Were Neanderthals our intellectual equals ?
By T.K. Randall
January 15, 2015 · 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
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