The notion that Neanderthals went extinct because they were too dim-witted to compete with humans - an idea now dismissed by most palaeoanthropologists - is finally beginning to lose its currency among the general public. It's about time.So, Neanderthals had make-up and art and language (and we also know that they buried their dead); in other words, they were pretty much like us.
Scientists working in south-western Spain uncovered perforated mollusc shells, some coloured with pigments, in archaeological sites linked to Neanderthals.
Jewellery and cosmetics, the researchers contend, point to a mind capable of symbolic representation and even complex language, once thought only to reside in Homo sapiens.
Monday, 11 January 2010
Be kind to Neanderthals
The New Scientist blog asks, Why is 'Neanderthal' still a byword for dumb brute?