Neanderthal news

Straight from the BBC news desk this morning.

‘Neanderthal tools’ found at dig 
Christine McGourty
BBC science correspondent 

Dozens of tools thought to have belonged to Neanderthals have been dug up at an archaeological site called Beedings in West Sussex.

Dr Matthew Pope, of University College London, said the discovery provides new insights into the life of a thriving community of hunters at the site.

The tools could have been used to hunt horses, mammoth and woolly rhinoceros.

The archaeologists, funded by English Heritage, have been carrying out their investigations over the last few weeks.

It is the first modern scientific investigation of the site since it was discovered in 1900.

“It’s exciting to think that there’s a real possibility these were left by some of the last Neanderthal hunting groups to occupy northern Europe,” said Dr Pope.

“The impression they give is of a population in complete command of both landscape and natural raw materials with a flourishing technology – not a people on the edge of extinction.”

Their remains sit at a key watershed in the evolutionary history of northern Europe

Barney Sloane, English Heritage 

When the site was first discovered at the start of the 20th Century, there were 2,300 stone tools found when the foundations were being dug for a huge new house to be built there.

But for many years, the tools were considered to be fakes. All but a few hundred of them were thrown down a well and never seen again.

The tools were only recently recognised to be of international importance, following research by Roger Jacobi of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project.

Dr Matthew Pope says flint tools were used in very sophisticated ways.He showed last year that the Beedings material showed strong resemblances with other tools from northern Europe dating to between 35,000 and 42,000 years old.

The latest finds now provides definitively that the original discovery was genuine, according to Dr Pope.

“There were some questions about the validity of the earlier find, but our excavations have proved beyond doubt that the material discovered here was genuine and originated from fissures within the local sandstone.”

He said Neanderthal hunters were drawn to the hill over a long period of time, presumably for excellent views of the game herds grazing on the surrounding plains.

 His team now hope to look for more sites with similar systems of fissures across other parts of south-east England.

Barney Sloane, Head of Historic Environment Commissions at English Heritage said such sites were were a rare and valuable archaeological resource.

“Their remains sit at a key watershed in the evolutionary history of northern Europe. The tools at Beedings could equally be the signature of pioneer populations of modern humans, or traces of the last Neanderthal hunting groups to occupy the region.

This study offers a rare chance to answer some crucial questions about just how technologically advanced Neanderthals were, and how they compare with our own species. “

I watched Dr Pope on TV this morning, explaining how the tools were much more finely made than older Neanderthal tools, and how this meant they probably didn’t have much difference in brain power to modern humans.

As we dig up more, Neanderthals look less and less like brutish ape-men, and more like a different racial group of humans (the ‘all out of Africa’ theory has been shown to be impossible by several DNA studies). The latest reconstructions you see, like this Neanderthal child from Gibraltar, look more like modern humans with each re-modelling. Add to that that we know a lot of them had red hair…. I think the argument for them just being another version of human gets stronger.

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11 responses to “Neanderthal news

  1. The scientific knowledge presently being passed down from the Worlds most prestigious institutions is naught but the suppositions of the Powers That Be, in those institutions.
    Freedom of expression, serious debate, and the right of descent, are not longer tolerated in the cult-like pedantic class rooms, which teach Earth History, evolution, and especially the decent of man.
    I can predict; that the Professors, which have promoted the “Out of Africa Theory”, will manage to find indisputable proof in their DNA studies, that they have been right all along. Study history: Egos never succumb to logic.
    We may not carry their genes now; but the Neanderthal is what endowed modern man with the wonder, the curiosity, the desire to improve, and the will to create.
    This is not to mean that the Neanderthal was superior to his cousin, recently out of Africa. The superior intellect sprang from the cross, and there may have been a half a dozen sadly inferior hybrid babies born, for every lucky, gifted child. But the gifted children endured, and their special gifts spread throughout humanity.
    DNA indicates that the Grey wolf is the sole progenitor of the dog. Dogs are in fact, undoubtedly related to both the dhole and African Hunting Dog. The dingo, and several other wild dogs, when isolated, reverted to the dhole form. The fox hound not only carries itself like an African Hunting Dog, but some of them sound exactly like an African Hunting Dog when pursuing game.
    In a nut shell, you may carry many traits of the Neanderthal, without carrying any of his genes.

  2. There are some things that puzzles me…..

    If we did cross breed with Neanderthals, then arent we substantially different from Africans?

  3. “The scientific knowledge presently being passed down from the Worlds most prestigious institutions is naught but the suppositions of the Powers That Be, in those institutions.”

    Where is your evidence for this claim? You are suggesting that a global conspiracy exists to dictate to the people researching in those fields the “facts” they should find? Preposterous. How, then, if these institutions are crippled by outdated oafs that are married to old ideas for no good reason, are those very same institutions continuing to make brilliant discoveries, build amazing technology, and develop medicines that combat the world’s most horrible diseases? Why, because they use deductive logic to address our problems, not assumptions.

    Is someone upset that his baseless radical assumptions are not accepted by the scientific community without evidence, and is thus blaming the peer-review process and the institutions that guard the integrity of that process? How shameful, and arrogant, of you.

    “Freedom of expression, serious debate, and the right of descent, are not longer tolerated in the cult-like pedantic class rooms, which teach Earth History, evolution, and especially the decent of man.”

    Of what classrooms do you speak? I have graduated University, and took physical anthropology classes, and the professors nurtured discussions, promoted free-thought, and welcomed those who disagreed with anything to let their voices be heard. All of my classes were full of different ideas, and I never once, in my entire education, had a professor try to thrust his own untested beliefs on the class. If you have a problem with people learning about the history of the earth and evolution, and all of the sciences, perhaps you should start your own school. Call it the school of what Grandpa Nate Thinks, No Evidence Needed, and see how many worthwhile young scientists you crank out.

    You have a right to free speech, but not a right to make up your own facts. Ideas have to go through a peer-review process and be constantly examined and re-examined for validity. Otherwise they are just assertions.

    “I can predict; that the Professors, which have promoted the “Out of Africa Theory”, will manage to find indisputable proof in their DNA studies, that they have been right all along.”

    People may lie, but DNA doesn’t lie.

    “We may not carry their genes now; but the Neanderthal is what endowed modern man with the wonder, the curiosity, the desire to improve, and the will to create.”

    I don’t even see what your hypothesis is, and all evidence indicates to the contrary, that archaic humans were more imaginative than neanderthals and that might have been one of their greatest advantages over them.

    “This is not to mean that the Neanderthal was superior to his cousin, recently out of Africa. The superior intellect sprang from the cross, and there may have been a half a dozen sadly inferior hybrid babies born, for every lucky, gifted child. But the gifted children endured, and their special gifts spread throughout humanity.”

    If hybrids were possible, it is almost certain that they existed. But what leads you to believe they were “gifted”? They were just hybrids. Perhaps a lucky rare few might have inherited the human imagination and the neanderthal toughness, best of both worlds so-to-speak, but that’s just speculation. More baseless assumptions.

    “Dogs are in fact, undoubtedly related to both the dhole and African Hunting Dog. ”

    Close relatives often share similar characteristics inherited from common ancestors. I’m not sure what your point is here.

    “The dingo, and several other wild dogs, when isolated, reverted to the dhole form.”

    Certain environments favor certain forms with regard to dog evolution, and which traits are triggered. I’m still looking for your point.

    “The fox hound not only carries itself like an African Hunting Dog, but some of them sound exactly like an African Hunting Dog when pursuing game.”

    Oh, please. Refer to what I said above. Critters with recent common ancestors can share similar characteristics they inherited from previous generations (Example: all varieties of cat have stalking in their ancestry). If you are suggesting that hybrid species of the family Canis somehow taught others how to walk or how to mimic their sound, you’re off your rocker.

    Surely, Neanderthals and humans had an effect on one another. But we don’t know what their relationship was like, and how they influenced one another. It’s possible that some neanderthals and humans were able to communicate with one another, perhaps even share knowledge. Perhaps we drove them into extinction. The picture isn’t entirely understood. But the idea that hybrids glistened like brilliant golden children and showed humans the way is nothing but a romantic fantasy from your imagination. Write a fiction short story about it, it’s a keen idea for a story, but don’t mistake it for fact.

    Neanderthals were still remarkable people, and perhaps as sentient as you and I.

    “If we did cross breed with Neanderthals, then arent we substantially different from Africans?”

    Well, we know that cross-breeding did not produce viable offspring. At best, it produced sterile hybrids. Using genetics, fossils, and geologic evidence, human origins can be traced back to a small population of archaic humans that lived in Africa. Neanderthals were not our ancestors, but our “cousins”. Our ancestors were Homo Ergaster.

  4. Robbin Johnston

    Are we, modern man, related to the Neanderthal? If one considers the genome study that will be completed soon, my sense is that for some the answer is “yes.” If contemporary humans share 99.5 percent of their entire genetic complement with Neanderthals, then there can be little doubt that populations of present-day men and women are descendant or carry the genes of the Neanderthal. The notion that Neanderthals and non-Neanderthals did not meet, intermingle, have intercourse and produce offspring is absurd. Sex is a normal and natural part of human behavior. Sex, and the corporeal consequences of sex, causes our collective gene pools to ripple and expand. “Sorry, Dad; your daughter just went out on a date with a guy you hate.” How long have scenarios such as this played out? Since Day One. It’s like evaluating political candidates; we hate some, we like some and we simply have no opinion about others. In the long run, though, someone gets elected.
    Some scientists should sit down and remember that differences in morphology do not always suggest separation. It’s more like a gradation. If one looks toward European genes for blue, green or hazel eyes, blond, red or auburn hair and fair skin, these mutations probably did not occur within the last 10,000 years. What was the selective advantage for these mutations once the Ice Age ended? Not enough sunlight, poor diet, sporadic trade and little interaction with other groups? Hardly. One must study the prehistory and history of Europe. People moved around, migrated and forged relationships with other people. The mutations reflective of skin, hair and eye color probably represent older Neanderthal genes not just the repeated set of conditions that created again those traits.. Traits such as these are most dominant in the parts of the world where the ancestors of living Europeans migrated. So what’s the big secret? A large part of the secret deals with race. Since the end of the Second World War, many people have lost interest in distinct cultures and have, instead, embraced a different set of ideals that encourage unity, integration and assimilation. One way that Anthropology encouraged this way of thinking was to bolster the “out of Africa” mindset. Their’s was a generation of inclusiveness and, based on the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, who could blame them? As an anthropologist, I know that this is some of what is taught and reinforced. Yes, there are cultural differences, but these differences are learned – “learned” is the key word. We often think that everything we do is culturally related. Try telling a Nez Perce Indian that everything he or she does is based on solely on what they have learned as a cultural group or as an individual – they’d laugh you right off the bus! No their behavior as a an individual would be not to say anything..but they would think it. The ways in which a tribal member chooses to think and problem-solve – in an effort to “fit in” – are coping mechanisms. They will, however, operate in very different and unique ways within their closer more fimilar personal circles. It is my contention that a Nez Perce Indian’s ability and desire to internalize and “customize” a set of behaviors stems from something inherent, an emotional compass that is present in them when they are born. Culture has little to do with it.
    I know exactly what you’re thinking right now. You’re convinced that every living thing on this planet, excluding humans, responds to their environment based on their genes. Humans are different; we have culture, a set of relationships, perhaps between you and your friends and bolstered by shared environment that influences how you choose to manipulate, change or maintain some sense of control over your environment or live within it. Humans’ perceptions of society and our interest in and access to it helps us maintain a particular lifestyle in varying ways. While culture may be based on a set of conditions that are dependent on how we, as members of a society and as individuals, choose to live our lives, our behaviors may actually be the result of something deeper, an form of expression that we simply express in an abstract way referred to as “culture.”
    As backward as this seems, it, in some ways, points to who we are, not what we are. All humans are not alike, and there is no question that people see and respond to the world differently, regardless of the books or volumes of information made available to them. As an anthropologist, I assure you that humans are every bit as dissimilar and disparate as we are connected. Granted, we all share some common bonds, but we may also share genes that other people do not carry. Where does our phenotypic diversity come from? If our differences are created by our environments, then who’s to say that this has no bearing on how people think? People are uncomfortable with having to grapple with the idea of racial or cultural distinctions. To define someone as good or evil, enlightened or ignorant, etc., based on how they problem-solve creates divisions that do not appear to be useful or well-deserved. The fact that these perceptions occur at all, however, my be very useful. There is a purpose for this conjecture. While it is acceptable to paint an individual in a certain way, it’s considered bad form to paint an entire group of people or culture with the same brush. But just because someone is saying or doing the right thing, or behaving in an appropriate and politically correct manner, it doesn’t mean that they’re thinking along the same lines. In the broader context, if we look at culture as something learned, then we must also deem culture meaningless because it is learned and is not an innate part of a person’s consciousness. Humans have no identity; only a mask which can be put on, taken off or replaced by something different as needed or at the whim of the wearer. If this is the case, then who are we? People do not fight for a mask or alter ego – they fight for what excites and incites them intrinsically. If elements of culture really are abstract expressions of the ways in which people think, then our attempts to identify and define what makes humans tick can be accomplished by understanding our genes. Perhaps culture is not the driver of the car, but is, instead, the passenger; the figurative chauffer is our genetic makeup. That said; I contend that our personalities are more the product of nature than of nurturing. In my opinion, part of Neanderthal man exists in some of use and some of us are more of he.

  5. …how exciting, where is that well they threw
    neanders tools? silly twits. first the cave floor
    portraits, now this.
    i remember michael oliphant, a graduate
    student then, 1967 living above me on 344 putnam in cambridge, telling me i must read robert graves’s the white goddess.
    dutifully done many years later, i also
    tore through his mythologys, expecially
    where he says chronus was the youngest
    titan(gk)/titlani(N)=messenger, father
    of zeus, and that zeus, possibly a hybrid,
    drove his father to an isle in the west,
    one of the british isles. L. dudley stamp’s,
    britain’s structure and scenery, shows
    why they chose england, superb flint
    deposits for their tecpatl(N/18booktones).
    the record of neander’s promethean
    association with the isles is embedded
    in the nauatl language, slice through the
    old english roots and you will have some
    of the oldest words in language, neander’s
    language, e.g., all the (n)endings=nauatl/4,
    and they form the basis of all other language
    on the planet, e.g., owl=ol(OE)=ollin(N)=
    holy, or, w(r)en=wrenna(OE)=uena(N/
    the old form of uentli/offering, nouns
    formed last, after 42k bc), uena(N)=
    big/ue 4/na, the wind, who was a deer=
    deor(OE)=teotl(N)=theother(E/2wds)=
    teo/theo/deo, or, robin(the national bird)=
    r/t o p/bin(letra)= in toptli(N)=the idol,
    i suppose because of the red on his breast
    referring to sacrifice required by idols,
    their need to be wrapped in blood as the
    signature of offering/uentli/when.
    the word toptli goes on to thorp/throp(OE)=
    hamlet, and hamlet from, tamati tletl(N)=
    tamed(ruled)fire, lit, tame red, t/th/ham
    t/lred/t/l(letra).
    anyone who has every investigated myth knows, as tolkkien knew, that myth is based
    in fact. the scientific hubris is philistine in
    that it will not believe unless it mints coin.
    and it is wrong the more inversely it claims
    to be right because number are not words,
    but words are spirit, unlocking them with
    letra puts us back into neander’s brain,
    his metaphors, how he viewed his universe.
    take ivory/ivery/ iv/uel/ry(letra)=
    iueli(N)=powerful, the word bear/ iv/ber/li
    (letra) comes from, also, hiver(Fr)/iberia/
    hibernia/hibernate/i(n)v(i)erno(sp/
    i(n)ver(ness), etc. so ivory is powerful.
    why? it comes from oliphant/elephant/
    ollin pantli(N)=the holy flag, now, panther
    is flag also, panth/t/tli(N), but it’s his tail
    not his toothy trunk. the most interesting
    word for ivory=ma(r)fil(sp)=mapilli(N)=
    child of the hand, the thumb. here we have
    a mix of hand/tooth in the word, tlantli(N)=
    tl/t/th/hand/t/tli(letra). from the wear on
    neander’s inside incisors, we know he used
    his teeth/the third hand for the firedrill
    bellows that became the flute shortly after
    he mastered the firedrill, e.g., bearbone
    flute 50k bc. take the word, fire=xilé(N)=
    sillín(sp)=little seat/silla(sp), root of fill
    and file and xylo-(gk/pfx/wood)/silva(Lat)/
    selva(sp), why, it’s the first piece of furniture
    used at the fire, the stool/(s)to(o)l(letra)=
    toloa(N)=to bow the head, tolerate.
    how long, dear tea/thea/dea will it take
    for the nut and bolter of science to find
    his soul/saol(OE)/ s/tza(ua)ol(lin)(letra)=
    tzaollin(N)=the holy sawing/sewing of language,
    which is the voice of eternity/(e)te(r)nity(letra)=
    tenitl(N)=the lip. rodeo= r/t o teo/deo(letra)=
    toteotl(N)=our/to-teo/god, the fallen angel
    (book of enoch, found with the dead sea scrolls),
    who else but a kindred yet nobler spirit would
    take born losers like us under his wing, look at the record, real gods shun us, only one of our own would own up to us and tolerate our monkey ways, look what we have done to ourselves and our planet, the blue planet,
    we mock creation, and why, because our god
    is the cutting/cut/ c/gutting edge of necessity=
    monequi(N)/money. no falser idol than that,
    and the reason our selections, elections, and
    intellects don’t rise by more than 10%, if that.

  6. carlos lascoutx

    …you really are superb, matilda, and your
    blog site also. i had an english acquaintance
    here who opened up casa lima, a bed and
    breakfast, we got to talking and ascertained
    that we had both been in turkey at the same
    time, she collecting blood samples of the
    oldest living turkish people she could find
    to discovery the secret of their longevity,
    while i was at sinope copying boring russian
    tank traffic from what used to be the turkish
    crimea, ho hum, but the answer to longevity
    was, a monotonous diet, so there, all you
    bustards up the food chain, may you fall
    out of your trees, while the sturdy monovores
    you looked down on munch their oats
    and step over your bodys. a long life to
    you and yours, best, carlos.

  7. …what my noble neander/neandra a cannibal?
    there must be some mistake, someone please tell
    me their airlingus crashed in the andes and were
    forced to eat their parachutes, and only as an
    afterthought did they nibble on what happened to be attached to it, only to be polite, mind you.
    if shovel arqeology continues to run a red light
    in this regard, they will get a ticket.

  8. …well, i think neander proves you don’t have
    to be related to someone to be influenced by them, given the status of the world at this moment and every moment since we arrived
    on stage, i’d say remedial psychology even
    psychiatry is in order, not on papa nate but
    on the braying voice of scientific proof which
    has proven too heavy a shield for our spirit to bear or manage.
    i have had enough of the song
    of science, it seems to be some sort of fascist
    anthem which requires a forced solution for
    its believers and the complete dissolution of
    those poor wretches, the skeptics, who argue
    for the intangible on the basis the world
    is not about what one sees but what one hears,
    what one cannot see, what one senses, how one
    sings, for it is the singer of science that is of
    concern here, not the song of science which
    i will argue is useful, not all powerful, a vehicle
    like all others for the spirit of man. what has happened to us in the shining temple of science,
    have we too become alumicron, radioactive
    beings of nuclear and orange, threatening each
    other, the family of man, with addled rulers
    who place their faith in a bang, a simpler way
    of governing, there is no simple way to care, quite obviously that quality has gone out of
    standard governance the world over, oh yes,
    there are a few mummers here and there who
    make a show and then stumble off with their broken promises stage right or left to the
    hiss of the pit and the orchestra tuning up
    for the next skit. it is a poor show of disbelief
    when the destruction of one’s history goes
    on in the name of one ethnic group against
    another, the all or nothing totalitarian view
    called progress, whether in china or iran or
    iraq or afghanistan, when policing becomes
    the god worhipped to keep the mind of man
    on the treadmill to cultural oblivion.

  9. If you really want evidence of how freedom of thought is suppessed in colleges today: just read
    the above webste, or
    http://planetearthrevisited.blogspot.com

  10. Similar tools have been nfound in southern Georgia,USA. Were the Beedings hominids actually modern humans who , as glacial conditions worsened migrated WEST along the ice to the eastern usa? They were certainly positioned in the right place for such a migration. As the last ice age waxed strong they certainly fled England….Mark

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