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Palaeontology

Were Neanderthals our intellectual equals ?

By T.K. Randall
January 15, 2015 · Comment icon 35 comments



Neanderthals were capable of advanced toolmaking. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Tim Evanson
Scientists now believe that Neanderthals were no less advanced that their modern human counterparts.
An increasing body of evidence suggests that our Neanderthal cousins were surprisingly similar to the ancestors of modern man.

Some of the earliest depictions of Neanderthals suggested that they were slow, dim-witted cavemen, but thanks to a slew of palaeontological discoveries over the years we now know that these close relatives to modern humans were both intelligent and skillful; creating their own tools and living in complex social groups.

Now researchers at the University of Montreal have discovered a multi-purpose bone tool that dates back to the Neanderthal era, a find of particular importance as many experts had doubted that the Neanderthals had ever been able to master the use of bone in toolmaking.
"This is the first time a multi-purpose bone tool from this period has been discovered," said anthropologist Luc Doyon. "It proves that Neanderthals were able to understand the mechanical properties of bone and knew how to use it to make tools, abilities usually attributed to our species, Homo sapiens."

The discovery narrows even further the intellectual gap between Neanderthals, who disappeared somewhere around 40,000 years ago, and the ancestors of modern humans.

It is highly likely in fact that our two species were a lot more alike than was ever thought possible.

Source: Science Daily | Comments (35)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #26 Posted by shrooma 8 years ago
Genocide. . no change there then huh..... .
Comment icon #27 Posted by Atuke 8 years ago
why back then, we had many human races and now, we only have one ? White European man
Comment icon #28 Posted by CrimsonKing 8 years ago
White European man Actually if im not mistaken neanderthal originated from the Eurasian regions,while modern man who is speculated to have wiped them out originated from somewhere on the African continent...
Comment icon #29 Posted by Atuke 8 years ago
Actually if im not mistaken neanderthal originated from the Eurasian regions,while modern man who is speculated to have wiped them out originated from somewhere on the African continent... Yes sir you are correct. I met "Modern" white European man. The last few thousand years give or take. Which I am one myself. I just think it's funny how Neandethals and native peoples survived and thrived for hundreds of thousands of years and were wiped out via genocide or lack of supposed modern technology. I'm not being a white apologist, just stating facts. I'm not a Ted Kazynski type either, but sometim... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by CrimsonKing 8 years ago
I gotcha man,i have wondered about it all myself...As for how the natives got wiped out there is no questioning that,it is a known fact but as for Neanderthal they were gone long before our time...
Comment icon #31 Posted by TheSpoonyOne 8 years ago
Yes sir you are correct. I met "Modern" white European man. The last few thousand years give or take. Which I am one myself. I just think it's funny how Neandethals and native peoples survived and thrived for hundreds of thousands of years and were wiped out via genocide or lack of supposed modern technology. I'm not being a white apologist, just stating facts. I'm not a Ted Kazynski type either, but sometimes technology and progress needs questioned. The word you're looking for it 'disease' first and foremost.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Ellapennella 8 years ago
Neanderthals have alway gotten a bad rap. Their radical morphological deviation from the European norm automatically made them our inferiors in the minds of nineteenth century paleontologists. honestly, I'm not really certain about all the speculations made about neanderthal man. are people suggesting that there were 2 species of humans ? because that's what it always seemed like.
Comment icon #33 Posted by Hammerclaw 8 years ago
honestly, I'm not really certain about all the speculations made about neanderthal man. are people suggesting that there were 2 species of humans ? because that's what it always seemed like. That debate is still raging, so your uncertainty is understandable. We were close enough to breed and produce fertile offspring, at least in Neanderthal male, Sapien female crosses.
Comment icon #34 Posted by CrimsonKing 8 years ago
honestly, I'm not really certain about all the speculations made about neanderthal man. are people suggesting that there were 2 species of humans ? because that's what it always seemed like. Actually it is suggested there may have been more than two species of humans,Denisovan being the third type...
Comment icon #35 Posted by Ellapennella 8 years ago
I think it's weird ,strange to think about. i'm still not certain about it's authenticity , how accurate it is . very interesting .


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