the underlyingcauses were not eliminated in the present study asindicated by Hopkins and Cantalupo, then they maystill contribute to an apparent population-levelright-handedness. Some further reflections by Hop-kins et al. on the possible underlying causes of theodd patterns in the 1994 data might provide valu-able insights that would help improve the design offuture primate handedness studies.Second, my critique (Palmer, 2002) was also in-tended to illustrate how graphical presentation ofdata in as unreduced a form as possible (e.g., scat-terplots, frequency distributions) is preferable tostatistical summaries. Tabulated statistical summa-ries, although economical in terms of journal space,invariably obscure details about the data that mayaffect confidence in the results or that might suggestalternative interpretations. If, as was done in theoriginal 1994 study, Hopkins and Cantalupo were topublish the raw data behind the statistical summa-ries tabulated in their reply and also in the moreextensive study of Hopkins et al. (2001), this wouldallow the evidence for population-level right-hand-edness (at least among chimpanzees at the YerkesPrimate Research Center (YRPRC)) to be judgedmore fully and fairly.For example, Hopkins kindly provided to me rawdata on the TUBE task for 109 chimpanzees at theYRPRC (from Hopkins et al., 2001), where the over-all percent right-hand use was very similar to thatreported in Hopkins (1994) for bimanual feeding(Table 1). Seventy-five of these individuals were alsoincluded in the 1994 study, and of these, handednesswas based on more than 25 observations for 56 ofthem (for the justification to exclude individualswith 25 or fewer observations, see Palmer, 2002).The correlation between percent right-hand use dur-ing bimanual feeding (holding food in one handwhile removing portions with the other) and percentright-hand use by the same individual in the TUBEtask (holding a tube in one hand and scooping outpeanut butter with a finger of the other) is not overlycompelling (Fig. 1). Although these tasks are some-what different, I am surprised to see so little consis-tency between tasks that require the simultaneoususe of both hands in such a similar, coordinatedfashion during feeding. If chimpanzees at the YRPRCexhibit population-level right-handedness for bi-manual tasks, as the data in Table 1 suggest, ratherlittle of this right-handedness appears to derivefrom consistent hand preferences by individualchimpanzees.Finally, as someone outside the field of primatelaterality, I have always been troubled by handed-ness data obtained from captive animals, as haveother primatologists (McGrew and Marchant, 1997).No matter how much care is taken to avoid intro-ducing handedness biases in the sampling protocolGrant sponsor: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Councilof Canada; Grant number: A7245.*Correspondence to: A. Richard Palmer, Department of BiologicalSciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada.E-mail: [email protected]. 1 July 2002; accepted 6 August 2002.DOI 10.1002/ajpa.10177AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 121:382–384 (2003)©2003 WILEY-LISS, INC.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Page 2
of a particular study, I wonder to what degree cap-tive chimpanzees have been irreconcilably biasedtoward right-handedness simply by watching theirstrongly right-handed captors go about many otherdaily tasks unrelated to the study. Chimps may notonly imitate human behaviors, or behaviors of otherchimps; they may also imitate the overwhelminghuman tendency to use the right hand for mosttasks. I’m afraid I see little solution to this problembut to encourage more studies of wild populations,like those of Marchant and McGrew (1996) andMcGrew and Marchant (2001).TECHNICAL ISSUES REGARDING HOPKINSAND CANTALUPOTo avoid confusion, I should note that Hopkins andCantalupo misrepresent one expected pattern re-vealed by a funnel graph. No “basic statistical assump-tions of increasing effects with increasing sample size”are made when interpreting a funnel graph. As out-lined in my original paper (Fig. 1 of Palmer, 2002), thevariability should actually decrease with increasingsample size, and the expected mean effect size shouldbe independent of sample size.Hopkins and Cantalupo are correct that the numberof observations per individual chimpanzee in the 1994study was confounded by age (i.e., more observationswere obtained from younger individuals, and youngerindividuals tend to be less lateralized), and that this atleast partly contributed to the decline in right-hand-edness with increasing number of observations perindividual, as I too noted (Palmer, 2002). However,this pattern was even more pronounced among olderchimpanzees (see Table 3 of Palmer, 2002), so thepatterns revealed by the funnel graphs were not duesolely to the confounding effects of age. The questiontherefore still remains: why was right-handednessmore pronounced among individuals for which fewerobservations were recorded?Finally, as I understand their methods, the re-sults reported by Hopkins and Cantalupo appear tobe confounded by pseudoreplication (Hurlburt,1984), and may therefore yield inflated estimates ofindividual hand preference. Equal sample sizeswere obtained for each individual chimpanzee byrecording “the first 20 hand-use responses” on fourseparate occasions when performing the TUBE task(Hopkins et al., 2001). However, if an individualchimp holds the tube in its left hand, and inserts itsright finger into the tube 20 times in succession, is itappropriate to score this as 20 independent inser-tions of the right finger (as Hopkins and Cantalupoappear to have done), or should it simply be scoredas one grasp of the tube with the left hand? If eachfinger insertion was scored as an independent obser-vation, I am not surprised that “the majority (90%)of chimpanzees show a significant hand preference”according to this measure (note, however, that theactual data reported in Hopkins and Cantalupo(2002) show only 100 of 132 chimpanzees (or 76%)TABLE 1. Frequencies of hand use by chimpanzees at YRPRC reported in different studiesNumber of individuals% Right2Activity (source)LeftAmbilateral1Right28585465.9%Bimanual feeding (Hopkins, 1994)32195964.8%TUBE task (Hopkins, 1995)33225462.1%TUBE task (Hopkins et al., 2001)29327171.0%TUBE task (Hopkins and Cantalupo, 2003)1Ambilateral means difference in hand use between sides in an individual did not exceed that expected due to binomial samplingvariation.2Percent of those individuals exhibiting significant handedness.Figure 1. Consistency of handedness (raw percent right-hand use) for two related tasks among 56 individual chimpanzeesat YRPRC: bimanual feeding (holding a food object in one handwhile removing portions of it with the other, from Hopkins, 1994)and TUBE task (holding a tube in one hand and scooping outpeanut butter with a finger of the other, from Hopkins et al.,2001). Line represents least-squares linear regression fit to thedata. The association, although positive, is not significant statis-tically, either for all individuals (r0.12, P0.36, Spearmancoefficient of rank correlation) or when restricted to individualsthat were already adolescents and adults in the 1994 study (N47, r0.21, P0.16). For reasons outlined in Palmer (2002),only individuals with more than 25 hand-use observations in the1994 data were included. Handedness for all individuals in theTUBE task was based on more than 25 observations, so nonewere excluded. Age groupings among chimps in the 1994 studywere: juvenile ( 7 years old), adolescent (7–15 years old), adult( 15 years old).CHIMPANZEE RIGHT-HANDEDNESS RECONSIDERED383
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Page 3
exhibited significant handedness). Might this alsoaccount for the somewhat higher percent right-hand-edness reported in Hopkins and Cantalupo comparedto Hopkins et al. (2001) (Table 1)? Perhaps Hopkinsand Cantalupo could report the number of times achimp picked the tube up, or rotated the tube to accessthe other end with the same hand, or switched handsused to extract the peanut butter with the other hand.These behaviors would seem to provide better inde-pendent measures of hand preference.ACKNOWLEDGMENTSI thank Bill Hopkins for providing me the rawdata from his 2001 study, and L. Hammond forhelpful comments on the manuscript. My researchprogram has been supported by sustained fundingfrom the Natural Sciences and Engineering Re-search Council of Canada (operating grant A7245).LITERATURE CITEDHopkins WD. 1994. Hand preferences for bimanual feeding in 140captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): rearing and ontogeneticdeterminants. Dev Psychobiol 27:395–407.Hopkins WD. 1995. Hand preferences for a coordinated bimanualtask in 110 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): cross-sectional anal-ysis. J Comp Psychol 109:291–297.Hopkins WD, Fernandez-Carriba S, Wesley MJ, Hostetter A,Pilcher D, Poss S. 2001. The use of bouts and frequencies in theevaluation of hand preferences for a coordinated bimanual taskin chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): an empirical study compar-ing two different indices of laterality. J Comp Psychol 115:294–299.Hurlburt SH. 1984. Pseudoreplication and the design of ecologicalfield experiments. Ecol Monogr 54:187–211.Marchant LF, McGrew WC. 1996. Laterality of function in wildchimpanzees of Gombe National Park: comprehensive study ofspontaneous activities. J Hum Evol 30:427–443.McGrew WC, Marchant LF. 1997. On the other hand: currentissues in and meta-analysis of the behavioral laterality of handfunction in nonhuman primates. Yrbk Phys Anthropol 40:201–232.McGrew WC, Marchant LF. 2001. Ethological study of manuallaterality in the chimpanzees of the Mahale mountains, Tan-zania. Behaviour 138:329–358.Palmer AR. 2000. Quasireplication and the contract of error:lessons from sex ratios, heritabilities and fluctuating asymme-try. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 31:441–480.Palmer AR. 2002. Chimpanzee right-handedness reconsidered:evaluating the evidence with funnel plots. Am J Phys An-thropol 118:191–199.384A.R. PALMER

Hope the mods can clean this UP :D
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
Emperor said:
This is definitely odd - Steven Mithen is more of a stone tools guy but we'll see (I haven't agreed with much of his work to date so......):

January 30, 2005

High notes of the singing Neanderthals

NEANDERTHALS have been misunderstood. The early humanoids traditionally characterised as ape-like brutes were deeply emotional beings with high-pitched voices. They may even have sung to each other, writes Jonathan Leake.

..........
Source
www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 522#493522

A review of Mithen's book:

Music of the hemispheres

Steven Mithen's The Singing Neanderthals is an interesting but inconclusive examination of the evolution of our musical abilities, writes Peter Forbes

Saturday July 2, 2005
The Observer

The Singing Neanderthals
by Steven Mithen
240pp, Weidenfeld, £20

"Useless ... quite different from language ... a technology not an adaptation". This is Steven Pinker's view of the importance of music in human evolution. Needless to say, Steven Mithen takes the opposite view. For him, the proto-language, the communication system of pre-humans, was as much musical as linguistic, just as baby talk (important evidence for Mithen) is more musical than adult speech. At the moment, the evidence for a decision between these two views is inconclusive but Mithen builds his passionate case from recent work on the language of humans and apes and from the fossils of early man (Mithen is a professor of early prehistory at Reading).

Article continues
The crux of the relationship between language and music is the mystery of perfect pitch. This is the ability, possessed by only one in 10,000 of the adult population, to name any note they hear being played or to sing a named note on request. Although the incidence of perfect pitch is higher among musicians than in the general population, it is still rare even among them. The odd thing is that many more babies and small children than adults seem to have perfect pitch. As Mithen says, music has been oddly neglected in psychological studies, though one theory has it that we are all born with perfect pitch but lose it unless it is reinforced by music lessons between the ages of three and six. Why would we lose something so useful?

Because for most of us who are not to going to be musicians it isn't useful at all: it interferes with learning language. In learning language we have to recognise words from the stream of sound even though they come in different accents and pitches. Perfect pitch would be like a digital scanner that could only read letters presented in the correct typeface.

Sadly, there are cases, documented by Mithen, of severely autistic children with little or no language skills but supreme musical ability (musical savants). Perfect pitch is associated with their language difficulties. The contortions of perfect pitch show just how complex is the relationship between music and language. It has been known for a long time that many people with language difficulties can sing perfectly happily. In the mildest cases, stammerers can usually sing fluently. Some people who have lost their language through brain lesions retain their musical ability and vice versa. It was once thought crudely that language was a left-hemisphere phenomenon and music right, so that if the left hemisphere were damaged, the music function would be unimpaired. But it is more complicated than that. There is relative localisation; tunes are processed separately from language but the words of a song still have to be retrieved from the language word store. Nevertheless, the words of songs are usually easier to retrieve than those of tuneless poems.

Half of the book is concerned with the roots of music in our pre-human past and half with the evidence from neurophysiology and psychological experimentation on humans and primates. Much is still unprovable conjecture but there are some suggestive insights. One such is the connection between music and walking upright. Some seek the essence of music in pitch, melody, or harmony, but the first essential was surely a regular rhythm. Chimpanzees can't keep a regular beat but it's hard to imagine a human being who could stride in perfectly regular paces never discovering music that beats four to the bar.

So in love with the idea of early man's musicality is Mithen that he ends with a strange call to arms. "So listen to JS Bach's Prelude in C Major and think of australopithecines waking in their treetop nests ... with Miles Davis's Kind of Blue imagine them satiated with food and settling to sleep amid the security of the trees." Bach is conventionally cited to show how far we've come from our animal origins and Kind of Blue is the epitome of urban cool - seduction music rather than music to help a greasy tribe sleep off a gross feast. In the end, Mithen's quest to prove Pinker wrong has led him to an equally reductive attitude towards music.
http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/stor ... 23,00.html

Weird review - it doesn't actually say if it is any good or really actaully mention the Neaderthals. Weird.

No reviews at Amazon yet either:

www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/02976 ... ntmagaz-21
www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0297643 ... enantmc-20
 

MrRING

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
5,069
Reaction score
1,315
Points
234
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050706/ap_on_sc/neanderthal_genome
Neanderthal Genome May Be Reconstructed 2 hours, 8 minutes ago

FRANKFURT, Germany - German and U.S. scientists have launched a project to reconstruct the Neanderthal genome, the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology said Wednesday.

The project, which involves isolating genetic fragments from fossils of the prehistoric beings who originally inhabited Europe, is being carried out at the Leipzig-based institute. "The project is very new and is just at its beginning," said Sandra Jacob, a spokeswoman for the institute. U.S. geneticist Edward Rubin, from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., is also participating in the project.

In an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit, Rubin said the research would amount to more than just a spectacular display of science. "Firstly, we will learn a lot about the Neanderthals. Secondly, we will learn a lot about the uniqueness of human beings. And thirdly, it's simply cool," Rubin said. Neanderthals were replaced by modern humans in Europe only between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago.
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
6,109
Reaction score
1,111
Points
234
Oh its cool.

Cools as what happens while you sleep...
 

KeyserXSoze

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Messages
946
Reaction score
12
Points
49
Update
Redating of the latest Neandertals in Europe

By Neil Schoenherr

Jan. 5, 2006 — Two Neantertal fossils excavated from Vindija Cave in Croatia in 1998, believed to be the last surviving Neandertals, may be 3,000-4,000 years older than originally thought.

An international team of researchers involving Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Anthropology in Arts & Sciences; Tom Higham and Christopher Bronk Ramsey of the Oxford University radiocarbon laboratory; Ivor Karavanic of the University of Zagreb; and Fred Smith of Loyola University, has redated the two Neandertals from Vindija Cave, the results of which have been published in the Jan. 2-6 early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The resultant ages are between 32,000 and 33,000 years ago, and perhaps slightly older. In 1998, the fossils had been radiocarbon dated to 28,000-29,000 years ago.

Since that time, the increasing application of direct radiocarbon dating to late Neandertal and early modern human fossils in Europe has greatly altered perceptions of the chronological relationships between Neandertals and modern humans during the time that the latter spread westward across Europe.

In particular, it has shown that many of the purportedly early modern human fossils are much more recent, while confirming the early ages of important fossil samples in central and eastern Europe. This work has been combined recently with refinements in the sample purification techniques for the radiocarbon dating bone and teeth, to provide more accurate, and usually older, dates for important fossil specimens.

These new fossil ages still document a substantial chronological overlap between Neandertals and modern humans in Europe, but primarily the work highlights the currently tenuous nature of scenarios of modern human dispersals in Europe based on small numbers of direct radiocarbon dates, using various sample preparation protocols, on diagnostic human fossils in this time range.
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
6,109
Reaction score
1,111
Points
234
Whats a few thousand years between friends?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Haha! More 'traveling death orgy' evidence. (j/k) ;)


Neanderthal man floated into Europe, say Spanish researchers

Giles Tremlett in Madrid
Monday January 16, 2006
The Guardian

Spanish investigators believe they may have found proof that neanderthal man reached Europe from Africa not just via the Middle East but by sailing, swimming or floating across the Strait of Gibraltar.

Prehistoric remains of hunter-gatherer communities found at a site known as La Cabililla de Benzú, in the Spanish north African enclave of Ceuta, are remarkably similar to those found in southern Spain, investigators said. Stone tools at the site correspond to the middle palaeolithic period, when neanderthal man emerged, and resemble those found across Spain.

"This could break the paradigm of most investigators, who have refused to believe in any contact in the palaeolithic era between southern Europe and northern Africa," investigator José Ramos explained in the University of Cadiz's research journal.

Although the scientists have not yet reached definite conclusions, they say the evidence that neanderthal man mastered some primitive techniques for crossing the sea into Europe from the coast near Ceuta looks promising.

If the theory could be proved, and a two-pronged arrival of neanderthal man accepted, it would help solve some of the mysteries thrown up by prehistoric sites around Europe.

During the ice ages that affected much of Europe, the distance from Africa across the Strait of Gibraltar would have been much less than its current eight miles, the investigators from Cadiz University said. There was also evidence that small islands may have existed in the middle of the strait, which would have made travelling from one side to the other much easier.

Fauna and flora evidence from the same era suggested both sides of the Mediterranean were by no means isolated. A neanderthal ability to travel across small stretches of sea would help explain why the Iberian peninsula has older examples of human remains than, say, France.

Mr Ramos said: "If the only way of getting to Europe was via the Middle East then, theoretically, they should have got to France before reaching Spain."

Investigators from Atapuerca, a Spanish site where some of the continent's oldest human remains have been found, will travel to Ceuta to help investigate.

Well-adapted to the cold climate of palaeolithic Europe and western Asia, neanderthals appear to have been the dominant hominid in the region until the emergence of anatomically modern humans. The first neanderthal skull was found in Gibraltar in 1848, although the species was not recognised until a second discovery in a German quarry in 1856.

Neanderthals are also thought to have had their last stand in southern Spain around 30,000 years ago before being wiped out by the spread of homo sapiens.
http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,,1687478,00.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
Certainly an interesting development - the Gibraltar Straits are risky by raft but doable there just hasn't been any good evidence that there was much movement across between the two continents (or of Neanderthal sea faring elsewhere).
 

Anome

Bibliomancer
Joined
May 23, 2002
Messages
5,523
Reaction score
561
Points
194
Location
Left, and to the Back
There is a similar hypothesis with respect to Homo Erectus getting to Flores (and then subsequently evolving into the Hobbits). Neanderthals had larger, more complex brains than Erectus, so if Erectus could get across the dodgy straits to Flores (which is in the middle of a rather strong cross-current), then there's no reason that Neanderthals couldn't have crossed Gibraltar.

Of course, there's no evidence that Erectus did row/sail/swim to Flores (other than the fact that there was no obvious other way for them to get there), but it is beginning to look like sea-faring was developed earlier than we thought.

Or maybe they were still in their aquatic phase...
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,027
Points
284
Mighty_Emperor said:
Certainly an interesting development - the Gibraltar Straits are risky by raft but doable there just hasn't been any good evidence that there was much movement across between the two continents (or of Neanderthal sea faring elsewhere).
Rafts or canoes made of wood, or floats made of inflated animal skins, would all rot away in time, as would any sails or rigging, so we're hardly likely to find tangible evidence.

Look at the fuss made when the Mary Rose was recovered, or a handful of Viking vessels. These came from periods only a few hundred years ago, when we know there was considerable maritime activity, but such recovered wrecks are still rare.

What chance then of finding neolithic vessels, especially as their remains, even if left on the coast, would now, after thousands of years of rising sea levels, be well underwater?

So circumstantial evidence (like human reamins in Spain being older than those in France) may be all we have to go on for many years to come.
 

austen27

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
11
Points
69
Mighty_Emperor said:
Certainly an interesting development - the Gibraltar Straits are risky by raft but doable there just hasn't been any good evidence that there was much movement across between the two continents (or of Neanderthal sea faring elsewhere).
If the sea level was lower at the time then the straits could have been narrower, or had intermediate islands that are now submerged.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
rynner said:
Mighty_Emperor said:
Certainly an interesting development - the Gibraltar Straits are risky by raft but doable there just hasn't been any good evidence that there was much movement across between the two continents (or of Neanderthal sea faring elsewhere).
Rafts or canoes made of wood, or floats made of inflated animal skins, would all rot away in time, as would any sails or rigging, so we're hardly likely to find tangible evidence.

Look at the fuss made when the Mary Rose was recovered, or a handful of Viking vessels. These came from periods only a few hundred years ago, when we know there was considerable maritime activity, but such recovered wrecks are still rare.

What chance then of finding neolithic vessels, especially as their remains, even if left on the coast, would now, after thousands of years of rising sea levels, be well underwater?

So circumstantial evidence (like human reamins in Spain being older than those in France) may be all we have to go on for many years to come.
Well yes I wasn't really expecting boats but the North African and Spanish stone tools are very distinct and for long stretches in the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic don't share any similarities.

We also only find stone tools on islands that were connected to the mainland at low sea levels and other islands in the Med had endemic island fauna (a bit like Flores) and no evidence for any early hominid presence. Its been suggested that the first modern humans in Crete probably got there by walking.

It seems likely that the first occupation of Europe was only in southern areas - Italy, southern France and Spain but as the sites are so rare its difficult to work out which area was occupied first (theyw ere probably occupied within a short space of time) and as we have earlier hominids in Georgia they could just as easily have come from the east.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
Mon 10 Apr 2006

Neanderthals were not stupid, just a bit anti-social

IAN JOHNSTON SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT

"CRUDE, boorish and slow- witted" - even dictionaries give Neanderthals a hard time. But our prehistoric cousins were in reality just as smart as we are and did not die out as a result of a lack of brain power, according to a new archaeological study.

Until now, the leading theory of why the Neanderthals disappeared has been that a lack of intelligence meant they were less efficient hunters.

But a team of US archaeologists believe they met their evolutionary end because of a failure to maintain social links with other groups, unlike modern humans, who travelled widely, making the friends who would help them during hard times.

Working in the Caucasus region of modern-day Georgia, the scientists discovered evidence of highly skilled hunting behaviour by the Neanderthals that required an understanding of yearly animal migration patterns and the planning of traps to catch them.

But they also found there was a crucial difference between Neanderthals and homo sapiens. The Neanderthals tended to be anti-social, staying in small hunter-gatherer groups, while the sapiens were "routinely" travelling distances of 60 miles and meeting other groups.

This meant that if an area became hunted out or a more powerful rival took over, the Neanderthals had no-one to turn to while the modern humans did.

Dr Dan Adler, of Connecticut University, who led the study, which appeared in the journal Current Anthropology, said: "Any individual Neanderthal, I don't imagine, knew more than 20, 30 or 50 people. That's by virtue of the fact they didn't get around as much. Maybe they didn't want to. Modern humans seem to get around a lot. They were routinely covering distances of at least 100km.

"If you find yourself in an area where the resources just aren't there any more - it's a bad season or you have killed all the game - you need to move into another territory where other people are. If you don't know them the chances are they are not going to like that. Modern humans would have known these people."

Neanderthals seem to have had little interest in their appearance, compared to modern humans, a sign that group identity was not something they considered to be important.

"We have no indication that Neanderthals really paid much attention to who other people were and they didn't try to signal to other people who they were," Dr Adler said.

"Modern humans were obsessed with this. They were spending a lot of time and energy on how they looked. They cared more about how they looked and were more style conscious."

However, this lack of fashion sense should not reflect badly on their intelligence, Dr Adler said.

"It's fairly clear that Neanderthals were pretty smart. They could hunt just as well [as modern humans] and they had expert knowledge about the environment," he said.

"Put you and a Neanderthal in the woods and the latter would probably survive a lot longer.

"It's within the social realm where modern humans have an advantage. I think they knew more people and lived a richer life in terms of cultural contact than the Neanderthals did. But they were both smart."
http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=546482006
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,027
Points
284
Neanderthals seem to have had little interest in their appearance, compared to modern humans, a sign that group identity was not something they considered to be important.

"We have no indication that Neanderthals really paid much attention to who other people were and they didn't try to signal to other people who they were," Dr Adler said.

"Modern humans were obsessed with this. They were spending a lot of time and energy on how they looked. They cared more about how they looked and were more style conscious."
WTF?

Where is the evidence for this?

Given that the only evidence from those times consists of a few bones, burials, and perhaps cave paintings, how can we know how big the social groups were, or how far they travelled?

A theory out of thin air, this seems to me.
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
6,109
Reaction score
1,111
Points
234
Theres a big difference between a Neanderthals and our bodies.

Not only were the more cold adapted, their legs were more suited to random movement

Modern humans are designed to walk long distances.

Neanderthals couldnt do that easily. Their femurs are formed rather differently.

They must have lived in small, rather isolated groups prone to inbreeding and probably diesease.

(think of what invarably happens when a modern isolated tribe meets strangers; in worse cases (such as the Dorset Island people) they could be wiped out., in better cases (say the Fuegians) 3/4 could die.)

And with less contacts they would have been less concerned about display of group idenity
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,027
Points
284
Kondoru said:
They must have lived in small, rather isolated groups prone to inbreeding and probably diesease.
Must they?

Where's the proof (or, failing proof, evidence) for this statement?

A few old bones don't tell us much about behaviour, without a lot of extrapolation.
 

PeniG

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
2,396
Reaction score
231
Points
94
I suggest we read the actual report, if we can, before we start criticizing the work. The article His Excellency so helpfully posted highlights the chief archeolgist's conclusions without showing his evidence or his reasoning, and as usual overstates the unanimity with which Neanderthals have hitherto been considered to have died due to inferior hunting skill. This isn't the first time I've seen social factors suggested as the crucial difference between Neanderthals and Sapienses. I've also seen "too cold-specialized" suggested. And need I point out to this erudite bunch that the emphasis on Neanderthal vs. Sapiens is Eurocentric as heck? They don't have to have been inferior and we don't have to have been superior. We got lucky during the Ice Age; no other homo species did.

One thing we can be sure of is, that whatever data are being used here, at least two other interpretations are possible. If I were a gambler I'd bet on both of them being minority opinions in this guy's own team, unless he's one of those charismatic types who hypnotizes people into seeing things his way. Since he's drawing conclusions about behavior, that most biodegradable stuff, based on preserved physical remains, no matter how certain he's quoted as being (and remember that may be the journalist overstating rather than the scientists), they are necessarily tentative and open to debate. For example:

I anticipate that his contention that Neanderthals were not interested in their personal appearance, whereas Sapienses were obsessed with it, is based on a dearth of physical findings like bone beads obviously intended for a decorative purpose and combs obviously intended for grooming. For all we can tell from the record as I know it, however, Neanderthals may have groomed obsessively with highly-biodegradable, disposable items such as evergreen cones and chewed twigs or even specialized soft tissue like the rough tongue of a cat. (Unlikely, but hey - their noses and sinuses were radically different from ours.) Their clothes might have been masterpieces of fringe, contrasting furs in startling patterns, and sinew embroidery. They might have invented the fancy hairdo. In the absence of Neanderthal bog bodies, these will remain logical possibilities. Given the variability of behavior in the surviving human species, even finding undecorated bog bodies wouldn't completely wipe out the logical possibility.

Nor do we know why any individual homo sapiens was decorating him/herself. The spontaneous tendency of modern homo sapiens to distinguish cultural groups and professional functions by signals such as hairstyle, color choice, specialized equipment, etc., provides a plausible explanation for many features of the archeological record, and is a reasonable assumption. However, the fluidity of identity is also visible today in Japanese businessmen in European-style suits, Westerners wearing anime t-shirts, and Texans going to work in dress boots, slacks, shirt, tie, and cowboy hat or gimme cap. (Yes ma'am, there are offices where that outfit makes perfect sense. I've worked in more of those than in jacket-and-tie venues.) I suspect that the use of decoration to signal group identity grew out of the use of superadequate adornment to signal sexual status, a behavior we share with other animals, most of whom have seasonal "courting togs" they don naturally.

There's a level at which all archeology is storymaking. A really good archeologist is one whose stories are based firmly on real data and have predictive force concerning the discovery of new data. Before you can know how good a story is, you have to see the source material.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
rynner said:
Kondoru said:
They must have lived in small, rather isolated groups prone to inbreeding and probably diesease.
Must they?

Where's the proof (or, failing proof, evidence) for this statement?

A few old bones don't tell us much about behaviour, without a lot of extrapolation.
We can find out quite a lot from some stones and bones.

We know modern humans were much more mobile and travelled much further distances than Neadnerthals. Its seen in:

1. Femoral neck shaft angles.

2. Objects traded over long distances - stone, shells and in the middle parts of the Upper Palaeolithic art objects like the Gravettian Venuses which show consistency from France to the Urals.

I'm not sure we can go as far as that this would mean Neanderthals were more prone to inbreeding and disease though - even if they had a smaller range they could have easilt exchanged genes with other local groups and on and on. You'd need to have geographical restrictions (like the endism we see at Flores) to have any big impact on a successful species like the Neaderthals.

-----------
The study quoted above seems consistent with that - I think Dr Adler is pushing things a little far presumably based on an understanding of other people's data (rather than anything he has specifically worked on) and it is rather a poor reading. Ochre and beads are found at Neanderthal sites - it seems likely there are more economic reasons why such things aren't as widespread as they become from the middle parts of the Upper Palaeolithic (30,000 years on).
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
There really is nothing in that paper to support what Adler is quoted as saying in the news report. I can only assume it was an off the cuff remark that has been picked up and expanded on.

The paper is a very detailled archaeozoological and archaeological study of one cave looking at the changes from the Middle to Upper Palaeoltihic.

Daniel S. Adler, Guy Bar-Oz, Anna Belfer-Cohen, and Ofer Bar-Yosef (2006) Ahead of the Game: Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Hunting Behaviors in the Southern Caucasus. Current Anthropology. 47 (1). 89 - 117.

Over the past several decades a variety of models have been proposed to explain perceived behavioral and cognitive differences between Neanderthals and modern humans. A key element in many of these models and one often used as a proxy for behavioral "modernity" is the frequency and nature of hunting among Palaeolithic populations. Here new archaeological data from Ortvale Klde, a late Middle–early Upper Palaeolithic rockshelter in the Georgian Republic, are considered, and zooarchaeological methods are applied to the study of faunal acquisition patterns to test whether they changed significantly from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic. The analyses demonstrate that Neanderthals and modern humans practiced largely identical hunting tactics and that the two populations were equally and independently capable of acquiring and exploiting critical biogeographical information pertaining to resource availability and animal behavior. Like lithic techno-typological traditions, hunting behaviors are poor proxies for major behavioral differences between Neanderthals and modern humans, a conclusion that has important implications for debates surrounding the Middle–Upper Palaeolithic transition and what features constitute "modern" behavior. The proposition is advanced that developments in the social realm of Upper Palaeolithic societies allowed the replacement of Neanderthals in the Caucasus with little temporal or spatial overlap and that this process was widespread beyond traditional topographic and biogeographical barriers to Neanderthal mobility.
The closest they get is with a rather speculative closing paragraph trying to apply their findings to a wider context:

These data suggest that modern humans
were able to penetrate the Caucasus Mountains, the biogeographical
barrier that Neanderthals were apparently loath
to cross with any degree of regularity (see Adler 2002; Golovanova
and Doronichev 2003). Therefore we hypothesize that
it is the development and maintenance of larger social networks,
rather than technological innovations or increased hunting
prowess, that distinguish modern humans from Neanderthals
in the southern Caucasus. This dramatic shift, referred to by
Gamble (1999) as the “release from proximity,” opened up a
much larger world to modern humans than that enjoyed by
their Neanderthal contemporaries, and we suggest that this
development in the social realm of hominin behavior, perhaps
instigated by more complex oral and non-oral forms of symbolic
communication (see Wynn and Coolidge 2004), was a
key adaptation that allowed modern human populations to
expand and prosper at the ultimate expense of the Neanderthals.
While this is by no means a simple hypothesis to test
and it is one whose underlying assumptions will evolve over
time, palaeoanthropologists should not shy away from considering
old questions from new angles. Thus we encourage scholars
to join us in conducting more field- and laboratory-based
research that considers regionally contextualized archaeological
data through an interpretive lens as sensitive to issues concerning
the social relationships of extinct hominins as it is to
materialist or economic ones.
Both Ofer Bar-Yosef and Anna Belfer-Cohen have done a lot of work on evidence for early cognition and they tend to favour a long timescale for "modern" human cognition. The findings tend to support the idea that social networks expanded but there is plenty of evidence for that already.

CA allows comments and there are a lot of interesting ones there,
 

PeniG

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
2,396
Reaction score
231
Points
94
Thanks very much Emps! I'll have to make time to go read that intelligently (much too tired and stupid tonight - a stressful day full of plumbers!) during the upcoming week. Based on the bits you quoted, I suspect that the remarks in the article were made in an attempt to try to explain to the journalist why the analysis of comparative hunting methods mattered, which segued uncontrollably into discussion of his mental synthesis of the available data - the story which seems to him most plausible and which he is most interested in testing.

Well, that's my synthesis of the data before me, anyway.
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
Well that sounds a lot better than "I think he was talking out of his arse and the nasty journos spotted cheap copy and ran with that aspect" ;)

Its an interesting paper but awfully technical (its really faunal and lithic analysis from one cave in Georgia) and, as you suggest, he was dumbing it down a bit and thing got away from him.

Its interesting as, lthough the discussion areas do verge on the "hmmmmm I think you use of such comparative samples may be flawed" there are a lot of comments that agree that a more social approach is needed to the question of Neanderthal extinction rather than looking at their being subnormal (or even anti-social ;) ).
 

kiev85

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
Points
37
Sorry for dragging up all these old posts....


Archaeological evidence exists showing that at one point, 3 or mayby even 4 different species of hominids lived at the same time...

Ultimately they would have came into contact with each other, but would they have fought/bred/ignored each other...

In the case of Neanderthals in Europe...i belive most evidence points to a widespread loose community.

I belive the lack of ability to distribute and organise activities throughout the Neanderthal groups was their downfall...

The lack of sexual diamorphism in them "suggests" that everyone hunted...(this backed up by their SINGLE tool technique "Mousterian"...nobody had time to sit down and vary the tools or look for new ways to produce them or refine them) unlike Homo Sapiens clear sexual diamorphism

This refinement in tools is seen however in the Homo sapiens...(living in the same area/climate) how could they sit down and make these when hunting took up most of the time..??

Times where bad with the fluctuating climate, could it be that neanderthals just couldnt compete...

Could it be that "equal oportunities" was the downfall the Neanderthals...
Nobody to look after the young process food, shelter etc...

or am i just blethering...
apologies
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
This might be relevant to that:

Neanderthals and Humans: Perhaps They Never Met

By Robin Lloyd
Special to LiveScience
posted: 08 May 2006
12:33 am ET


The number of years that modern humans are thought to have overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe is shrinking fast, and some scientists now say that figure could drop to zero.

Neanderthals lived in Europe and western Asia from 230,000 to 29,000 years ago, petering out soon after the arrival of modern humans from Africa.

There is much debate on exactly how Neanderthals went extinct. Theories include climate change and inferior tools compared to those made by modern humans. Anthropologists also disagree on whether modern humans and Neanderthals are the same species and interbred.

And now, some scientists dispute whether they lived side-by-side at all in Europe.


Zero overlap?

The overlap figure shrank in February with new research by Paul Mellars of Cambridge University based on improved carbon-14 dating to show that modern humans started encroaching from Israel upon Neanderthal territory in the Balkans 3,000 years sooner than previously thought. This rate suggests Neanderthals succumbed sooner to big climate shifts or competition from modern humans for resources and that they might have overlapped for only 1,000 years at sites in western France.

Try zero years, says anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

There is no longer any biological evidence of overlap between Neanderthals and non-Neanderthals in Europe, Hawks wrote recently in his blog. Many anthropologists are aware of this but "would like to sweep it under a rug," Hawks told LiveScience.

Lack of fossils

While a blog is not the traditional place where scientific advances are first published, Hawks is not alone in questioning conventional wisdom on this point.

William Davies, of the Center for Human Origins at the University of Southampton, recently told The Associated Press that he thinks the "dates we have relating to interaction (of Neanderthals with modern humans in Europe) will keep getting shorter."

Anthropologists ideally rely on a combination of fossil and archaeological evidence to piece together how populations of early and modern humans evolved and dispersed globally. For one key culture though, called the early Aurignacian, there are no fossils, just sophisticated jewelry and stone and bone tools that many claim could only be made by modern humans with their advanced technologies relative to Neanderthals.

A number of scientists recently have agreed that the carbon-14 dates on numerous fossils of modern humans should be shifted 2,000 to 7,000 years earlier. The recent Mellars research is one example of this work.

'Big hole'

The trouble is that this trend leaves "a great big hole" in the fossil record when it comes to the early Aurignacian, Hawks said. The only group in Europe at the right time and place to have made the jewelry and tools attributed to early Aurignacian culture is the Neanderthals, he said.

So even if Neanderthals failed to outlast modern humans, we might have to give them more credit for their handiness with tools.

Most likely, the later Aurignacian "was made by a population with genetic input from both Neandertals and modern humans from outside Europe, because the skeletal remains of later Aurignacian people have the features of both groups," Hawks says. "I would predict that the early Aurignacian people were actually more Neanderthal-like. Until we have skeletal remains, we won't know."
www.livescience.com/othernews/060508_hu ... ution.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,433
Reaction score
139
Points
129
Neanderthal yields nuclear DNA

The first sequences of nuclear DNA to be taken from a Neanderthal have been reported at a US science meeting.

Geneticist Svante Paabo and his team say they isolated the long segments of genetic material from a 45,000-year-old Neanderthal fossil from Croatia.

The work should reveal how closely related the Neanderthal species was to modern humans, Homo sapiens .

Details were presented at a conference at New York's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and reported by [email protected]

It is a significant advance on previous research that has extracted mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from Neanderthal ( Homo neanderthalensis ) specimens.

This genetic material is contained in structures that power cells; and although the information it holds is very useful, it is more limited in scope than the DNA bundled up at the cell's centre.

This nuclear DNA is what really drives an organism's biochemistry.

Divergent code

So far, Paabo and colleagues have managed to sequence around a million base-pairs, which comprises 0.03% of the Neanderthal's entire DNA "catalogue", or genome. Base-pairs are the simplest bonded chemical units which hold together the DNA double helix.

The genetic material comes from a 45,000-year-old male Neanderthal specimen found in Vindija Cave outside Zagreb, the [email protected] website reports.


DNA IN HUMAN CELLS

The double-stranded DNA molecule is held together by chemical components called bases
Adenine (A) bonds with thymine (T); cytosine (C) bonds with guanine (G)
These "letters" form the "code of life". There are estimated to be about 2.9 billion base-pairs in the human genome wound into 24 distinct bundles, or chromosomes
Written in the DNA are 20-25,000 genes, which human cells use as starting templates to make proteins. These sophisticated molecules build and maintain our bodies
Preliminary analysis shows the bundle of DNA responsible for maleness in the Neanderthal - its Y chromosome - is very different from modern human and chimpanzee Y chromosomes; more so than for the other chromosomes in the genome.

This might suggest that little interbreeding occurred between our own species and the Neanderthals.

Usually, DNA must be cloned in bacteria to produce large enough amounts to study. But Professor Paabo, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and his team have used a novel sequencing method to decode the genetic material. This involves using tiny wells to directly sequence DNA fragments in an emulsion.

However, the researcher is also working to extract and read Neanderthal DNA by the traditional method. About 75,000 base-pairs have been sequenced this way so far. They show that Neanderthals diverged from the evolutionary line that led to modern humans about 315,000 years ago.

Neanderthals lived across Europe and parts of west and central Asia from approximately 230,000 to 29,000 years ago. It is unclear what factors led to their demise, but climate change and competition from modern humans may have played a role.

-------------
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/s ... 986668.stm

Published: 2006/05/16 15:24:06 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 

crunchy5

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,754
Reaction score
9
Points
54
Excellent find, I was genuinely excited reading it. 8) :D
 

ProfessorF

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 9, 2005
Messages
323
Reaction score
3
Points
34
And I was just coming to post that! :lol:
 
Top