There have been some finds to suggest that Neanderthals developed the same tech level as humans, independantly of us. There has been evidence that they made jewelry of shells and had burial traditions.
Some evidence suggests that they may have even developed certain tech before we did, and that we may have learned it from them.
The biological evidence does not support the slumped or hairy beast men.
They were shorter by a few inches then we were, they were stockier and stronger. They had larger brain to body mass ratios.
They didn't die out because they were to animalistic to survive. They dies out because the climate changed in a direction that eliminated mega fauna, their primary food source. They were spread thinly enough as it was due to needing to be spread out to assure enough meat animals in a range of territory to support a clan. And then you throw in a invasive species like us competeing for some of the same resources... they just couldn't adapt fast enough.
Like the mega fauna predators unable to sustain their size and population with dwindling herbavores of large size, they faded out. Had they managed to developed animal husbandry and domesticated large elk and bison, growng feed stock for them in agricultural systems they could have persisted for a very long time. But their small clans and remoted areas spread out from each other made cultural innovation difficult, ideas don't spread as easily or as far.
It still took us several tens of thousands of years to adapt these techniques ourselves. What saved us is our ability to survive on roots, nuts and berries as well as rabbit meat and fish. That held us on long enough to build communities that innovated together and ultimately spawned the agricultural revolution that made our growth opportunities that much more enabling. Then came some of the earliest city state leading to Babylon and Egypt ect.
Edited by kjaggard, 29 August 2013 - 04:42 AM.
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