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Neanderthals buried their dead like humans


Posted on Tuesday, 17 December, 2013 | Comment icon 33 comments

Neanderthals were more advanced than previously believed. Image Credit: Randii Oliver
A new study has revealed that burying the deceased was a behavior shared by our Neanderthal cousins.
The findings were based on the discovery of Neanderthal remains at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in France back in 1908. The 13-year study involved an international team of archaeologists who analyzed the remains to determine the circumstances surrounding the original burial.

"This discovery not only confirms the existence of Neanderthal burials in Western Europe, but also reveals a relatively sophisticated cognitive capacity to produce them," said study lead author William Rendu.

Controversy had surrounded the idea for some time, with many members of the scientific community playing down the notion of a deliberate burial. More recently however, the researchers were able to perform a geological analysis on the burial site to determine that it was not a naturally occurring depression. This, coupled with the undamaged nature of the bones, suggested that the remains had been carefully buried.

"The relatively pristine nature of these 50,000-year-old remains implies that they were covered soon after death, strongly supporting our conclusion that Neanderthals in this part of Europe took steps to bury their dead," said Rendu.

Source: Science Recorder | Comments (33)

Tags: Neanderthal

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by ShadowSot on 18 December, 2013, 4:11
The extent of the last ice age in Europe 20,000 to 70,000 years got a little colder . Ok, could you explain your point here a bit? Neanderthals were more successful during the Ice Age.
Comment icon #25 Posted by docyabut2 on 18 December, 2013, 4:45
Ok, could you explain your point here a bit? Neanderthals were more successful during the Ice Age. Having inhabited Europe for over 200,000 years, Neanderthals became extinct about 35,000 years ago, and the reasons behind their disappearance have been the source of considerable debate. The scientific community has long been split between those blaming Neanderthals' inability to cope with dramatic climatic change– in particular a cold period about 39,000 years ago called Heinrich Event.
Comment icon #26 Posted by ShadowSot on 18 December, 2013, 5:16
Having inhabited Europe for over 200,000 years, Neanderthals became extinct about 35,000 years ago, and the reasons behind their disappearance have been the source of considerable debate. The scientific community has long been split between those blaming Neanderthals' inability to cope with dramatic climatic change– in particular a cold period about 39,000 years ago called Heinrich Event. Er... right. How does that tie back to what we were talking about?
Comment icon #27 Posted by seeder on 18 December, 2013, 9:44
Source? Can anyone find this anywhere? First, let's verify that they are finding women and children outside caves. Then we can shoot holes in the absurd conclusion that it is because males kicked them out to die. I wonder if he meant found them 'buried' outside of a cave. This would seem to make a bit more sense, nowadays a grave is what, 5-6ft deep to ensure no smell? So NOT burying corpses INSIDE a cave I can understand, after all, who sh*ts on their own doorstep? But yes, I think the theory the men kicked them out is ridiculous...
Comment icon #28 Posted by bulveye on 18 December, 2013, 12:15
I wonder if he meant found them 'buried' outside of a cave. This would seem to make a bit more sense, nowadays a grave is what, 5-6ft deep to ensure no smell? So NOT burying corpses INSIDE a cave I can understand, after all, who sh*ts on their own doorstep? But yes, I think the theory the men kicked them out is ridiculous... Well here is a theory. Lets say they mostly buried most of the dead from their own group. BUT when they went out hunting if they encountered a stranger family they would kill the adults (who were competing for same territory) and take the smaller women and children back to... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by seeder on 18 December, 2013, 12:33
Well here is a theory. Lets say they mostly buried most of the dead from their own group. BUT when they went out hunting if they encountered a stranger family they would kill the adults (who were competing for same territory) and take the smaller women and children back to camp to rape and then kill and eat and just toss the bones out the cave. You might think that is horrific, but this is early humans we are talking about and starvation can drive men to pretty much anything ( http://en.wikipedia....ki/Donner_Party ). Some individual humans occasionally do it now. I dont think it horrific, it ... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by docyabut2 on 18 December, 2013, 15:14
I wonder if he meant found them 'buried' outside of a cave. This would seem to make a bit more sense, nowadays a grave is what, 5-6ft deep to ensure no smell? So NOT burying corpses INSIDE a cave I can understand, after all, who sh*ts on their own doorstep? But yes, I think the theory the men kicked them out is ridiculous... There is some evidence that babies and infants were buried in shallow pits, and others in natural fissures as well as shallow excavated graves. Its not why they would bury their children but as to why their off springs didn't survive.
Comment icon #31 Posted by ShadowSot on 18 December, 2013, 19:14
There is some evidence that babies and infants were buried in shallow pits, and others in natural fissures as well as shallow excavated graves. Its not why they would bury their children but as to why their off springs didn't survive. It's pretty well known that barring medical intervention there's a high infant mortality rate.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Winter Summer on 23 December, 2013, 0:28
Refrencing the title of this thread, seems more accurate to have it read: "Humans buried their dead like Neanderthals" just sayin.
Comment icon #33 Posted by TheGreatBeliever on 26 December, 2013, 13:58
Common sense


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