Monday, 11 January 2010

Be kind to Neanderthals

The New Scientist blog asks, Why is 'Neanderthal' still a byword for dumb brute?
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.

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.
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.


Caitlyn said...

Could you please link the academic article wherein this is published? This is very interesting... I wonder was there only one perforation per mollusk (so that they acted as a container)? I'd really like to see any journal articles that are available. Thank you so much.

Yewtree said...

Have a look at the New Scientist article - surely they have links?