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Neanderthals were capable of making art

Neanderthals Art Spain Europe 65000 years ago La Pasiega Maltravieso Ardales

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#1
Time_Traveller

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23 February 2018

 

Contrary to the traditional view of them as brutes, it turns out that Neanderthals were artists.

A study in Science journal suggests they made cave drawings in Spain that pre-date the arrival of modern humans in Europe by 20,000 years.

They also appear to have used painted sea shells as jewellery.

Art was previously thought to be a behaviour unique to our species (Homo sapiens) and far beyond our evolutionary cousins.

The cave paintings include stencilled impressions of Neanderthal hands, geometric patterns and red circles.

They occupy three sites at La Pasiega, Maltravieso and Ardales - situated up to 700km apart in different parts of Spain.

The researchers used a technique called uranium-thorium dating to obtain accurate ages. It relies on measuring the radioactive decay of uranium that gets incorporated into mineral crusts forming over the paintings.

The results gave a minimum age of 65,000 years ago for the cave art, modern humans only arrived in Europe roughly 45,000 years ago.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-43115488


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#2
zEVerzan

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Makes one wonder what led to their extinction if they were capable of abstract thought - long thought to be something they lacked. Could it really just have been interaction and coexistence with Homo sapiens? If so, what did we have that they didn't?


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#3
Yuli Ban

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I think it's likely that they died out because they just died out and not due to some Romantic "lack of a certain human characteristic that the Noble Sapiens possessed" because we almost died out too. So the simplest answer is: we lucked out. They didn't.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#4
zEVerzan

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Actually, upon closer inspection looks like we did have something over them - we were always more omnivorous. The Neanderthals that developed in the cold ice-age era environment of Europe were not - they were more carnivorous, since a lack of nutritious vegetation in the icy region couldn't support a massive brain's energy demands.

 

Perhaps when sapiens began encroaching on their territory, competing with the dwarves for their native megafauna prey and maybe overhunting, the dwarves had trouble coping in lean times and had to make a lot of compromises while the sapiens were able to subsist on berries, shoots and tubers.

 

Could also just be hanky-panky with the sapiens diluting their genes until their great-great-grandchildren looked nothing like em?


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Neanderthals, Art, Spain, Europe, 65000 years ago, La Pasiega, Maltravieso, Ardales

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