Neanderthals: They were human

They were HUMAN

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Neanderthal Woman Neanderthal Man The image of the Neanderthal face is said to be “exact, individual, and true to life,” according to director of the Rheinisches Landesmuseum of Bonn Michael Schmauder, who presented the first image to the public on Tuesday. A replica of the specimen, created using computer technology and based on skull fragments, will go on show mid-July in the exhibition “Roots.” The public unveiling of the project coincides with the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Neanderthal near the German town of Mettman, near Dsseldorf. A group of international experts have founded the first-ever internet-based Neanderthal research databank following a meeting in the German city of Mettmann, where the first Neanderthal burial site was unearthed a century and a half ago.

see PART 2:
https://theorbo1.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/neanderthal-2/

Neandertals Ranged Much Farther East Than Thought

Kate Ravilious
for National Geographic News

01 October 2007

Neandertals made it all the way to Siberia, some 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) farther east than previously thought, new DNA evidence suggests.

Scientists have long known that Europe was a stomping ground for the Neandertals (often spelled Neanderthals), with the human cousins spreading throughout the Mediterranean between around 200,000 and 30,000 years ago.

Neanderthal range map

Enlarge Photo

Until now, though, experts had believed present-day Uzbekistan in Central Asia to be the easternmost extent of the Neandertal range (see a map of the region). Beyond this point the evidence becomes sparse.

“Our findings show that Neandertals were more widespread and thus even more successful than previously thought,” said Svante Pääbo, a geneticist at the Max-Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who carried out the DNA analysis.

The analysis appears online this week in the journal Nature.

Teeth, Bones, and Tools

Tantalizing finds of Neandertal-style stone tools in Asia, along with fragments of hominid bones and teeth, had hinted that the species had expanded deeper into the continent, experts say.

But scientists have never been able to verify the theory from such small pieces of bone.

Using a relatively new DNA technique, however, Pääbo and his colleagues were able to glean information from the minute fragments. (Related: “Neandertal Gene Study Reveals Early Split With Humans” [October 26, 2006].)

The scientists analyzed the Asian remains’ mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA—genetic material from the cell’s powerhouses that is passed from mother to child—and compared it to mtDNA from Neandertal fossils found across Europe.

Fragments found in a cave in the Altai region of southern Siberia matched the European data, indicating that the Siberian bone fragments belonged to Neandertals rather than modern humans.

In addition, Pääbo and his colleagues were able to confirm that a partial skeleton of a child found in Uzbekistan’s Teshik-Tash cave was also a Neandertal.

Scientists Plan To Rebuild Neanderthal Genome 2006-07-20 16:00:57 ——————————————————————————– Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Leipzig, Germany, plan to reconstruct the genome of Neanderthals, the archaic human species that occupied Europe from 300,000 years ago until 30,000 years ago until being displaced by modern humans. The genome will initially be reconstructed using DNA extracted from Neanderthal bones that are 45,000 years old, which were found in Croatia, though bones from other sites may be analyzed later. The project is a collaboration between Dr. Svante Paabo, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and 454 Life Sciences, a Connecticut company that has developed a new method of sequencing, or decoding, DNA. The sequencing of Neanderthal DNA, long a forlorn hope, suddenly seems possible because of a combination of analytic work on ancient DNA by Dr. Paabo and a new kind of DNA sequencing machine developed by 454 Life Sciences. Because the genome must be kept in constant repair and starts to break up immediately after the death of the cell, the DNA in Neanderthal bones exists in tiny fragments 100 or so units in length. As it happens, this is just the length that works best with the 454 machine, which is also able to decode vast amounts of DNA at low cost. “Not Your Fathers Neanderthal” Published in “New York Times”, July 22, 2006: Thanks to museum dioramas and magazine illustrations, most of us can close our eyes and envision a stylized Neanderthal the muscular build, the broad, projecting face, the low, rounded skull. Some of us would swear we have actually seen one on the street, though the species died out, of course, some 30,000 years ago. The link between Neanderthals and modern humans has always been visually obvious we are clearly kin of some kind but imprecise in most other ways. That may change abruptly. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and 454 Life Sciences have announced that they plan to reconstruct the Neanderthal genome. The task is not simple. It means sifting the bits of Neanderthal DNA brittle with age from 45,000-year-old bones that have been contaminated by bacteria and by the humans who have handled them. The resulting string of genetic information will then be compared with the genomes of humans and chimpanzees. The hope is that the Neanderthal genome will answer basic questions about those hominids that scientists have been unable to resolve using only the fossil evidence. Could Neanderthals talk? Did they interbreed with humans? These are some of the things the genome might reveal. But the real question to be answered is this: Which genes in our own genome do we share with Neanderthals and which belong uniquely to us? The answers are likely to change the way we think about ourselves as radically as they do the way we think about Neanderthals. Nearly everything we humans have chosen to know about Homo sapiens over time has emphasized how separate we are from the rest of nature. Genetic research has begun to contribute the precise details part of the broader evolutionary argument advanced by Darwin that show how surprisingly unseparate we are. The 1 percent genetic difference between us and chimpanzees still feels, to most of us, like a whopping difference. Well see how it feels to know our exact relationship to a far closer cousin.

Quote:


Geneticists are decoding the bones of the Neanderthals and finding that the DNA is nearly identical to humans….From the data so far, Dr. Rubins team reports that the Neanderthal and human genomes are at least 99.5 percent identical….The Neanderthals, who flourished for some 400,000 years before their extinction about 30,000 years ago, physically resembled modern humans, but the middle of their face jutted forward and their large brain case had a distinctive bulge or bun at the back. They were heavily muscled and presumably well adapted to the cold conditions of the last ice age


. A piece of Neanderthal bone from which enough DNA was recovered to possibly enable the sequencing of the entire Neanderthal genome. The owner of the Vindija bone was a male Neanderthal who died about 38,000 years ago. (Jan-Peter Boening for The New York Times.) Dr. Svante Paabo, the leader of the research project to investigate the DNA of the archaic human species that died out about 30,000 years ago. Dr Paabo believes there is enough DNA in the Vindija bone alone to complete a draft of the full Neanderthal genome….the possibility of a small amount of genetic interchange with Neanderthals cannot yet be ruled out. Dr. Bruce T. Lahn, a geneticist at the University of Chicago, published a report earlier this month suggesting that one of the two principal versions of the human gene for microcephalin, which helps determine brain size, came from an archaic population, presumably the Neanderthals. So far neither team has analyzed enough Neanderthal DNA to test Dr. Lahns proposal. By NICHOLAS WADE, Published: November 16, 2006: The archaic human species that dominated Europe until 30,000 years ago is about to emerge from the shadows. With the help of a new DNA sequencing machine that operates with firefly light, the bones of the Neanderthals have begun to tell their story to geneticists. Dr. Svante Paabo, the leader of the research project to investigate the DNA of the archaic human species that died out about 30,000 years ago. One million units of Neanderthal DNA have already been analyzed, and a draft version of the entire genome, 3.2 billion units in length, should be ready in two years, said Dr. Svante Paabo, the leader of the research project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Biologists expect knowledge of the Neanderthal genome to reveal, by its differences with the human genome, many distinctive qualities of what it means to be human. Researchers also hope to resolve such questions as whether the Neanderthals spoke, their hair and skin color, and whether they interbred at all with the modern humans who first arrived on their doorstep 45,000 years ago, or were driven to extinction without leaving any genetic legacy. Dr. Paabo has shared some of his precious sample of Neanderthal DNA with Edward M. Rubin of the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, Calif., whose team has identified 62,250 units of Neanderthal DNA by a different method. The two teams report their results in this weeks issues of the journals Nature and Science respectively, saying they have independently demonstrated that recovery of the Neanderthal genome is now possible. From the data so far, Dr. Rubins team reports that the Neanderthal and human genomes are at least 99.5 percent identical. Dr. Paabos team has calculated that the effective size of the founding Neanderthal population was about 3,000, corresponding to a census size of fewer than 10,000 individuals. Both teams say it now seems much more unlikely that modern humans and Neanderthals interbred, though the possibility cannot yet be excluded. I think these results are monumental, said Richard G. Klein, a paleoanthropologist at Stanford University who was not involved in the studies.

The full Neanderthal genome will resolve many longstanding issues about Neanderthals and their relationship to modern humans, including their physical and perhaps behavioral differences, he said. The Neanderthals, who flourished for some 400,000 years before their extinction about 30,000 years ago, physically resembled modern humans, but the middle of their face jutted forward and their large brain case had a distinctive bulge or bun at the back. They were heavily muscled and presumably well adapted to the cold conditions of the last ice age…. But the possibility of a small amount of genetic interchange cannot yet be ruled out. Dr. Bruce T. Lahn, a geneticist at the University of Chicago, published a report earlier this month suggesting that one of the two principal versions of the human gene for microcephalin, which helps determine brain size, came from an archaic population, presumably the Neanderthals. So far neither team has analyzed enough Neanderthal DNA to test Dr. Lahns proposal. DNA and genome of NeanderthalsEditorial: “99.5 Percent Like a Neanderthal” Published: 18 November 2006 Scientists are tantalizingly close to learning just what genetic changes distinguish modern humans from Neanderthals, who went extinct some 30,000 years ago.

 

The issue is important to experts who want to understand evolution, but also to people who deem themselves a cut above these early cousins, whose name we have turned into an insult. Two research teams announced this week that they have assembled parts of a Neanderthal mans genetic code from a fossil bone and teased out some preliminary information. Two experts called it the most significant advance in the field since the first Neanderthal fossils were discovered 150 years ago. As it turns out, the genome of this particular Neanderthal who lived some 38,000 years ago is more than 99.5 percent identical to the genome of modern humans. The great similarity is yet more proof that Charles Darwin had it right when he viewed all life as descended from common ancestry whose genes, we now know, were passed down and modified through the ages.

 

The new studies deduce that modern humans and Neanderthals were descended from a common forebear but parted on separate evolutionary paths at least 450,000 years ago. The titillating question has always been whether the lighter-boned modern humans ever mated with the brawny, jut-faced Neanderthals. The preliminary answer is that interbreeding didnt happen very often, if at all. One study found no evidence of it. The other found a hint of possible hanky-panky, most likely involving human males and Neanderthal females, not the other way around. Final answers must await recovery of the entire Neanderthal genome, with a rough draft expected within two years.

Then scientists should be able to identify the specific genetic changes that gave humans an evolutionary advantage and the presumption to feel so superior. Matter of fact, Colin Wilson in his “Kingdom of the Neanderthals” book: Provides evidence of Neanderthal mans superior intelligence Explores the unexplained scientific and architectural feats of ancient civilizations Presents an alternative history of humankind since 7500 B.C. with an emphasis on esoteric traditions and the history of Christianity from the Essenes onward In “the Kingdom of the Neanderthals”, Colin Wilson, who lives in Cornwall, England, presents evidence of a widespread Neanderthal civilization as the origin of sophisticated ancient knowledge.

Examining remarkable archaeological discoveries that date back millennia, he suggests that civilization on Earth is far older than we have previously realized. Using this information as a springboard, Wilson then fills in the gaps in the past 100,000 years of human history, providing answers to previously unexplained scientific and architectural feats of ancient civilizations. Far from being the violent brutes they are traditionally depicted as, Wilson shows that the Neanderthals had sophisticated mathematical and astrological knowledge, including an understanding of the precession of the equinoxes…which can be seen also in in the Paleolithic “Wizard” metal “hat” cones discovered all over northern Europe (which reveal a super accurate daily calendar for 10,000 year cycles….more accruate than even found in the Dresden Museum’s Mayan Codex!). From Whitley Strieber we read:

Quote:


First Known Human Rituals 70,000 Years Old First, it was believed that man didn’t become “human” until we began painting in caves about 30,000 years ago. Then evidence of human ritual activity was found in Botswana that dated back 40,000 years. Now a startling discovery has been made: a cache of spear points and a remarkable carving of a python’s head that dates back 70,000 years. In addition, a hidden chamber was found behind the carving, which would have enabled an observer to see everyone gathered in front of it, and to speak to them. There is a shaft that enables hidden movement in and out of the chamber. As old as the ritual space is, the python and other animals depicted in it remain an important part of the myths of the San people, who still inhabit the area, suggesting that stories that perhaps started 70,000 years ago, have been handed down through an astonishing 17,500 human generations. This carving is not only ancient, it shows an amazing artistic skill. During the day, the play of sunlight on the carving makes it appear to have scales, and in firelight, the shadows cause it to appear to move. Spearheads found near the carving appear to have been brought hundreds of miles. They were burned in what scientists believe was a ritual involving the carving of the snake. Did we really engage in simple rituals like this for 65,000 years, before suddenly becoming civilized just 5,000 years ago, or are we starting to discover that our past is very different from what conventional wisdom dictates?


16 JAN. 2007: “INTER-SPECIES LOVE: New Skull Find Suggests Humans Bred With Neanderthals” A new archaeological find in Romania provides evidence that modern humans may have interbred with Neanderthals thousands of years ago. We humans like to think of ourselves as a species apart. We are not like those other, lower animals. And we are especially not like our lumpen cousins the Neanderthals, seen in the popular imagination as hulking hairy creatures unable to communicate in more than the occasional grunt. The skull, found in a cave in Romania, provides evidence that humans may have interbred with Neanderthals. However we may have been closer — in all senses of the word — to our much-maligned relatives than we thought. A skull found in Romania by archaeologists includes features of both modern humans and Neanderthals, suggesting inter-breeding between the two groups.

 

The new discovery is revealed in a paper by Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis, published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers said the skull, which is dated as being at least 35,000 years old, has the same proportions as a modern human head and lacks the large brow ridge typical of Neanderthals. What makes the find interesting is that it also includes features which are unusual in modern humans but are characteristic of Neanderthals and other early hominids, such as frontal flattening, a large bone behind the ear, and exceptionally large upper molars. “Such differences raise important questions about the evolutionary history of modern humans,” said co-author Joo Zilho of the UK’s University of Bristol in a statement. He said the skull could be evidence of “evolutionary reversal” — in other words, humans reverting to archaic forms. “They could also reflect admixture with Neanderthal populations as modern humans spread through western Eurasia,” he said. Trinkaus, Zilho and colleagues found the skull, which is thought to be from a teenager, in the Pestera cu Oase (Cave of Bones) in southwestern Romania. The cave contained human remains mixed with bones from cave bears. AP: The skull, found in a cave in Romania, provides evidence that humans may have interbred with Neanderthals…. Modern humans are thought to have spread into Europe between 45,000 and 50,000 years ago and to have replaced the older Neanderthals by 30,000 years ago — meaning at least 10,000 years of co-existence. Artifacts attributed to modern humans have been found at Neanderthal sites. dgs/ap/reuters Remember, in my previous posts above I wrote: Dr. Svante Paabo, the leader of the research project to investigate the DNA of the archaic human species that died out about 30,000 years ago.

Dr Paabo believes there is enough DNA in the Vindija bone alone to complete a draft of the full Neanderthal genome….the possibility of a small amount of genetic interchange with Neanderthals cannot yet be ruled out. Dr. Bruce T. Lahn, a geneticist at the University of Chicago, published a report earlier this month suggesting that one of the two principal versions of the human gene for microcephalin, which helps determine brain size, came from an archaic population, presumably the Neanderthals. and also above:

In “the Kingdom of the Neanderthals”, Colin Wilson, who lives in Cornwall, England, presents evidence of a widespread Neanderthal civilization as the origin of sophisticated ancient knowledge. Examining remarkable archaeological discoveries that date back millennia, he suggests that civilization on Earth is far older than we have previously realized.

Using this information as a springboard, Wilson then fills in the gaps in the past 100,000 years of human history, providing answers to previously unexplained scientific and architectural feats of ancient civilizations. Far from being the violent brutes they are traditionally depicted as, Wilson shows that the Neanderthals had sophisticated mathematical and astrological knowledge, including an understanding of the precession of the equinoxes…which can be seen also in in the Paleolithic “Wizard” metal “hat” cones discovered all over northern Europe (which reveal a super accurate daily calendar for 10,000 year cycles….more accruate than even found in the Dresden Museum’s Mayan Codex!).  WE CAN REBUILD HIM German Scientists to Sequence Neanderthal Genome After the sequencing of the human genome, scientists are planning to reconstruct the entire genome of the Neanderthal. The work will help answer questions about whether humans and Neanderthals are related — and if they interbred. DPA A reconstruction of a male Neanderthal at the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, Germany. Reconstructing the Neanderthal genome could shed light on questions which have occupied scientists for years, such as whether modern humans are related to Neanderthals and if the two groups interbred, as some researchers believe: 16 JAN 2007: INTER-SPECIES LOVE “New Skull Find Suggests Humans Bred With Neanderthals”

A new archaeological find in Romania provides evidence that modern humans may have interbred with Neanderthals thousands of years ago. we may have been closer — in all senses of the word — to our much-maligned relatives than we thought. A skull found in Romania by archaeologists includes features of both modern humans and Neanderthals, suggesting inter-breeding between the two groups.

The new discovery is revealed in a paper by Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis, published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers said the skull, which is dated as being at least 35,000 years old, has the same proportions as a modern human head and lacks the large brow ridge typical of Neanderthals. What makes the find interesting is that it also includes features which are unusual in modern humans but are characteristic of Neanderthals and other early hominids, such as frontal flattening, a large bone behind the ear, and exceptionally large upper molars. “Such differences raise important questions about the evolutionary history of modern humans,” said co-author Joo Zilho of the UK’s University of Bristol in a statement.

He said the skull could be evidence of “evolutionary reversal” — in other words, humans reverting to archaic forms. “They could also reflect admixture with Neanderthal populations as modern humans spread through western Eurasia,” he said. Trinkaus, Zilho and colleagues found the skull, which is thought to be from a teenager, in the Pestera cu Oase (Cave of Bones) in southwestern Romania. The cave contained human remains mixed with bones from cave bears. AP The skull, found in a cave in Romania, provides evidence that humans may have interbred with Neanderthals. …features described as unusual in modern humans were not exclusively Neanderthal and could also have been passed down from earlier populations in Africa. However Potts, who was not part of the research team, admitted that the skull was significant in being the earliest human remains found in Europe. Modern humans are thought to have spread into Europe between 45,000 and 50,000 years ago and to have replaced the older Neanderthals by 30,000 years ago — meaning at least 10,000 years of co-existence. Artifacts attributed to modern humans have been found at Neanderthal sites. A team of scientists led by Svante Pbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany say they have found ways to sequence the whole Neanderthal genome, despite the difficulties of obtaining usable samples….the team said they could retrieve enough DNA by taking samples from different individuals, enabling the whole genome to be determined. They have also developed new procedures to prevent samples being contaminated by the DNA of the researchers working with the samples. “We are confident that it will be technically feasible to achieve a reliable Neanderthal genome sequence,” said Pbo and his team, who published their findings in this week’s online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. dgs/ap

..Now, to our confirmation, yes, we discover, we are related and the same species. Here is the latest news revealed happily this week: Svante Pääbo holding the skull of a Neanderthal. Copyright: Frank Vinken

Scientists prove humans bred with Neanderthals

Published: 6 May 10 20:26 CET Online: http://www.thelocal.de/sci-tech/20100506-27033.html For the first time ever, German scientists have drafted a genome sequence for the Neanderthal and believe their results show that the extinct hominid interbred with humans.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig analysed some four billion base pairs of DNA from Neanderthals – a species which died out more than 30,000 years ago. Initial analysis of the resulting genome sequence draft show that Neanderthals left traces of themselves in the genomes of some modern humans, the study published in this month’s journal “Science” revealed. “The comparison of these two genetic sequences enables us to find out where our genome differs from that of our closest relative,” research team leader Svante Pääbo said in a statement. The DNA fragments came from bones found in Croatia, Russia, Spain and the Neandertal region of Germany. But the scientists had to develop a new method of separating DNA microbes that had lived in the bones for some 40,000 years and the DNA of the Neanderthals themselves, the statement said. “Over 95 percent of the DNA in one sample originated from bacteria and micro-organisms which colonised the Neanderthal after his death,” Pääbo said. Once they were able to compare the human and Neanderthal genome sequences, they discovered that contrary to the common belief that the two species are not related, it appears the two actually bred enough for traces to appear in between one and four percent of modern human DNA. “Those of us who live outside Africa carry a little Neanderthal DNA in us,” Pääbo said. The scientists compared the genome sequences for European, Asian and Africans against the Neanderthal, and found that humans outside Africa show traces. “Neanderthals probably mixed with early modern humans before Homo sapiens split into different groups in Europe and Asia,” Pääbo said. Now the group is working to determine which modern human genes may have come from Neanderthals and whether they provided an evolutionary advantage. So far they have found genes related to cognitive function, metabolism and cranial features, the collar bone, and rib cage, the statement said. “We will also decode the remaining parts of the Neanderthal genome and learn much more about ourselves and our closest relative,” says Svante Pääbo.

External link: Max Planck Institute » The Local (news@thelocal.de) Mating With Humans

Johannes Krause MPI-EVA

The Vindija cave in Croatia where three small Neanderthal bones were found.

By NICHOLAS WADE

Published: 06 May 2010

Neanderthals mated with some modern humans after all and left their imprint in the human genome, a team of biologists has reported in the first detailed analysis of the Neanderthal genetic sequence.

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The New York Times

Max-Planck-Institute EVA

The Neanderthal DNA that Svante Pääbo analyzed came from these three bones.

The biologists, led by Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have been slowly reconstructing the genome of Neanderthals, the stocky hunters that dominated Europe until 30,000 years ago, by extracting the fragments of DNA that still exist in their fossil bones. Just last year, when the biologists first announced that they had decoded the Neanderthal genome, they reported no significant evidence of interbreeding. Scientists say they have recovered 60 percent of the genome so far and hope to complete it. By comparing that genome with those of various present day humans, the team concluded that about 1 percent to 4 percent of the genome of non-Africans today is derived from Neanderthals.

But the Neanderthal DNA does not seem to have played a great role in human evolution, they said. Experts believe that the Neanderthal genome sequence will be of extraordinary importance in understanding human evolutionary history since the two species split some 600,000 years ago. So far, the team has identified only about 100 genes — surprisingly few — that have contributed to the evolution of modern humans since the split. The nature of the genes in humans that differ from those of Neanderthals is of particular interest because they bear on what it means to be human, or at least not Neanderthal. Some of the genes seem to be involved in cognitive function and others in bone structure. “Seven years ago, I really thought that it would remain impossible in my lifetime to sequence the whole Neanderthal genome,” Dr. Paabo said at a news conference. But the Leipzig team’s second conclusion, that there was probably interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans before Europeans and Asians split, is being met with reserve by some archaeologists.

A degree of interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthals in Europe would not be greatly surprising given that the species overlapped there from 44,000 years ago when modern humans first entered Europe to 30,000 years ago when the last Neanderthals fell extinct. Archaeologists have been debating for years whether the fossil record shows evidence of individuals with mixed features. The Leipzig scientists assert that the interbreeding did not occur in Europe but in the Middle East and at a much earlier period, some 100,000 to 60,000 years ago, before the modern human populations of Europe and East Asia split. There is much less archaeological evidence for an overlap between modern humans and Neanderthals at this time and place. Dr. Paabo has pioneered the extraction and analysis of ancient DNA from fossil bones, overcoming daunting obstacles over the last 13 years in his pursuit of the Neanderthal genome.  Neanderthal bones are extensively similar to Neanderthal DNA. The DNA he has analyzed comes from three small bones from the Vindija cave in Croatia.

“This is a fabulous achievement,” said Ian Tattersall, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, referring to the draft Neanderthal genome that Dr. Paabo’s team describes in Thursday’s issue of Science. Dr. Paabo’s group has taken extra precautions but it remains to be seen how successful they have been, Dr. Klein said, especially as another group at the Leipzig institute, presumably using the same methods, has obtained results that Dr. Paabo said he could not confirm. Dr. Paabo said that episode of human-Neanderthal breeding implied by Dr. Reich’s statistics most plausibly occurred “in the Middle East where the first modern humans appear before 100,000 years ago and there were Neanderthals until 60,000 years ago.”

According to Dr. Klein, people in Africa expanded their range and reached just Israel during a warm period some 120,000 years ago. They retreated during a cold period some 80,000 years ago and were replaced by Neanderthals. It is not clear whether or not they overlapped with Neanderthals, he said. These humans, in any case, were not fully modern and they did not expand from Africa, an episode that occurred some 30,000 years later. If there was any interbreeding, the flow of genes should have been both ways, Dr. Klein said, but Dr. Paabo’s group sees evidence for gene flow only from Neanderthals to modern humans. The Leipzig group’s interbreeding theory would undercut the present belief that all human populations today draw from the same gene pool that existed a mere 50,000 years ago. “What we falsify here is the strong out-of-Africa hypothesis that everyone comes from the same population,” Dr. Paabo said. In his and Dr. Reich’s view, Neanderthals interbred only with non-Africans, the people who left Africa, which would mean that non-Africans drew from a second gene pool not available to Africans. Our Inner Neanderthal

Published: 11 May 2010

If things had gone differently, this editorial might have been written by a Neanderthal contemplating the discovery that a small but significant portion of his or her DNA was derived from ancestral humans, who lost out in the struggle for survival some 30,000 years ago. Things went the other way, and this editorial is being written by a human musing on the recent discovery that 1 percent to 4 percent of our human DNA is derived from Neanderthals. That does not sound like a very large percentage. But it is the clearest evidence so far that some interbreeding occurred between humans and Neanderthals.

The research, led by a team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and published last week in Science, is also evidence of how much skill scientists have gained in obtaining and decoding DNA samples from ancient bones. The team compared genome sequences from three Neanderthals — dating from roughly 38,000 to 44,000 years ago — to sequences from five present-day humans from various parts of the world. In addition to the likelihood of interbreeding, the research shows that Neanderthals are closer to humans of European and Asian origin than they are to humans of African origin. Neanderthal fossils have been found only in Europe and western Asia. Yet the similarity to Chinese and Papuan genomic sequences is just as close, even though no Neanderthal fossils have been found there. It suggests that one possible location for the mixing of Neanderthals and ancestral non-African humans is the Middle East, where they may have overlapped for more than 50,000 years. Humans have always told tales of their ancestry. New scientific techniques are giving us a more complex story to tell.

A version of this editorial appeared in print on 12 May  2010, on page A24 of the New York edition.

Below is the earlier story:

Early Modern Human Skull Includes Surprising Neanderthal Feature

ScienceDaily (10 Aug. 2007) — In 1942, a human braincase was found in Romania during phosphate mining. The skull’s geological age has remained uncertain. Now, new radiocarbon analysis appearing in the August issue of Current Anthropology directly dates the skull to approximately 33,000 years ago, placing it in the Upper Paleolithic. Though this braincase is in many ways similar to other known specimens from the period, the fossil also presents a distinctly Neanderthal feature, ubiquitous among Neanderthals, extremely rare among archaic humans, and unknown among prior modern humans. “The mosaic is most parsimoniously explained as the result of a modest level of admixture with [Neanderthals] as modern humans dispersed across Europe,” write Andrei Soficaru (Institutul de Anthropologie, Romania), Catalin Petrea (Institutul de Speologie, Romania), Adiran Dobos (Institutl de Arheologie, Romania), and Erik Trinkaus (Washington University, St. Louis). “Given the reproductive compatibility of many closely related species and the culturally mediated nature of mate choice in humans, such admixture should neither be rare nor unexpected.”

Known as the Cioclovina 1 neurocranium, the skull is one of a very small number of European early modern humans securely dated prior to ca. 28,000 before present. It is unusual in its preservation, showing little signs of external abrasion and no carnivore damage to the bone. The person’s age-at-death was probably somewhere in the 40’s, “best considered mature, but not geriatric,” the authors write.

The skull has been described from the outset as that of an early modern human, due to ear anatomy, details of the neck muscle attachments, and the presence of a high, rounded braincase. The lateral bones resemble those of recent human males. However, the area above the neck muscles contains a distinctly Neanderthal feature, a suprainiac fossa – a groove above the inion, or, the place on the bone at the lower back of a human skull that juts out the farthest. “This feature implies some level of Neanderthal ancestry in this otherwise modern human fossil,” the authors explain. “It joins other early modern European fossils, from the sites of Oase and Muierii in Romania, Mlasdec in the Czech Republic, and Les Rois in France in indicating some degree of Neanderthal admixture occurred when modern humans spread across Europe starting around 40,000 years ago.”

Reference: Andrei Soficaru, Catalin Petrea, Adiran Dobos, and Erik Trinkaus. “The Human Cranium from the Pestera Cioclovina Uscata, Romania.” Current Anthropology 48:4.

 Observatory:

Neanderthal Decorative Shells Found in Southeastern Spain

Published: 08 January 2010
Neanderthals were different from you and me, the thinking goes, because they were cognitively inferior. For one thing, they appeared to be incapable of symbolic thinking, of using something to represent something else.

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João Zilhão

A shell discovered in Spain that dates from about 50,000 years ago. This composite image shows the natural color of the interior on the left, and the external side, which may at one time have been painted to match, on the right.

Some humans in Africa, for example, adorned their bodies with stained seashells more than 100,000 years ago. To them, a shell wasn’t just a shell, but a way to signify individuality. But evidence of similar behavior by Neanderthals has been discounted. Now, though, archeologists working in the Murcia region of southeastern Spain report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have found solid signs that Neanderthals were using seashells in a decorative and symbolic way. João Zilhão of the University of Bristol in England and colleagues studied shells found in two caves far from the shoreline and dating from about 50,000 years ago, 10,000 years before modern humans showed up in Europe. Cockle and scallop shells had holes that most likely were created naturally. Yet the holes were generally of the same size, suggesting the Neanderthals picked shells that were good for stringing. The shells had bits of pigment on them, an indication that at one time they were painted. One scallop shell appeared to have been painted red on the outside to match natural coloring on the inside. The shell is broken and is “clearly something that was worn and discarded,” Dr. Zilhão said. Another shell, from a thorny oyster, contained a small amount of a ground pigmented substance that appeared to be a cosmetic or body paint. Objects and compounds like these would have been used to “tell other people who you are,” Dr. Zilhão said. “They are like socially recognizable identity cards.” What’s more, he said, “this is exactly how the same kinds of objects and finds are interpreted in early modern human contexts.” Both humans and Neanderthals “behaved in the same way to the extent that we have information to assess it.”

Variations in Perception of Bitter Go Way Back

Chris Gash

By HENRY FOUNTAIN

Published: 14 August 2009

Some people can’t perceive bitter tastes very well. Now a study from Spain shows that some Neanderthals were in the same boat.

Bitter taste perception in humans has been studied most thoroughly with a bitter-tasting chemical, PTC, that is related to compounds in Brussels sprouts and similar foods. About one-quarter of people don’t taste PTC. A gene, TAS2R38, encodes proteins that are part of taste receptors on the tongue. There are several variants of the gene, a dominant “taster” type and a recessive “nontaster” type, which occur with about the same frequency. Only if a person inherits a recessive type from both parents would she be unable to taste PTC. Carles Lalueza-Fox of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) in Barcelona and colleagues looked at the TAS2R38 gene in a sample from a 48,000-year-old Neanderthal bone collected at a site in northern Spain. They found similar variations in the gene, and determined that the individual had one dominant form and one recessive form. That means the Neanderthal could perceive bitter taste. The scientists say the findings, which were reported in Biology Letters, show that variation in bitterness perception started to appear before human and Neanderthal lineages began to diverge a half-million years ago or more.

New Study Reveals Neanderthals Were As Good At Hunting As Early Modern Humans

ScienceDaily (19 Jan. 2006) —

The disappearance of Neanderthals is frequently attributed to competition from modern humans, whose greater intelligence has been widely supposed to make them more efficient as hunters. However, a new study forthcoming in the February issue of Current Anthropology argues that the hunting practices of Neanderthals and early modern humans were largely indistinguishable, a conclusion leading to a different explanation, also based on archaeological data, to explain the disappearance of the Neanderthals.

 

This study has important implications for debates surrounding behavioral evolution and the practices that eventually allowed modern humans like ourselves to displace other closely-related species. “Each population was equally and independently capable of acquiring and exploiting critical information pertaining to animal availability and behavior,” write the anthropologists, from the University of Connecticut, University of Haifa, Hebrew University, and Harvard University. The researchers use new archaeological data from a Middle- and Upper-Paleolithic rock shelter in the Georgian Republic dated to 60,000-20,000 years ago to contest some prior models of the perceived behavioral and cognitive differences between Neanderthals and modern humans. Instead, the researchers suggest that developments in the social realm of modern human life, allowing routine use of distant resources and more extensive division of labor, may be better indicators of why Neanderthals disappeared than hunting practices.

“The establishment of larger social networks allowed the replacement of Neanderthals in the Caucasus,” write the authors. “Our study also indicates that this process of replacement by modern humans spread beyond the traditional biogeographical barrier [of] Neanderthal mobility represented by the Caucasus Mountains.”

Neanderthal Man Was An Innovator ScienceDaily (20 June 2007) —

Neanderthal man was not as stupid as has been made out says a new study published by a University of Leicester archaeologist. In fact Neanderthals were far removed from their stereotypical image and were innovators, says Dr Terry Hopkinson of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History in a paper published in Antiquity. Neanderthals were the sister species of Homo sapiens, our own species, and inhabited Europe in the Middle Palaeolithic period which began some 300,000 years ago. This period has widely been thought to have been unremarkable and undramatic in cultural or evolutionary terms. Now Dr Hopkinson has challenged this notion and shown that it does not fit the archaeological evidence. He says early Neanderthals were devising new stone tool technologies and also coming to terms with ecological challenges that defeated their immediate ancestors, Homo heidelbergensis.

Conventional theories focus on tool innovation much later on leading up to the period when modern humans replaced Neanderthals some 40,000 years ago. Dr Hopkinson said: “There has been a consensus that the modern human mind turned on like a light switch about 50,000 years ago, only in Africa. But many ‘modern’ traits like the use of grind stones or big game hunting began to accumulate in Africa 300,000 years ago. “It was the same in Europe with Neanderthals, there was a gradual accumulation of technology.” Not only did the Neanderthals combine old stone tool technologies in innovative ways to create new ways of working stone, says Dr Hopkinson. They also spread from western Europe into areas of central and eastern Europe their forbears had been unable to settle. “The eastern expansion shows that the Neanderthals became capable of managing their lives and their landscapes in strongly seasonal environments,” said Dr Hopkinson. Dr Hopkinson concludes:” Neanderthals have typically been thought of as incapable of innovation, as it was assumed to be something unique to Homo sapiens. With this evidence of innovation it becomes difficult to exclude Neanderthals from the concept of humanity.”

New Evidence Debunks ‘Stupid’ Neanderthal Myth

ScienceDaily (26 Aug. 2008) — Research by UK and American scientists has struck another blow to the theory that Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) became extinct because they were less intelligent than our ancestors (Homo sapiens). The research team has shown that early stone tool technologies developed by our species, Homo sapiens, were no more efficient than those used by Neanderthals. Published in the Journal of Human Evolution, their discovery debunks a textbook belief held by archaeologists for more than 60 years. The team from the University of Exeter, Southern Methodist University, Texas State University, and the Think Computer Corporation, spent three years flintknapping (producing stone tools).

 

They recreated stone tools known as ‘flakes,’ which were wider tools originally used by both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, and ‘blades,’ a narrower stone tool later adopted by Homo sapiens. Archaeologists often use the development of stone blades and their assumed efficiency as proof of Homo sapiens’ superior intellect. To test this, the team analysed the data to compare the number of tools produced, how much cutting-edge was created, the efficiency in consuming raw material and how long tools lasted. Blades were first produced by Homo sapiens during their colonization of Europe…approximately 40,000 years ago. This has traditionally been thought to be a dramatic technological advance, helping Homo sapiens out-compete, and eventually eradicate, their Stone Age cousins. Yet when the research team analysed their data there was no statistical difference between the efficiency of the two technologies. In fact, their findings showed that in some respects the flakes favoured by Neanderthals were more efficient than the blades adopted by Homo sapiens…..

 

…Many long-held beliefs suggesting why the Neanderthals went extinct have been debunked in recent years. Research has already shown that Neanderthals were as good at hunting as Homo sapiens and had no clear disadvantage in their ability to communicate. Now, these latest findings add to the growing evidence that Neanderthals were no less intelligent than our ancestors. Metin Eren, an MA Experimental Archaeology student at the University of Exeter and lead author on the paper comments: “Our research disputes a major pillar holding up the long-held assumption that Homo sapiens were more advanced than Neanderthals. It is time for archaeologists to start searching for other reasons why Neanderthals became extinct while our ancestors survived. Technologically speaking, there is no clear advantage of one tool over the other. When we think of Neanderthals, we need to stop thinking in terms of ‘stupid’ or ‘less advanced’ and more in terms of ‘different.'”

Now that it is established that there is no technical advantage to blades, why did Homo sapiens adopt this technology during their colonization of Europe? The researchers suggest that the reason for this shift may be more cultural or symbolic. Eren explains: “Colonizing a continent isn’t easy. Colonizing a continent during the Ice Age is even harder. So, for early Homo sapiens colonizing Ice Age Europe, a new shared and flashy-looking technology might serve as one form of social glue by which larger social networks were bonded. Thus, during hard times and resource droughts these larger social networks might act like a type of ‘life insurance,’ ensuring exchange and trade among members on the same ‘team.'”

The University of Exeter is the only university in the world to offer a degree course in Experimental Archaeology. This strand of archaeology focuses on understanding how people lived in the past by recreating their activities and replicating their technologies. Eren says: “It was only by spending three years in the lab learning how to physically make these tools that we were able to finally replicate them accurately enough to come up with our findings.” This research was funded by the National Science Foundation of the USA and the Exeter Graduation Fund.

Childbirth Was Already Difficult For Neanderthals

ScienceDaily (09 Sept. 2008) — Neanderthals had a brain at birth of a similar size to that of modern-day babies. However, after birth, their brain grew more quickly than it does for Homo sapiens and became larger too. Nevertheless, the individual lifespan ran just as slowly as it does for modern human beings.

Neanderthals had a brain at birth of a similar size to that of modern-day babies. (Credit: Ch. Zollikofer, courtesy of University of Zurich)

These new insights into the history of human evolution are being presented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by researchers from the University of Zurich. Dr. Marcia Ponce de León and Prof. Christoph Zollikofer from the Anthropological Institute of the University of Zurich examined the birth and the brain development of a newborn Neanderthal baby from the Mezmaiskaya Cave in the Crimea.

That Neanderthal child, which died shortly after it was born, was evidently buried with such care that it was able to be recovered in good condition from the cave sediments of the Ice Age after resting for approximately 40,000 years. The only well-preserved find of a fossil newborn known to date provides new information on how, in the course of evolution, the very special kind of individual human development has crystallised. Dr. Marcia Ponce de León and Prof. Zollikofer reconstructed the skeleton on the computer from 141 individual parts.

They discovered that the brain at the time of birth was of exactly the same size as a typical human newborn. It had a volume of about 400 cubic centimetres. However, the skeleton was considerably more robustly formed than that of a modern human newborn. In order to clarify whether the head of a Neanderthal newborn baby, like today’s human, still fits through the birth canal of the mother’s pelvis, they reconstructed a female Neanderthal pelvis which had already been found in the 1930s.

This enabled the process of birth to be simulated. The computer reconstruction shows that the birth canal of this woman was wider than that of a Homo sapiens mother, but the head of the Neanderthal newborn was somewhat longer than that of a human newborn because of its relatively robust face. This meant that for the Neanderthals, the birth was probably about as difficult as it is for our own race.

“The brain size of a newborn of 400 cubic centimetres is probably an evolutionary birth limit which had already been reached with the last common ancestors of human beings and Neanderthals” concludes Zollikofer. “That would mean that for the last 500,000 years, we have been paying a high evolutionary price in the form of birth problems for our large brain.” To study the development after birth, the researchers examined not only the Mezmaiskaya newborn but also other Neanderthal children up to an age of approximately 4. It is astonishing that the Neanderthal brain grew even more quickly during childhood than that of Homo sapiens. Until now, one has assumed that the consequence of rapid growth was a shorter lifespan and high mortality under the motto of “live fast – die young.” However, the new studies show that the Neanderthal brain indeed grew more quickly than our own, but on average, a larger volume had to be reached in adult age. The duration of brain growth is therefore the same for both kinds of human being. The large brain brought consequences for the life history (pregnancy, puberty, life expectancy) of the Neanderthals. For children to develop a large brain in a short space of time, they need additional energy and nutrition from the mothers. The only mothers capable of providing this were those who had developed the necessary constitution themselves. They therefore had their first child a little later. If one now compares the entire life history of an average Neanderthal with that of a modern human being, a picture emerges which deviates significantly from existing doctrine: the development of the Neanderthals was just as slow as that of modern people, if not even a little slower. Despite major physical differences between modern man and the Neanderthal since birth, both types actually obey the same restrictions which are forced upon us by the laws of physiology, development and evolution. “As far as birth, development of the brain and life history are concerned, we are astonishingly similar to each other”, says Dr. Ponce de León.

Virtual Reconstruction Of A Neanderthal Woman’s Birth Canal Reveals Insights Into Evolution Of Human Child Birth

ScienceDaily (29 May 2009) — Researchers from the University of California at Davis (USA) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany) present a virtual reconstruction of a female Neanderthal pelvis from Tabun (Israel).

Virtual reconstruction of the pelvis of a female Neanderthal from Tabun (Israel). The colours indicate the individual bone fragments that were fit together. The gray wedge shows the estimated configuration of the sacrum (lower part of the spinal column). (Credit: Tim Weaver, University of California)

Although the size of Tabun’s reconstructed birth canal shows that Neanderthal childbirth was about as difficult as in present-day humans, the shape indicates that Neanderthals retained a more primitive birth mechanism than modern humans. The virtual reconstruction of the pelvis from Tabun is going to be the first of its kind to be available for download on the internet for everyone interested in the evolution of humankind (PNAS, April 20th, 2009). Childbirth in humans is more complicated than in other primates….. [breech-birth???]…

Tim Weaver of the University of California (Davis, USA) and Jean-Jacques Hublin, director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany) now present a virtual reconstruction of a female Neanderthal pelvis from Tabun (Israel). The size of Tabun’s reconstructed birth canal shows that Neanderthal childbirth was about as difficult as in present-day humans. However, its shape indicates that Neanderthals retained a more primitive birth mechanism than modern humans, without rotation of the baby’s body….

…The virtual reconstruction of the pelvis from Tabun is going to be the first of its kind to be available for download on the internet for everyone interested in human evolution. The computer files will be available from the websites of University of California at Davis and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

The brains of Neanderthals and modern humans are very similar at the time of birth. A reconstruction of a Neanderthal baby is compared to a modern human newborn. While the face of the Neanderthal is already larger than in a modern human at the time of birth, their brain shapes and volumes are very similar. Internal casts of brain cavities of skulls (Neanderthal: red; modern humans: blue) provide information about the relative size and form of the brain. (Credit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)

One of the key pieces of evidence was the skull reconstruction of a Neanderthal newborn. In 1914, a team of French archaeologists had excavated the skeleton of a Neanderthal baby at the rock shelter of Le Moustier in the Dordogne. The original bones of the skeleton had been lost to science for more than 90 years, until they were rediscovered among museum collections by Bruno Maureille and the museum staff. The restored original baby bones are now on permanent display at the Musée National de Préhistoire in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil.

The museum’s director Jean-Jacques Cleyet-Merle made it possible to scan the delicate fragments using a high-resolution computed-tomographic scanner (µCT). Using computers at the Max Planck Institute’s virtual reality lab in Leipzig, Philipp Gunz and Simon Neubauer then reconstructed the Neanderthal baby from the digital pieces, like in a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

Both Neanderthals and modern human neonates have elongated braincases at the time of birth, but only modern human endocasts change to a more globular shape in the first year of life…in light of the recent breakthroughs in the Neanderthal genome project. A comparison of Neanderthal and modern human genomes revealed several regions with strong evidence for positive selection ….

Handsome By Chance: Why Humans Look Different From Neanderthals

ScienceDaily (16 Aug. 2007) — Chance, not natural selection, best explains why the modern human skull looks so different from that of its Neanderthal relative, according to a new study led by Tim Weaver, assistant professor of anthropology at UC Davis.

Dr. Robert McCarthy of Florida Atlantic University has reconstructed vocal tracts that simulate the voice of Neanderthals. (Shown above: Model of the Neanderthal man, exhibited in the Dinosaur Park Münchehagen, Germany.) (Credit: iStockphoto/Klaus Nilkens)

Model of the Neanderthal man. Exhibited in the Dinosaur Park Münchehagen, Germany. (Credit: iStockphoto/Klaus Nilkens)

For 150 years, scientists have tried to decipher why Neanderthal skulls are different from those of modern humans,” Weaver said. “Most accounts have emphasized natural selection and the possible adaptive value of either Neanderthal or modern human traits. We show that instead, random changes over the past 500,000 years or so – since Neanderthals and modern humans became isolated from each other – are the best explanation for these differences.”

Weaver and his colleagues compared cranial measurements of 2,524 modern human skulls and 20 Neanderthal specimens, then contrasted those results with genetic information from a separate sample of 1,056 modern humans. The scientists concluded that Neanderthals did not develop their protruding mid-faces as an adaptation to icy Pleistocene weather or the demands of using teeth as tools, and the retracted faces of modern humans are not an adaptation for language*, as some anthropologists have proposed.** Instead, random “genetic drift” is the likeliest reason for these skull differences. Weaver conducted the research with Charles Roseman, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Chris Stringer, a paleoanthropologist at the Natural History Museum in London. The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Human Evolution. *:

Skulls Of Modern Humans And Ancient Neanderthals Evolved Differently Because Of Chance, Not Natural Selection

ScienceDaily (20 March 2008) — New research led by UC Davis anthropologist Tim Weaver adds to the evidence that chance, rather than natural selection, best explains why the skulls of modern humans and ancient Neanderthals evolved differently. The findings may alter how anthropologists think about human evolution.

The approximate locations of the cranial measurements used in the analyses are superimposed as red lines on lateral (A), anterior (B), and inferior (C) views of a human cranium. (Credit: National Academy of Sciences, PNAS (Copyright 2008)) Weaver’s study appears in the March 17 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It builds on findings from a study he and his colleagues published last year in the Journal of Human Evolution, in which the team compared cranial measurements of 2,524 modern human skulls and 20 Neanderthal specimens.

The researchers concluded that random genetic change, or genetic drift, most likely account for the cranial differences. In their new study, Weaver and his colleagues crunched their fossil data using sophisticated mathematical models — and calculated that Neanderthals and modern humans split about 370,000 years ago. The estimate is very close to estimates derived by other researchers who have dated the split based on clues from ancient Neanderthal and modern-day human DNA sequences.

The close correlation of the two estimates — one based on studying bones, one based on studying genes — demonstrates that the fossil record and analyses of DNA sequences give a consistent picture of human evolution during this time period. “A take-home message may be that we should reconsider the idea that all morphological (physical) changes are due to natural selection, and instead consider that some of them may be due to genetic drift,” Weaver said. “This may have interesting implications for our understanding of human evolution.” Weaver conducted the research with Charles Roseman, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Chris Stringer, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London.

 **: Neanderthals Speak Again After 30,000 Years

Last year researchers found that Neanderthals and modern humans shared a version of a gene linked to speech called FOXP2.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1050205.ece#ixzz0s0EFO0JQ ScienceDaily (21 Apr. 2008)

— Dr. Robert McCarthy, an assistant professor of anthropology in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University, has reconstructed vocal tracts that simulate the sound of the Neanderthal voice. Using 50,000-year-old fossils from France and a computer synthesizer, McCarthy’s team has generated a recording of how a Neanderthal would pronounce the letter “e.”  The brief recording doesn’t sound like any letter in modern languages, but McCarthy says that’s because Neanderthals lacked the “quantal vowels” modern humans use. Quantal vowels provide cues that help speakers with different size vocal tracts understand one another. “They would have spoken a bit differently,” McCarthy said at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Columbus, Ohio in April. “They wouldn’t have been able to produce these quantal vowels that form the basis of spoken language.” Though quantal vowels make subtle differences in speech, their absence would have limited Neanderthal speech.  For example, Neanderthals would not be able to distinguish between the words ‘beat’ and ‘bit.’ For scientists, McCarthy’s work represents an exploration of life 30,000 years ago when Neanderthal humans, our closest extinct ancestor, lived in parts of Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.  The species died out mysteriously some 28,000 years ago. McCarthy has plans to eventually simulate an entire Neanderthal sentence. McCarthy’s simulation of a Neanderthal voice is available here.

From “National Geographic” 2007In October 2007 Lalueza-Fox, Holger Römpler of the University of Leipzig, and their colleagues announced that they had isolated a pigmentation gene from the DNA of an individual at El Sidrón (as well as another Neanderthal fossil from Italy). The particular form of the gene, called MC1R, indicated that at least some Neanderthals would have had red hair, pale skin, and, possibly, freckles.

Neanderthal

Last of the Neanderthals

Eurasia was theirs alone for 200,000 years.

Gallery

Peer Into the Past

See photos by Joe McNally and David Liittschwager.

The gene is unlike that of red-haired people today, however—suggesting that Neanderthals and modern humans developed the trait independently, perhaps under similar pressures in northern latitudes to evolve fair skin to let in more sunlight for the manufacture of vitamin D. Just a few weeks earlier, Svante Pääbo, who now heads the genetics laboratory at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Lalueza-Fox, and their colleagues had announced an even more astonishing find: Two El Sidrón individuals appeared to share, with modern humans, a version of a gene called FOXP2 that contributes to speech and language ability, acting not only in the brain but also on the nerves that control facial muscles. Whether Neanderthals were capable of sophisticated language abilities or a more primitive form of vocal communication (singing, for example) still remains unclear, but the new genetic findings suggest they possessed some of the same vocalizing hardware as modern humans.All this from a group of ill-fated Neanderthals buried in a cave collapse…..

Ed Green, head of biomathematics in Pääbo’s group in Leipzig, said “so the reality is that for most of the sequence, there’s no difference between Neanderthals and [modern] humans.” The differences are less than a half percent of the sequence….The Leipzig group also managed to extract mitochondrial DNA from two fossils of uncertain origin that had been excavated in Uzbekistan and southern Siberia; both had a uniquely Neanderthal genetic signature. While the Uzbekistan specimen, a young boy, had long been considered a Neanderthal, the Siberian specimen was a huge surprise, extending the known Neanderthal range some 1,200 miles east of their European stronghold….

it also suggests that they may have possessed human language and were successful over a far larger sweep of Eurasia than previously thought. Which brings us back to the same hauntingly persistent question that has shadowed them from the beginning: Why did they disappear?

To coax a Neanderthal fossil to reveal its secrets, you can measure it with calipers, probe it with a CT scan, or try to capture the ghost of its genetic code. Or if you happen to have at your disposal a type of particle accelerator called a synchrotron, you can put it in a lead-lined room and blast it with a 50,000-volt x-ray beam, without disturbing so much as a single molecule.

Over a sleep-deprived week in October 2007, a team of scientists gathered at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, for an unprecedented “convention of jawbones.” The goal was to explore a crucial question in the life history of the Neanderthals: Did they reach maturity at an earlier age than their modern human counterparts? If so, it might have implications for their brain development, which in turn might help explain why they disappeared. The place to look for answers was deep inside the structure of Neanderthal teeth.

“When I was young, I thought that teeth were not so useful in assessing recent human evolution, but now I think they are the most important thing,” said Jean-Jacques Hublin, who had accompanied his Max Planck Institute colleague Tanya Smith to Grenoble.

Along with Paul Tafforeau of the ESRF, Hublin and Smith were squeezed into a computer-filled hutch at the facility—one of the three largest synchrotrons in the world, with a storage ring for energized electrons half a mile in circumference—watching on a video monitor as the x-ray beam zipped through the right upper canine of an adolescent Neanderthal from the site of Le Moustier in southwestern France, creating arguably the most detailed dental x-ray in human history. Meanwhile, a dream team of other fossils sat on a shelf nearby, awaiting their turn in the synchrotron’s spotlight: two jawbones of Neanderthal juveniles recovered in Krapina, Croatia, dating back 130,000 to 120,000 years; the so-called La Quina skull from a Neanderthal youth, discovered in France and dating from between 75,000 to 40,000 years ago; and two striking 90,000-year-old modern human specimens, teeth intact, found in a rock shelter called Qafzeh in Israel.

When teeth are imaged at high resolution, they reveal a complex, three-dimensional hatch of daily and longer periodic growth lines, like tree rings, along with stress lines that encode key moments in an individual’s life history. The trauma of birth etches a sharp neonatal stress line on the enamel; the time of weaning and episodes of nutritional deprivation or other environmental stresses similarly leave distinct marks on developing teeth. “Teeth preserve a continuous, permanent record of growth, from before birth until they finish growing at the end of adolescence,” Smith explained.

To address this question, Smith, Tafforeau, and colleagues had previously used the synchrotron to demonstrate that an early modern human child from a site called Jebel Irhoud in Morocco (dated to around 160,000 years ago) showed the modern human life history pattern. In contrast, the “growth rings” in the 100,000-year-old tooth of a young Neanderthal discovered in the Scladina cave in Belgium indicated that the child was eight years old when it died and appeared to be on track to reach puberty several years sooner than the average for modern humans. Another research team, using a single Neanderthal tooth, had found no such difference between its growth pattern and that of living humans. But while a full analysis from the “jawbone convention” would take time, preliminary results, Smith said, were “consistent with what we see in Scladina.”

“This would certainly affect Neanderthal social organization, mating strategy, and parenting behavior,” says Hublin. “Imagine a society where individuals start to reproduce four years earlier than in modern humans. It’s a very different society….From southern Israel to northern Germany, the archaeological record shows that Neanderthals relied almost entirely on hunting big and medium-size mammals like horses, deer, bison, and wild cattle. No doubt they were eating some vegetable material and even shellfish near the Mediterranean, but the lack of milling stones or other evidence for processing plant foods suggests to Stiner and Kuhn that to a Neanderthal vegetables were supplementary foods, “more like salads, snacks, and desserts than energy-rich staple foods.”

Their bodies’ relentless demand for calories, especially in higher latitudes and during colder interludes, probably forced Neanderthal women and children to join in the hunt—a “rough and dangerous business,” write Stiner and Kuhn, judging by the many healed fractures evident on Neanderthal upper limbs and skulls…. Of all possible cultural buffers, perhaps the most important was the cushion of society itself. According to Erik Trinkaus, a Neanderthal social unit would have been about the size of an extended family….Longevity, in turn, increases intergenerational transmission of knowledge and creates what Chris Stringer calls a “culture of innovation”—the passage of practical survival skills and toolmaking technology from one generation to the next, and later between one group and another.

Whatever the suite of cultural buffers, they may well have provided an extra, albeit thin, layer of insulation against the harsh climatic stresses that Stringer argues peaked right around the time the Neanderthals vanished. Ice core data suggest that from about 30,000 years ago until the last glacial maximum about 18,000 years ago, the Earth’s climate fluctuated wildly, sometimes within the space of decades.
Stringer said, “Neanderthals were obviously well adapted to a colder climate. But were plagued with the superimposition of these extreme changes in climate….”
Evolutionary biologist Clive Finlayson, of the Gibraltar Museum, was standing in the vestibule of Gorham’s Cave, a magnificent tabernacle of limestone opening to the sea on the Rock of Gibraltar. Inside, fantastic excretions of flowstone drooled from the ceiling of the massive nave. The stratigraphy in the cave is pocked with evidence of Neanderthal occupation going back 125,000 years, including stone spearpoints and scrapers, charred pine nuts, and the remains of ancient hearths. Two years ago, Finlayson and his colleagues used radiocarbon dating to determine that the embers in some of those fireplaces died out only 28,000 years ago—the last known trace of Neanderthals on Earth. (Other hearths in the cave may be as young as 24,000 years old, but their dating is controversial.)

From pollen and animal remains, Finlayson has reconstructed what the environment was like from 50,000 to 30,000 years ago. Back then, a narrow coastal shelf surrounded Gibraltar, the Mediterranean two or three miles distant. The landscape was scrub savanna scented with rosemary and thyme, its rolling sand dunes interrupted by the occasional cork oak and stone pine, with wild asparagus growing in the coastal flats. Prehistoric vultures, some with nine-foot wingspans, nested high up in the cliff face, scanning the dunes for meals. Finlayson imagines the Neanderthals watching the birds circle and descend, then racing them for food. Their diet was certainly more varied than the typical Neanderthal dependence on terrestrial game. His research team has found rabbit bones, tortoise shells, and mussels in the cave, along with dolphin bones and a seal skeleton with cut marks. “Except for rice, you’ve almost got a Mousterian paella!” Finlayson joked.

But then things changed. When the coldest fingers of the Ice Age finally reached southern Iberia in a series of abrupt fluctuations between 30,000 and 23,000 years ago, the landscape was transformed into a semiarid steppe. On this more open playing field, perhaps the tall, gracile modern humans moving into the region with projectile spears gained the advantage over the stumpy, muscle-bound Neanderthals. But Finlayson argues that it was not so much the arrival of modern humans as the dramatic shifts in climate that pushed the Iberian Neanderthals to the brink. “A three-year period of intense cold, or a landslide, when you’re down to ten people, could be enough,” he said. “Once you reach a certain level, you’re the living dead.”

The larger point may be that the demise of the Neanderthals is not a sprawling yet coherent paleoanthropological novel; rather, it is a collection of related, but unique, short stories of extinction. “Why did the Neanderthals disappear in Mongolia?” Stringer asked. “Why did they disappear in Israel? Why did they disappear in Italy, in Gibraltar, in Britain? Well, the answer could be different in different places, because it probably happened at different times. So we’re talking about a large range, and a disappearance and retreat at different times, with pockets of Neanderthals no doubt surviving in different places at different times. Gibraltar is certainly one of their last outposts. It could be the last, but we don’t know for sure.”

Whatever happened, the denouement of all these stories had a signatory in Gorham’s Cave. In a deep recess of the cavern, not far from that last Neanderthal hearth, Finlayson’s team recently discovered several red handprints on the wall. Preliminary analysis of the pigments dates the handprints between 20,300 and 19,500 years ago. “It’s like they were saying, Hey, it’s a new world now,” said Finlayson.

A little Neanderthal may lurk in all of us

Tracing human lineage through ancient DNAN. GOPAL RAJ

Between one per cent and four per cent of the nuclear DNA of modern humans outside Africa came from Neanderthals

photo: N. Gopal Raj

Ancient ancestor:Svante Paabo’s study of DNA sequence from an ancient bone showed that it came from an ancient human who shared a common ancestor with Neanderthals and modern humans about one million years ago. –It is an interest that began with the pyramids and mummies of ancient Egypt. But Svante Pääbo has made his name not in archaeology but by resurrecting ancient DNA.Earlier this year, a team that he led published a draft genome of Neanderthals, our close cousins with whom we shared common ancestors within the last half-a-million years ago.

Uneasy coexistence

Although Neanderthals and modern humans coexisted, perhaps uneasily, for several thousand years, the former went extinct about 30,000 years back. Comparing our genome with that of the Neanderthals provides vital clues about what in the genetic make-up of modern humans is so uniquely different.

Prof. Pääbo, director of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, was in Thiruvananthapuram recently for the conference of the Human Frontier Science Programme.

“I was very interested in archaeology and my mother took me to Egypt when I was 11 or 12 or so,” he told this correspondent. “That made me totally fascinated and I wanted to become an archaeologist, excavate pyramids and find mummies.”

“But I had a far too romantic an idea about Egyptology,” he recalled with a grin. To his dismay, the course at the Uppsala University in Sweden revolved around linguistics, not fieldwork. “So then I didn’t know what to do with my life.”

He switched to studying medicine and then opted to do a doctorate in molecular genetics.

But he didn’t forget Egypt and its mummies. “I knew, of course, that there were hundreds and thousands of mummies from Egypt in museums. No one seemed to have tried to isolate DNA from them. So then I started doing that.”

Unsure of approval

As he was supposed to be working on immune defences against viral infections for his thesis, he wasn’t sure that his supervisor would approve of this new line of research. So the work on DNA from Egyptian mummies was carried out in secret.

He was successful and in 1985 published a single-author paper in Nature titled “Molecular cloning of Ancient Egyptian mummy DNA.”

DNA degrades rapidly to really short fragments in ancient remains, said Dr. Pääbo. The piece of DNA that he had cloned was a long piece. So in hindsight, that piece was probably a contaminant that had crept in.

DNA present

However, a stained microscope slide showed that DNA was indeed present in the cell nuclei of the sample from a mummy.

Seeing the Nature paper, Allan Wilson at the University of California at Berkeley, who had pioneered using changes in proteins and DNA as molecular clocks to understand evolutionary processes, was so impressed that he asked if he could do sabbatical in Dr. Pääbo’s laboratory! After correcting that misunderstanding, “I was in a very good position to ask if I could do a post-doctoral with him instead.”

Subsequently, returning to Europe as a full professor in Germany, Dr. Pääbo began work on Neanderthals. The type specimen for Neanderthals was, after all, in Germany. But these ancient remains are very valuable. So DNA retrieval had to be first demonstrated with the remains of cave bears, which are often found in the same caves as Neanderthal bones. Only then, after much negotiation, was it possible to get Neanderthal samples in 1996.

A year later, a paper on the genome sequence of Neanderthal DNA found in its mitochondria, the tiny energy-producing machinery in cells that are passed along from mother to child, was published in the journal Cell. That showed no contribution from Neanderthals to the mitochondrial DNA of modern humans.

However, when the draft genome sequence of the Neanderthal nuclear DNA was published in the journal Science in May this year, it indicated that between one per cent and four per cent of the nuclear DNA of modern humans outside Africa came from Neanderthals.

At the level of genes and the proteins that they encode, new research published online May 6 in the journal Science reveals that we differ from Neanderthals hardly at all.

The question of whether or not Neanderthals have contributed to the gene pool of modern humans has been a contentious issue in palaeontology. “It is fascinating now when we get the nuclear genome to see there is a little bit of contribution,” pointed out Dr. Pääbo.

55 per cent chance

The draft version had just 1.3- to 1.5-fold coverage of the Neanderthal genome. “So if you are interested in some particular position in the genome, there is just about 55 per cent chance that we have seen it.” This was good enough for the first overview, “but we don’t have everything.” The aim now was to achieve 10- to 20-fold coverage of the genome. Then “we will have almost every position that exists as one copy” in the Neanderthal genome.

It will then be possible to list of how modern humans differ from our very closest relatives.

Many of those changes will be trivial. But among them will be important ones that define fully modern humans.

There will not be many such changes. “So in protein-coding genes for example, we estimate that less than 200 amino acids will have changed recently and become fixed [in modern humans],” he added. Other scientists can then study what those changes do functionally.

In March this year, Dr. Pääbo and his colleagues published a paper on the mitochondrial DNA sequence from an ancient human bone found in a cave in southern Siberia in 2008.

The DNA sequence showed that the bone came from a hitherto unknown type of ancient human that shared a common ancestor with Neanderthals and modern humans about one million years ago.

A draft sequence of the nuclear genome of this hominin had been produced and “we are in the process of analysing that,” said Dr. Pääbo.

Timing changes

It would be interesting to see how this ancient human was related to present day humans and to Neanderthals, he observed. It would also then be possible to time changes that occurred along the human lineage.

Traces of that ancient DNA live on in most human beings today, the researchers report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

The finding, which was made by analyzing DNA from Neanderthal bones and comparing it to that of five living humans, appears to resolve a longstanding mystery about the relationship between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, who coexisted in Europe and western Asia for more than 10,000 years until Neanderthals disappeared about 30,000 years ago.

“We can now say with absolute certainty that we’ve got these Neanderthal genes,” said John Hawks, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Wisconsin who was not involved in the study. “They’re not ‘them’ anymore – they’re ‘us.’”

Study suggests humans mated with Neanderthals

By KAREN KAPLAN
Los Angeles Times
Published: Thursday, 06 May. 2010

Svante Paabo, the geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who spearheaded the study, said he now sees his ancestors in a new light. His initial research on a different type of DNA that contains far less information had concluded – incorrectly, it turns out – that Neanderthals have no genetic connection to people alive today.

Now, Paabo said, “I would more see them as a form of humans that were a bit more different than people are from each other today.”

Most important, scientists said, knowing the precise structure of the Neanderthal genome will help answer the fundamental biological question: What makes us human?

Neanderthal DNA is 99.7 percent identical to that of people, according to the analysis, which involved dozens of researchers. Something in the remaining 0.3 percent must make us unique.

“It’s not about understanding Neanderthals,” said genome biologist Ed Green, who led the study as a research fellow in Paabo’s lab and is now at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “It’s understanding us.”

The researchers constructed the Neanderthal genome from three bone fragments found in Croatia’s Vindija Cave. Using a sterile dentistry drill, the scientists removed 400 milligrams of bone powder – an amount equivalent to the size of an aspirin.

Extracting DNA from ancient bones was a dicey proposition.

For starters, 95 percent to 99 percent of the DNA the team found came from microbes that colonized the bones after the Neanderthals died more than 38,000 years ago. To address that problem, the scientists discarded DNA fragments with letter combinations that were especially common in microbes.

In addition, the Neanderthal DNA was badly degraded, which caused sequencing machines to misread some of the chemical letters in the sequence. The researchers developed a computer program to correct those mistakes.

The researchers took special precautions to keep their own DNA out of the Neanderthal samples. Workers wore full-body suits, including masks and gloves. The air pressure inside the lab was kept high so that nothing could blow in accidentally, and the room was irradiated after the researchers went home, Green said.

After four years of work, the team identified 4 billion fragments of Neanderthal DNA and organized them into a draft genome. The sequence is 60 percent complete.

“It is a very poor quality for a human genome, but it is outstanding for a 30,000-year-old extinct hominid,” said Eddy Rubin, who has sequenced samples of Neanderthal DNA at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory but was not involved in the Science study.

To look for evidence of gene flow between humans and Neanderthals, the researchers sequenced the DNA of five people who now live in southern Africa, western Africa, France, China and Papua New Guinea. Since they didn’t think Neanderthals genes had passed to humans, they expected to find the same degree of difference between the Neanderthal genome and all five people.

Instead, they discovered that the Neanderthal DNA was slightly more similar to the three people living outside of Africa. Even more surprising, the relationship was just as strong for the individuals from China and Papua New Guinea as for the person from France, who lives in the Neanderthals’ old stomping grounds.

The simplest explanation is that a small group of humans met the Neanderthals 50,000 to 80,000 years ago after they left Africa but before they had spread throughout Europe, Asia and beyond. The logical meeting place was the Middle East, which connects northeast Africa to the Eurasian continent.

“The contact must have happened early for the Neanderthals genes to have spread so widely and uniformly,” Henry Harpending, an anthropologist at the University of Utah, who was not involved in the study.

The amount of mixing was small – only 1 percent to 4 percent of the DNA in non-African humans originated in Neanderthals, according to the study. The researchers said none of that DNA is functional; in fact, the particular 1 percent to 4 percent is different in every individual.

Interbreeding may well have continued in Europe, but that would be harder to detect because both populations there were large and any small Neanderthal contribution would be too dilute to see, Paabo said.

Philadelphia Daily News2010-05-17

By Faye Flam Inquirer Staff Writer We are not the species we thought we were. No longer can we assume we were better than Neanderthals, or that the superiority of our species led to their extinction. Instead, according to the latest DNA analysis, these supposedly primitive creatures mated with , passing their genes into our lineage. That certainly deflates the image of humanity as a distinct, pure species, triumphant over Neanderthals and other competitors….
From Wikipedia dated at 26 October 2010 at 00:45.
File:Krapina - Hruskovo 01.jpgStatues at the Homo neanderthalensis finding site in Krapina. Neanderthals were also shown as living in primitive towns in the rural areas of the former United States in Philip K. Dick’s book The Simulacra

  • In The Ugly Little Boy by Isaac Asimov, a Neanderthal child is brought into the present via time travel. Neanderthals are sympathetically depicted as having an articulate and sophisticated society and language, in conscious rebuttal of the above stereotype. In 1992 it was expanded into a novel in collaboration with Robert Silverberg, adding a covergent plot taking part in the Neanderthal society of the past.

  • Robert J.  Sawyer’s 1997 novel Frameshift used Neanderthal DNA as an element of a plot set in modern-day America

  • In The Silk Code by Paul Levinson (winner of 1999 Locus Award for Best First Novel), Neanderthals are still living in Basque country in 750 AD, and a few survive in the present world.

  • The novel Heaven by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen features spacefaring Neanderthals who were removed from Earth by powerful aliens for unspecified reasons.

  • Colin Wilson discusses evidence and theories of actual Neanderthal survival into the modern age, [with most Europeans having at least 4% of Neanderthal genes within them accomplished by the now proven reality that they indeed did interbreed with humans], in his book “Unsolved Mysteries”.

  • Harry Harrison describes a Neanderthal population in Norway and Sweden in his Alternate History “Hammer and the Cross” series. In these books, Neanderthals hybridize with H. sapiens.

  • Reconstruction of a Neanderthal child's face (Image: Anthropological Institute, University of Zürich)Reconstruction of a Neanderthal child’s face (Image: Anthropological Institute, University of Zürich)

Fact & Fiction

Top 10 Misconceptions About Neanderthals, 16 June 2009

by JFraterOnce depicted as brutal, grunting, slouching sub-humans, Neanderthals are now known to have had brains as large as ours and their own distinct culture. They buried their dead, tended their sick and co-existed with our own ancestors in Europe for thousands of years before becoming extinct just as modern humans flourished and began to spread throughout the continent. This list looks at ten of the most persistent myths about Homo neanderthalensis.

10Lack of Speech

Eyzies-Musée-La Ferrassie

The myth: Neanderthals couldn’t speak; they grunted

It has been long believed that Neanderthals couldn’t speak like humans – having only a basic capacity for sound in their throats, but in 1983, scientists found a Neanderthal hyoid bone at a cave in Israel (the hyoid bone is part of the vocal mechanism) which was identical to that of modern humans. This means that their capacity for speech (at least physically) is the same as our own. There is no reason to believe that they did not have at least a basic system of vocal communication.

9Our Ancestors

477Px-Neanderthal Child

In fact, Neanderthals and modern men existed side by side. Recent DNA studies have found that [at the level of genes and the proteins that they encode] & new research published online 06 May 2009 [in the journal Science] reveals that we differ from Neanderthals hardly at all. “The astonishing implication of the work we’ve just published,” says Prof. Gregory Hannon, Ph.D., of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), “is that we are incredibly similar to Neanderthals at the level of the proteome, which is the full set of proteins that our genes encode.Collaboration with a paleogenetics pioneerHannon, who is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and is well known for his work on small RNAs and RNA interference, was invited this past year to help examine Neanderthal DNA by Dr. Svante Paabo, a pioneer in paleogenetics, a field that employs genome science to study early humans and other Paleolithic-era creatures. In a separate paper, Paabo’ s team today publishes in the same issue of Science the first complete genome sequence for Neanderthal, an achievement that builds on work he has led since 2006 at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Genomics in Leipzig.. The extinction of Neanderthals was most likely caused by slightly lower birth rates and higher mortality rates, combined with an increasingly unstable climate.

8Excess Hair

Adult Male Neanderthal

The myth:

Neanderthals were hairyThere is absolutely no reason to believe that Neanderthals were any hairier than modern man. Computer models have shown that excess hair on neanderthals would have caused over-production of sweat which would have frozen on the neanderthals potentially leading to death.

7Clubbing

Ms-100-Set Web-Lg

The myth: Neanderthals exclusively used clubs as weaponsActually the Neanderthals had many highly developed tools and weapons – such as spears for killing mammoths and stone tools. They are thought to have used tools of the Mousterian class, which were often produced using soft hammer percussion, with hammers made of materials like bones, antlers, and wood, rather than hard hammer percussion, using stone hammers. Many of these tools were very sharp. There is also good evidence that they used a lot of wood, objects which are unlikely to have been preserved until today.

6Bent Over

Neanderthal

The myth:

Neanderthals had bent knees and walked like chimpsThis is one of those very unfortunate cases of a discovery leading to much confusion. A skeleton of a neanderthal was discovered at the start of the 20th century that had bent knees giving rise to the popular belief that all neanderthals did. In fact, it turns out the skeleton was of a Neanderthal that suffered from arthritis. Neanderthals walked upright in the same manner as modern humans; they were generally only 12–14 cm (5–6 in) shorter than modern humans, contrary to a common view of them as “very short” or “just over 5 feet”.

5Savages

Neanderthalflute

The myth: Neanderthals were savageThere is actually much evidence to show that Neanderthals cared for the sick and old in their communities. There has been fossil evidence that shows potentially life-threatening injuries which were completely healed, indicating that the Neanderthal who suffered the injuries was nursed by to health by another member of his group. There is also evidence (via fossilized musical instruments) that Neanderthals enjoyed and played music. You can listen to a clip of a Neanderthal tuba here [Source] and aNeanderthal flute here [RAM format, SourceMore Info]

4

Ethnicity

Neanderthal3

The myth: Neanderthals were ethnically equalBecause we use one term to describe all Neanderthals, we tend to think of them as a single group of people sharing identical traits and features, but it is most likely that there were different ethnicities in Neanderthals just as in humans. A recent study has determined that there were probably three racial groups within the Neanderthal family. From the study: “The conclusions of this study are consistent with existing paleoanthropological research and show that Neanderthals can be divided into at least three groups: one in western Europe, a second in the Southern area and a third in western Asia.” [from Genetic Evidence of Geographical Groups among Neanderthals]

3Cavemen

Image217

The myth: Neanderthals lived in cavesOkay – this is partially true – some Neanderthals did live in caves (hence “cavemen”), but many of them lived in huts: “Winter homes were Ice Age huts, built teepee style, from branches and mammoth bones, covered with animal skins. These huts were used for many years, so they built them carefully. Holes were dug, deeply into the ground. Poles were inserted into these holes, and then tied tightly together at the point of the teepee, at the top, with string made from animal guts. Warm furs were laid over this structure and sewn tightly in place. Large rocks were piled around the bottom, to help hold the hut together.” [Source]

2Ape Face

Jaymatternes-Neanderthal-Man

The myth: 

Neanderthals had faces like ApesThis misconception came about through poor reconstructions from largely arthritic skeletons. In 1983, Jay Matternes (a forensic artist who did much work in fleshing out skulls for homicide investigations) performed a reconstruction on a much better specimen than had been seen before. The result is in the photograph above. It clearly shows that the Neanderthals looked virtually the same as us. If you saw the man above in a suit walking down the street, you would not think anything of it. The same is true of the other reconstructed neanderthal pictures on this list.

1Unanswered Questions

1240Neanderthal

The myth: There are certain questions about the physical attributes of Neanderthals that we will never knowAs of 2009, the complete Neanderthal genome has been mapped. The most important implication of this is that it now becomes technically possible to clone a Neanderthal – to raise them back from the dead so to speak. The current estimated cost of doing this is million US and no one is putting up the cash. There are ethical questions that are always going to be raised regarding cloning and this is also a hindrance. But there is absolutely no reason not to believe that we will – one day – be able to give birth to and raise a Neanderthal (or at least the closest thing possible to one).
Buried Alive: The Startling Truth About Neanderthal Man [Broché]

Jack Cuozzo

_________________________________________________________________
The Silk Code [Relié]

Paul Levinson (Auteur) The Silk Code, winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel of 1999, features NYPD forensic detective Dr. Phil D’Amato – hero of three of Paul Levinson’s earlier award-nominated novelettes – and was published by Tor Books (David Hartwell, editor) in 1999 in hardcover; mass-market paperback in 2000. It reached #8 on the LocusPaperback Best Seller List in February 2001. Gerald Jonas in The New York Times Book Review said “As a genre- bending blend of police procedural and science fiction,The Silk Code delivers on its promises…”; Booklist called it “cerebral but gripping”; Locus picked it as New and Notable in November 1999 and called it an “exceptional first novel.” In a separate Locus review, Gary K. Wolfe said “It’s a rare thriller that actually achieves its goals as a detective tale and a work of boldly speculative sf.” WIRED called the mystery in The Silk Code “as twisted as a double helix.” The Silk Code also was a runner-up in Barnes & Noble’s Explorations “Maiden Voyages” contest for best first sf or fantasy novel of 1999. A Polish translation is underway. The Silk Code was highlighted in the 2002 History Channel documentary Fantastic Voyage: Evolution of Science Fiction, as indicative of the direction science fiction is taking in the 21st century, examining biological themes.


Descriptions du produit:

  • Relié: 320 pages

  • Editeur�: Saint Martin’s Press Inc. (31 décembre 1999)

  • Langue�: Anglais

  • ISBN-10: 0312868235

  • ISBN-13: 978-0312868239

    Amazon.com

  • Phil D’Amato, a forensic scientist working for the NYPD, is visiting an old friend in rural Pennsylvania–home of the Amish. When the friend with no known allergies drops dead of a sudden allergic reaction, D’Amato decides to investigate. He finds himself at the center of a 30,000 year-old biowar being waged with genetically engineered weapons. As he probes deeper, it becomes apparent that the Amish are not the technophobes they appear to be. In his first novel, Levinson was not afraid to tackle big concepts. His narrative spans 1,300 years and several continents, from the Tocharians, a tribe living in Xinjiang on the Silk Road route around 750 A.D., to a New York library janitor who may or may not be entirely human. When the bodies of what look like recently dead Neanderthals start turning up in Toronto and London, the book revs into high gear. We hurtle through a dozen murders, theories for the origins of Homo sapiens and the demise of the Neanderthals; touch on aspects of the philosophy of science and the possibility that cave paintings are really prehistoric movies; and wrap up with an interesting vision of what humanity might have been–if only things had turned out differently. Phil D’Amato made his first appearance in Analog, and fans of his forensic sleuthing will love this full-length treatment. It is biological SF of the Old School–plenty of adventure with no fancy writing and very little character development to get in the way of the plot. –Luc Duplessis

    From Publishers Weekly

 

  • Combining Neanderthals and mechanical looms, cantaloupes and coded butterflies, Levinson’s debut novel (he’s also the current president of the Science Fiction Writers of America) offers a flurry of amazing prehistoric technologies, demonstrating that the mysteries of our past can be just as fruitful as those of our future. A series of strange deaths draws forensic detective Phil D’Amato (returning from Levinson’s shorter fiction) ever deeper into an ancient and ongoing biological war. D’Amato’s vacation in Lancaster, Pa., quickly gets serious when an Amish man is murdered, then D’Amato’s good friend Mo turns up dead. Before he dies, Mo tells of his investigation into the local Amish, of their homes lit by specially bred fireflies and their possible control of deadly allergic reactions. The rest of the novel’s first part works like an expanded short story as D’Amato gradually learns to take the Amish biotechnology seriously.

  • But after a harrowing rescue from incendiary fireflies, the main plot pauses, and its second part jumps back to eighth-century central Asia. This self-contained story follows young Gwellyn on his search to discover the secret of the Neanderthals, who may yet be alive. Blending exotic travel through the Byzantine and Islamic empires with Gwellyn’s growing realization that the Neanderthals are far stranger than humanity ever imagined, this is the novel’s standout section. The book returns to the likable D’Amato for its remainder, as he pursues a bewildering array of murders, deceptions and ancient bioweaponsAall connected, somehow, in the recurrence of silk. Before its dramatic conclusion, Levinson’s ambitious plot occasionally leaves his narratorAand his readerAat sea in loose ends and expository dialogue, but abundant, clever speculations, which creatively explain gaps in both ancient history and biology, compensate handsomely, providing more wonders than many a futuristic epic. (Oct.)

    Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

  • From Library Journal

  • The sudden death of a friend from an apparent allergic reaction leads forensic detective Phil Levinson to suspect murder and exposes him to a bizarre conspiracy with its roots in the distant past and its repercussions in the modern world. Blending together a story of the violent extermination of a species of “singers” in the eighth century A.D. with a tale of 20th-century intrigue and suspense, this first novel by the current president of the Science Fiction Writers of America spins an ingenious web of genetic manipulation and anthropological evidence. A good selection for most sf collections.

    Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

  • The New York Times Book Review, Gerald Jonas

  • As a genre-bending blend of police procedural and science fiction, The Silk Code delivers on its promises, although the episodic structure betrays its origin as a series of short stories.

  • Booklist

  • Levinson, the current president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, fields his short-story series character, New York forensic detective Phil D’Amato, in a cerebral but gripping novel. D’Amato’s specialty is investigating unusual methods of homicide, such as various bioagents. Suddenly, one of his friends dies from such a cause. Discovering similarities between his friend’s death and several other mysterious demises, D’Amato has to probe deeper and more dangerously into illegal genetic research, such as cloning from the tissues of mummies, and other innovative forms of criminal science. As one might deduce from the title, D’Amato’s forensic foray ultimately takes him back in time to ancient China and beyond. He must eventually cope with a threat his prey poses to the continued existence of the human race. Levinson handles myth, history, science, and police procedures with equal skill, earning high marks for intelligence and originality in the process. Roland Green

  • Kirkus Reviews

  • Science-fiction mystery incorporating one of Levinson’s popular stories (first published in Analog) about Manhattan forensic detective Phil D’Amato. Narrator Phil investigates several unusual deathscaused by severe allergic reactions?in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. He learns that the Amish have developed a number of advanced biological tools, such as lamps powered by fireflies, through selective breeding, and have a defense, derived from silk, against the allergic reaction. He develops a theory that the murderers belong to a concealed biological-whiz power group. Elsewhere, in a.d. 750, young trader Gwellyn becomes obsessed by a secretive beetle-browed people who play stone-bone flutes. Crucially, he leaves a document detailing his discoveries.

  • Back in present-day New York, Phil investigates the case of a man who died the day before but whose mummified corpse appears to be that of a 30,000-year-old Neanderthal. At this point things get confusedLevinson inserts bits of omniscient narrative whenever he feels the needbut the upshot is that the gentle, highly intelligent Neanderthals have survived into the present by developing devastating biological weapons. Well-informed and imaginative, with an engaging protagonist, but poorly structured and desperately hard to follow. Levinson’s debut is not an entirely successful graduation from stories to novel, but future appearances will be eagerly anticipated. — Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

  • Review

  • An impressive debut.”–Joe Haldeman

  • Delivers on its promises.”–The New York Times Book Review

    The Silk Code is an intriguing story refreshingly rich not only in action but in ideas.”–Stanley Schmidt, editor of Analog

    –Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

  • Book Description

  • In Paul Levinsons first novel Phil DAmato, New York City forensic detective is caught in an ongoing struggle that dates all the way back to the dawn of humanity on earth, and one of his best friends is a recent casualty. Unless Phil can unravel the genetic puzzle of the Silk Code, hell soon be just as dead. Publisher comments

  • Mixes up-to-the-minute biotechnology with ancient myth, science fiction with police procedure, and prehistory with the near future. It’s an impressive debut.” –Joe Haldeman

  • Forensic detective Phil D’Amato is one of my favorite characters, and the puzzles he solves are always imaginative, ingenious, and addictive, but Paul Levinson really outdoes himself this time in a mystery involving murders, moths, mummies, the Silk Road, poisons, fireflies, and forensics, all woven into a mystery only D’Amato could solve! A marvelous book!” –Connie Willis

  • At last we get Paul Levinson’s superb forensic sleuth, Phil D’Amato, in a full-length novel. If you know Phil from his previous appearances, I need say no more. If you don’t, kick back and enjoy a mystery that spans the ages.” –Jack McDevitt

  • The Silk Code is an intriguing story refreshingly rich not only in action but in ideas. Seldom have I seen a story so engagingly weave together so many seemingly disparate (dare I say it?) threads.” –Stanley Schmidt, editor of Analog

  • “Paul Levinson is an exceptional new writer, behind whose work stands an impressive body of knowledge and a great deal of human understanding. His first novel signals a writer to watch for the provocation and pleasure that he will bring to thoughtful readers. The Silk Code is smoothly written, evocative, and spicy! Highly recommended.” –George Zebrowski

  • The Silk Code is a splendidly imaginative novel that explores worlds of ideas both scientific and philosophical, while carrying the reader effortlessly across countries, times, and cultures.” —Charles Sheffield

  • About the author

  • A past president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, a Hugo and Nebula Award nominee for his short fiction, and the author of several distinguished scholarly works in the field of media studies, Paul Levinson has already demonstrated a unique perspective on the future in such novels as The Silk CodeBorrowed Tides, and The Consciousness Plague. Now, in his wisest, most important novel yet, he reminds us that the future is always shaped by the present.

  • Paul Levinson lives in White Plains, New York.

    �He holds a PhD in Media Theory from New York University and is founder of Connected Education, Inc., which offered graduate courses on the Internet for over a dozen years, starting in 1985. His 30-year teaching career has included positions at the New School for Social Research, Hofstra University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Polytechnic University of New York, Audrey Cohen College, St. John’s University, and the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute. He is now Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, New York City, where he teaches undergraduate classes and graduate students in the Masters of Arts in Public Communications program. He was named the “2004 Teacher of the Year” by the Graduate Students Association.

  • Paul Levinson was President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) from December 1998 through June 2001. He previously served as the organization’s Vice President. Paul is a member of SFWA and of Mystery Writers of America. Paul lives near New York City with his family. His wife, Tina Vozick, is his publicist — coordinating booksignings, appearances, interviews and other publicity matters — contact her if you’d like to arrange a booking, or for more information.��

    Dr. Phil D’Amato returns in a gripping New York City sf mystery, as this NYPD forensics detective faces a strange series of murders and memory losses in The Consciousness Plague, Levinson’s third novel for Tor, published in hard cover in 2002; trade paperback in August 2003. This novel won the 2003 Mary Shelley Award for Outstanding Fictional Work. Roland Green, writing in Booklist, said The Consciousness Plague “more nearly reaches the heights of Isaac Asimov’s classic sf mysteries than those of most other genre hands who attempt them manage to do these days”; Tom Easton said in the November 2002 issue of Analog that “This is Levinson’s best to date”; Library Journal said “Levinson’s intelligent blend of police procedural and speculative fiction should appeal to fans of mystery and sf”; Locus’ Gary K. Wolfe called it “a pretty crisp murder mystery”; and Paul Di Filippo says in SFWeekly that “D’Amato [is] … an earnest Everyman, operating on a shoeshine and a hunch”. Locus picked The Consciousness Plague as “New and Notable” in April 2002. And it was selected as a Spring 2002 Science Fiction Book Club (SFBC) Featured Alternate and a Spring Editor’s Pick of the Mystery Guild. A Polish translation is underway.

Next is a 2006 techno-thriller novel by Michael Crichton, the last to be published during his lifetime.

The book also features news report boxes, many about the genetics of blondes and of Neanderthals. These two themes combine into reports that Neanderthals were the first blondes, were more intelligent than Cro-Magnon humans and interbred with Cro-Magnons out of pity; and that “cavemen preferred blondes“. At one point three successive reports feature a scientist’s press release that Neanderthals had a gene that made them both behaviorally conservative and ecologically conservationist, an environmentalist‘s claim that modern humans need to learn from the Neanderthals lest they too become extinct, and a business columnist’s interpretation that over-caution caused the Neanderthals’ extinction.

Neanderthals More Advanced Than Previously Thought: They Innovated, Adapted Like Modern Humans, Research Shows 
Science Digest
 (22 Sep. 2010) — For decades scientists believed Neanderthals developed `modern’ tools and ornaments solely through contact with Homo sapiens, but new research from the University of Colorado Denver now shows these sturdy ancients could adapt, innovate and evolve technology on their own.

The findings by anthropologist Julien Riel-Salvatore challenge a half-century of conventional wisdom maintaining that Neanderthals were thick-skulled, primitive `cavemen’ overrun and outcompeted by more advanced modern humans arriving in Europe from Africa.

“Basically, I am rehabilitating Neanderthals,” said Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at UC Denver“They were far more resourceful than we have given them credit for.”

His research, to be published in December’s Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, was based on seven years of studying Neanderthal sites throughout Italy, with special focus on the vanished Uluzzian culture.

About 42,000 years ago, the Aurignacian culture, attributed to modern Homo sapiens, appeared in northern Italy while central Italy continued to be occupied by Neanderthals of the Mousterian culture which had been around for at least 100,000 years. At this time a new culture arose in the south, one also thought to be created by Neanderthals. They were the Uluzzian and they were very different.

Riel-Salvatore identified projectile points, ochre, bone tools, ornaments and possible evidence of fishing and small game hunting at Uluzzian archeological sites throughout southern Italy. Such innovations are not traditionally associated with Neanderthals, strongly suggesting that they evolved independently, possibly due to dramatic changes in climate. More importantly, they emerged in an area geographically separated from modern humans.

“My conclusion is that if the Uluzzian is a Neanderthal culture it suggests that contacts with modern humans are not necessary to explain the origin of this new behavior. This stands in contrast to the ideas of the past 50 years that Neanderthals had to be acculturated to humans to come up with this technology,” he said. “When we show Neanderthals could innovate on their own it casts them in a new light. It `humanizes’ them if you will.”

Thousands of years ago, southern Italy experienced a shift in climate, becoming increasingly open and arid, said Riel-Salvatore. Neanderthals living there faced a stark choice of adapting or dying out. The evidence suggests they began using darts or arrows to hunt smaller game to supplement the increasingly scarce larger mammals they traditionally hunted.

“The fact that Neanderthals could adapt to new conditions and innovate shows they are culturally similar to us,” he said. “Biologically they are also similar. I believe they were a subspecies of human but not a different species.”

The powerfully built Neanderthals were first discovered in Germany’s Neander Valley in 1856. Exactly who they were, how they lived and why they vanished remains unclear.

Research shows they contributed between 1 and 4 percent of their genetic material to the people of Asia and EuropeRiel-Salvatore rejects the theory that they were exterminated by modern humans. Homo sapiens might simply have existed in larger groups and had slightly higher birthrates, he said.

“It is likely that Neanderthals were absorbed by modern humans,” he said. “My research suggests that they were a different kind of human, but humans nonetheless. We are more brothers than distant cousins.”

A Neanderthal blade found at the Beedings site.

(Credit: Image courtesy of University College London)

Britain’s Last Neanderthals Were More Sophisticated Than We Thought

ScienceDaily (23 June 2008) — An archaeological excavation at a site near Pulborough, West Sussex, has thrown remarkable new light on the life of northern Europe’s last Neanderthals. It provides a snapshot of a thriving, developing population – rather than communities on the verge of extinction.

“The tools we’ve found at the site are technologically advanced and potentially older than tools in Britain belonging to our own species, Homo sapiens,” says Dr Matthew Pope of Archaeology South East based at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. “It’s exciting to think that there’s a real possibility these were left by some of the last Neanderthal hunting groups to occupy northern Europe. The impression they give is of a population in complete command of both landscape and natural raw materials with a flourishing technology – not a people on the edge of extinction.”

The team, led by Dr Pope and funded by English Heritage, is undertaking the first modern, scientific investigation of the site since its original discovery in 1900. During the construction of a monumental house known as ‘Beedings’ some 2,300 perfectly preserved stone tools were removed from fissures encountered in the foundation trenches.

Only recently were the tools recognised for their importance. Research by Roger Jacobi of the Leverhulme-funded Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) Project showed conclusively that the Beedings material has strong affinities with other tools from northern Europe dating back to between 35,000 and 42,000 years ago. The collection of tools from Beedings is more diverse and extensive than any other found in the region and therefore offers the best insight into the technologically advanced cultures which occupied Northern Europe before the accepted appearance of our own species.

“Dr Jacobi’s work showed the clear importance of the site,” says Dr Pope. “The exceptional collection of tools appears to represent the sophisticated hunting kit of Neanderthal populations which were only a few millennia from complete disappearance in the region. Unlike earlier, more typical Neanderthal tools these were made with long, straight blades – blades which were then turned into a variety of bone and hide processing implements, as well as lethal spear points.

“There were some questions about the validity of the earlier find, but our excavations have proved beyond doubt that the material discovered here was genuine and originated from fissures within the local sandstone. We also discovered older, more typical Neanderthal tools, deeper in the fissure. Clearly, Neanderthal hunters were drawn to the hill over a long period time, presumably for excellent views of the game-herds grazing on the plains below the ridge.”

The excavations suggest the site may not be unique. Similar sites with comparable fissure systems are thought to exist across south east England. The project now aims to prospect more widely across the region for similar sites.

Barney Sloane, Head of Historic Environment Commissions at English Heritage, said: “Sites such as this are extremely rare and a relatively little considered archaeological resource. Their remains sit at a key watershed in the evolutionary history of northern Europe. The tools at Beedings could equally be the signature of pioneer populations of modern humans, or traces of the last Neanderthal hunting groups to occupy the region. This study offers a rare chance to answer some crucial questions about just how technologically advanced Neanderthals were, and how they compare with our own species.”

The project, which has been running with the assistance of the landowners since February 2008, has been directed by Dr Matthew Pope of UCL and Caroline Wells of Sussex Archaeological Society, working closely with specialists from the Boxgrove Project and the Worthing Archaeological Society.

40,000-Year-Old Skull Shows Both Modern Human And Neandertal Traits

ScienceDaily (16 Jan. 2007) — Humans continued to evolve significantly long after they were established in Europe, and interbred with Neandertals as they settled across the continent, according to new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) USA.

This fossil specimen is the earliest largely complete example of an early modern human skull known from Europe. (Credit: Erik Trinkaus)Professor Joao Zilhao of the University of Bristol, Professor Erik Trinkaus of Washington University and colleagues in Europe compared the features of an early modern human cranium found in the Peºtera cu Oase (the Cave with Bones) in southwestern Romania with other human samples from the period (the Late Pleistocene). Differences between the skulls suggest complex population dynamics as modern humans dispersed into Europe.The different fragments of the reconstructed cranium — named Oase 2 — were found in a Late Pleistocene bone bed principally containing the remains of cave bears. They were recovered during a systematic excavation project directed by Professor Trinkaus and Professor Zilhao between 2003 and 2005.Radiocarbon dating of the specimen produced only a minimum age (more than 35,000 years), but similarity in morphological traits with the Oase 1 human mandible — found in 2002 on the surface of the cave, adjacent to the excavation area, and dated to about 40,500 years ago — lead the team to conclude that the two fossils were the same age.

These are the earliest modern human remains so far found in Europe and represent our best evidence of what the modern humans who first dispersed into Europe looked like.By comparing it with other skulls, Professor Zilhao and colleagues found that Oase 2 had the same proportions as modern human crania and shared a number of modern human and/or non-Neandertal features.However, there were some important differences: apparently independent features that are, at best, unusual for a modern human. These included frontal flattening, a fairly large juxtamastoid eminence and exceptionally large upper molars with unusual size progression which are found principally among the Neandertals.

Professor Zilhao said: “Such differences raise important questions about the evolutionary history of modern humans. They could be the result of evolutionary reversal or reflect incomplete palaeontological sampling of Middle Paleolithic human diversity.

“They could also reflect admixture with Neandertal populations as modern humans spread through western Eurasia. This mixture would have resulted in both archaic traits retained from the Neandertals and unique combinations of traits resulting from the blending of previously divergent gene pools.

“The ultimate resolution of these issues must await considerations of larger samples of European early modern humans and chronologically intervening specimens. But this fossil is a major addition to the growing body of fossil, genetic and archaeological evidence indicating significant levels of biological and cultural interaction between modern humans and the anatomically archaic populations (including the Neandertals) they met along the way as they spread from Africa into Eurasia.”

It is apparent that the Oase 2 cranium indicates there was significant modern human morphological evolution since the early Upper Paleolithic, the researchers conclude. Oase 2 is ‘modern’ in its abundance of derived modern human features, but it remains ‘nonmodern’ in its complex constellation of archaic and modern features.

Reference: Pestera cu Oase 2 and the cranial morphology of early modern Europeans by Helene Rougier, Stefan Milota, Ricardo Rodrigo, Mircea Gherase Laurentiu Sarcina, Oana Moldovan, Joao Zilhao, Silviu Constantin, Robert G. Franciscus, Christoph P. E. Zollikofer, Marcia Ponce-de-Leon and Erik Trinkaus http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0610538104

Erik Trinkaus, professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, examines a Neandertal skull. (Photo by Joe Angeles/WUSTL photo)

More Human-Neandertal Mixing Evidence Uncovered

ScienceDaily (06 Nov. 2006) — A reexamination of ancient human bones from Romania reveals more evidence that humans and Neandertals interbred.

Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., Washington University Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor in Arts & Sciences, and colleagues radiocarbon-dated and analyzed the shapes of human bones from Romania’s Petera Muierii (Cave of the Old Woman). The fossils, discovered in 1952, add to the small number of early modern human remains from Europe known to be more than 28,000 years old.

Results were published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The team found that the fossils were 30,000 years old and principally have the diagnostic skeletal features of modern humans. They also found that the remains had other features known, among potential ancestors, primarily among the preceding Neandertals, providing more evidence there was mixing of humans and Neandertals as modern humans dispersed across Europe about 35,000 years ago. Their analysis of one skeleton’s shoulder blade also shows that these humans did not have the full set of anatomical adaptations for throwing projectiles, like spears, during hunting.

The team says that the mixture of human and Neandertal features indicates that there was a complicated reproductive scenario as humans and Neandertals mixed, and that the hypothesis that the Neandertals were simply replaced should be abandoned.

Early Modern Human Skull Includes Surprising Neanderthal Feature

ScienceDaily (Aug. 10, 2007) — In 1942, a human braincase was found in Romania during phosphate mining. The skull’s geological age has remained uncertain. Now, new radiocarbon analysis appearing in the August issue of Current Anthropology directly dates the skull to approximately 33,000 years ago, placing it in the Upper Paleolithic.

Though this braincase is in many ways similar to other known specimens from the period, the fossil also presents a distinctly Neanderthal feature, ubiquitous among Neanderthals, extremely rare among archaic humans, and unknown among prior modern humans.

“The mosaic is most parsimoniously explained as the result of a modest level of admixture with [Neanderthals] as modern humans dispersed across Europe,” write Andrei Soficaru (Institutul de Anthropologie, Romania), Catalin Petrea (Institutul de Speologie, Romania), Adiran Dobos (Institutl de Arheologie, Romania), and Erik Trinkaus (Washington University, St. Louis). “Given the reproductive compatibility of many closely related species and the culturally mediated nature of mate choice in humans, such admixture should neither be rare nor unexpected.”

Known as the Cioclovina 1 neurocranium, the skull is one of a very small number of European early modern humans securely dated prior to ca. 28,000 before present. It is unusual in its preservation, showing little signs of external abrasion and no carnivore damage to the bone. The person’s age-at-death was probably somewhere in the 40’s, “best considered mature, but not geriatric,” the authors write.

The skull has been described from the outset as that of an early modern human, due to ear anatomy, details of the neck muscle attachments, and the presence of a high, rounded braincase. The lateral bones resemble those of recent human males. However, the area above the neck muscles contains a distinctly Neanderthal feature, a suprainiac fossa – a groove above the inion, or, the place on the bone at the lower back of a human skull that juts out the farthest.

“This feature implies some level of Neanderthal ancestry in this otherwise modern human fossil,” the authors explain. “It joins other early modern European fossils, from the sites of Oase and Muierii in Romania, Mlasdec in the Czech Republic, and Les Rois in France in indicating some degree of Neanderthal admixture occurred when modern humans spread across Europe starting around 40,000 years ago.”

Reference: Andrei Soficaru, Catalin Petrea, Adiran Dobos, and Erik Trinkaus. “The Human Cranium from the Pestera Cioclovina Uscata, Romania.” Current Anthropology 48:4.

The research, based at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, was published Oct. 25 in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The discovery of early modern human fossil remains in the Zhirendong (Zhiren Cave) in south China that are at least 100,000 years old provides the earliest evidence for the emergence of modern humans in eastern Asia, at least 60,000 years older than the previously known modern humans in the region.

“These fossils are helping to redefine our perceptions of modern human emergence in eastern Eurasia, and across the Old World more generally,” says Eric Trinkaus, PhD, the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor in Arts & Sciences and professor of physical anthropology.

The Zhirendong fossils have a mixture of modern and archaic features that contrasts with earlier modern humans in east Africa and southwest Asia, indicating some degree of human population continuity in Asia with the emergence of modern humans.
The Zhirendong humans indicate that the spread of modern human biology long preceded the cultural and technological innovations of the Upper Paleolithic and that early modern humans co-existed for many tens of millennia with late archaic humans further north and west across Eurasia.

China’s Earliest Modern Human

ScienceDaily (03 April 2007) — Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing have been studying a 40,000-year-old early modern human skeleton found in China and have determined that the “out of Africa” dispersal of modern humans may not have been as simple as once thought.

A mandible from a 40,000-year-old early modern human skeleton found in China. (Credit: Erik Trinkaus)

Erik Trinkaus, Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, his colleague Hong Shang, and others at the IVPP examined the skeleton, recovered in 2003 from the Tianyuan Cave, Zhoukoudian, near Beijing City.

The skeleton dates to 42,000 to 38,500 years ago, making it the oldest securely dated modern human skeleton in China and one of the oldest modern human fossils in eastern Eurasia.

The specimen is basically a modern human, but it does have a few archaic characteristics, particularly in the teeth and hand bone. This morphological pattern implies that a simple spread of modern humans from Africa is unlikely, especially since younger specimens have been found in Eastern Eurasia with similar feature patterns.

According to Trinkaus and Shang, “the discovery promises to provide relevant paleontological data for our understanding of the emergence of modern humans in eastern Asia.”

The research result will be published in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences on April 3.

Article #01269 “An Early Modern Human from Tianyuan Cave, Zhoukoudian, China” by Hong Shang, Haowen Tong, Shuangquan Zhang, Fuyon Chen and Erik Trinkaus.

Was Israel the Birthplace of Modern Humans?

ScienceDaily (31 Dec. 2010) — It has long been believed that modern humans emerged from the continent of Africa 200,000 years ago. Now Tel Aviv University archaeologists have uncovered evidence that Homo sapiens roamed the land now called Israel as early as 400,000 years ago — the earliest evidence for the existence of modern humans anywhere in the world.

The findings were discovered in the Qesem Cave, a pre-historic site located near Rosh Ha’ayin that was first excavated in 2000. Prof. Avi Gopher and Dr. Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology, who run the excavations, and Prof. Israel Hershkowitz of the university’s Department of Anatomy and Anthropology and Sackler School of Medicine, together with an international team of scientists, performed a morphological analysis on eight human teeth found in the Qesem Cave.

This analysis, which included CT scans and X-rays, indicates that the size and shape of the teeth are very similar to those of modern humans. The teeth found in the Qesem Cave are very similar to other evidence of modern humans from Israel, dated to around 100,000 years ago, discovered in the Skhul Cave in the Carmel and Qafzeh Cave in the Lower Galilee near Nazareth. The results of the researchers’ findings are being published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Reading the past

Qesem Cave is dated to a period between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, and archaeologists working there believe that the findings indicate significant evolution in the behavior of ancient humans. This period of time was crucial in the history of humankind from cultural and biological perspectives. The teeth that are being studied indicate that these changes are apparently related to evolutionary changes taking place at that time.

Prof. Gopher and Dr. Barkai noted that the findings related to the culture of those who dwelled in the Qesem Cave — including the systematic production of flint blades; the regular use of fire; evidence of hunting, cutting and sharing of animal meat; mining raw materials to produce flint tools from subsurface sources — reinforce the hypothesis that this was, in fact, innovative and pioneering behavior that may correspond with the appearance of modern humans.

An unprecedented discovery

According to researchers, the discoveries made in the Qesem Cave may overturn the theory that modern humans originated on the continent of Africa. In recent years, archaeological evidence and human skeletons found in Spain and China also undermined this proposition, but the Qesem Cave findings because of their early age is an unprecedented discovery.

Excavations at Qesem Cave continue and the researchers hope to uncover additional finds that will enable them to confirm the findings published up to now and to enhance our understanding of the evolution of humankind — especially the emergence of modern man.

The Last Neandertals? Late Neandertals And Modern Human Contact In Southeastern Iberia

ScienceDaily (Dec. 11, 2008) — It is widely accepted that Upper Paleolithic early modern humans spread westward across Europe about 42,000 years ago, variably displacing and absorbing Neandertal populations in the process. However, Middle Paleolithic assemblages persisted for another 8,000 years in Iberia, presumably made by Neandertals. It has been unclear whether these late Middle Paleolithic Iberian assemblages were made by Neandertals, and what the nature of those humans might have been.

Lower jaw of a Palomas fossil. (Credit: Erik Trinkaus)

New research, published Dec. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is now shedding some light on what were probably the last Neandertals.

The research is based on a study of human fossils found during the past decade at the Sima de la Palomas, Murcia, Spain by Michael Walker, professor at Universidad de Murcia, and colleagues, and published by Michael Walker, Erik Trinkaus, professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues.

The human fossils from the upper levels of the Sima de las Palomas are anatomically clearly Neandertals, and they are now securely dated to 40,000 years ago. They therefore establish the late persistence of Neandertals in this southwestern cul-de-sac of Europe. This reinforces the conclusion that the Neandertals were not merely swept away by advancing modern humans. The behavioral differences between these human groups must have been more subtle than the Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic technological contrasts might imply.

In addition, the Palomas Neandertals variably exhibit a series of modern human features rare or absent in earlier Neandertals. Either they were evolving on their own towards the modern human pattern, or more likely, they had contact with early modern humans around the Pyrenees. If the latter, it implies that the persistence of the Middle Paleolithic in Iberia was a matter of choice, and not cultural retardation.

From the Sima de las Palomas, other late Neandertal sites, and recent discoveries of the earliest modern humans across Europe, a complex picture is emerging of shifting contact between behaviorally similar, if culturally and biologically different, human populations. Researchers are coming to see them all more as people, flexibly making a living through the changing human and natural landscapes of the Late Pleistocene.

The most unusual characteristics throughout human anatomy occur in Modern Humans (right), argues Trinkaus, not in Neadertals (left). (Image courtesy of Washington University in
St. Louis) 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 8, 2006)
Trinkaus has spent years examining the fossil record and began to realize that maybe researchers have been looking at our ancient ancestors the wrong way.Trinkaus identified fossil traits which seemed to be genetic markers – those not greatly influenced by environment, life ways and wear and tear. He was careful to examine traits that appear to be largely independent of each other to avoid redundancy.”In the broader sweep of human evolution,” says Trinkaus, “the more unusual group is not Neandertals, whom we tend to look at as strange, weird and unusual, but it’s us – Modern Humans.”The most unusual characteristics throughout human anatomy occur in Modern Humans, argues Trinkaus. “If we want to better understand human evolution, we should be asking why Modern Humans are so unusual, not why the Neandertals are divergent. Modern Humans, for example, are the only people who lack brow ridges. We are the only ones who have seriously shortened faces. We are the only ones with very reduced internal nasal cavities. We also have a number of detailed features of the limb skeleton that are unique.”Trinkaus admits that every paleontologist will define the traits a little differently. “If you really wanted to, you could make the case that Neandertals look stranger than we do. But if you are reasonably honest about it, I think it would be extraordinarily difficult to make Neandertals more derived than Modern Humans.”

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Neanderthals More Advanced Than Previously Thought: They Innovated, Adapted Like Modern Humans, Research Shows

ScienceDaily (Sep. 22, 2010) — For decades scientists believed Neanderthals developed `modern’ tools and ornaments solely through contact with Homo sapiens, but new research from the University of Colorado Denver now shows these sturdy ancients could adapt, innovate and evolve technology on their own.

The findings by anthropologist Julien Riel-Salvatore challenge a half-century of conventional wisdom maintaining that Neanderthals were thick-skulled, primitive `cavemen’ overrun and outcompeted by more advanced modern humans arriving in Europe from Africa.

“Basically, I am rehabilitating Neanderthals,” said Riel-Salvatoreassistant professor of anthropology at UC Denver. “They were far more resourceful than we have given them credit for.”

His research, to be published in December’s Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, was based on seven years of studying Neanderthal sites throughout Italy, with special focus on the vanished Uluzzian culture.

About 42,000 years ago, the Aurignacian culture, attributed to modern Homo sapiens, appeared in northern Italy while central Italy continued to be occupied by Neanderthals of the Mousterian culture which had been around for at least 100,000 years. At this time a new culture arose in the south, one also thought to be created by Neanderthals. They were the Uluzzian and they were very different.

Riel-Salvatore identified projectile points, ochre, bone tools, ornaments and possible evidence of fishing and small game hunting at Uluzzian archeological sites throughout southern Italy. Such innovations are not traditionally associated with Neanderthals, strongly suggesting that they evolved independently, possibly due to dramatic changes in climate. More importantly, they emerged in an area geographically separated from modern humans.

“My conclusion is that if the Uluzzian is a Neanderthal culture it suggests that contacts with modern humans are not necessary to explain the origin of this new behavior. This stands in contrast to the ideas of the past 50 years that Neanderthals had to be acculturated to humans to come up with this technology,” he said. “When we show Neanderthals could innovate on their own it casts them in a new light. It `humanizes’ them if you will.”

Thousands of years ago, southern Italy experienced a shift in climate, becoming increasingly open and arid, said Riel-Salvatore. Neanderthals living there faced a stark choice of adapting or dying out. The evidence suggests they began using darts or arrows to hunt smaller game to supplement the increasingly scarce larger mammals they traditionally hunted.

“The fact that Neanderthals could adapt to new conditions and innovate shows they are culturally similar to us,” he said. “Biologically they are also similar. I believe they were a subspecies of human but not a different species.”

The powerfully built Neanderthals were first discovered in Germany’s Neander Valley in 1856. Exactly who they were, how they lived and why they vanished remains unclear.

Research shows they contributed between 1 and 4 percent of their genetic material to the people of Asia and Europe. Riel-Salvatore rejects the theory that they were exterminated by modern humans. Homo sapiens might simply have existed in larger groups and had slightly higher birthrates, he said.

“It is likely that Neanderthals were absorbed by modern humans,” he said. “My research suggests that they were a different kind of human, but humans nonetheless. We are more brothers than distant cousins.”

Neandertals’ Extinction Not Caused by Deficient Diets, Tooth Analysis Shows

ScienceDaily (01 Jan. 2011) — Researchers from George Washington University and the Smithsonian Institution have discovered evidence to debunk the theory that Neandertals’ disappearance was caused in part by a deficient diet — one that lacked variety and was overly reliant on meat. After discovering starch granules from plant food trapped in the dental calculus on 40-thousand-year-old Neandertal teeth, the scientists believe that Neandertals ate a wide variety of plants and included cooked grains as part of a more sophisticated, diverse diet similar to early modern humans.

Neandertal teeth from Shanidar cave. (Credit: George Washington University)

“Neandertals are often portrayed as very backwards or primitive,” said Amanda Henry, lead researcher and a post-doctoral researcher at GW. “Now we are beginning to understand that they had some quite advanced technologies and behaviors.”

Dr. Henry made this discovery together with Alison Brooks, professor of anthropology and international affairs at GW, and Dolores Piperno, a GW research professor and senior scientist and curator of archaeobotany and South American archaeology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C., and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.

The discovery of starch granules in the calculus on Neandertal teeth provides direct evidence that they made sophisticated, thoughtful food choices and ate more nutrient-rich plants, for example date palms, legumes and grains such as barley. Until now, anthropologists have hypothesized that Neandertals were outlived by early modern humans due in part to the former’s primitive, deficient diet, with some scientists arguing Neandertals’ diets were specialized for meat-eating. As such, during major climate swings Neandertals could be outcompeted by early humans who incorporated diverse plant foods available in the local environment into their diets.

Drs. Henry, Brooks and Piperno’s discovery suggests otherwise. The researchers discovered starch granules in dental calculus, which forms when plaque buildup hardens, on the fossilized teeth of Neandertal skeletons excavated from Shanidar Cave in Iraq and Spy Cave in Belgium. Starch granules are abundant in most human plant foods, but were not known to survive on fossil teeth this old until this study. The researchers’ findings indicate that Neandertals’ diets were more similar to those of early humans than originally thought. The researchers also determined from alterations they observed in the starch granules that Neandertals prepared and cooked starch-rich foods to make them taste better and easier to digest.

“Neandertals and early humans did not visit the dentist,” said Dr. Brooks. “Therefore, the calculus or tartar remained on their teeth, preserving tiny clues to the previously unknown plant portion of their diets.”

Dr. Henry is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Hominid Paleobiology program at the George Washington University, where she also received her Ph.D. in Jan. 2010. Her research focuses on the uses of plant foods by human ancestors. In Jan. 2011, Dr. Henry will begin leading an independent research group focusing on the evolution of human diet at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, GermanyDr Brooks’ research focuses on the evolution of modern human behavior. Dr. Piperno is a pioneer in the detection and study of plant microfossils and the evolution of human diets.

“This significant finding provides new insight on the plight of the Neandertals,” said Peg Barratt, dean of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s also an excellent example of our dynamic partnership with the Smithsonian to further advance learning and discovery.”

The research was supported by a National Science Foundation IGERT award, a Wenner Gren Foundation doctoral dissertation award, a Smithsonian Institution pre-doctoral fellowship, a National Science Foundation HOMINID award to the Smithsonian Institution and a selective excellence award from the George Washington University

Neanderthals may have feasted on meat and two veg diet

Scientists reappraise views on Ice Age cuisine after detecting seeds and legumes on teeth of Neanderthals found in caves

Neanderthal man may have chomped on an occasional bean roast, according to American researchers. Photograph: Jochen Tack/AlamyScientists have upgraded their opinion of Neanderthal cuisine after spotting traces of cooked food on the fossilised teeth of our long-extinct cousins.

The researchers found remnants of date palms, seeds and legumes – which include peas and beans – on the teeth of three Neanderthals uncovered in caves in Iraq and Belgium.

Among the scraps of food embedded in the plaque on the Neanderthals’ teeth were particles of starch from barley and water lilies that showed tell-tale signs of having been cooked.

The Ice Age leftovers are believed to be the first direct evidence that the Neanderthal diet included cooked plants as well as meat obtained by hunting wild animals.

Dolores Piperno, who led the study at the archaeobiology laboratory at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, said the work showed Neanderthals were more sophisticated diners than many academics gave them credit for.

Piperno said the discoveries even raised the possibility that male and female Neanderthals had different roles in acquiring and preparing food. “The plants we found are all foods associated with early modern human diets, but we now know Neanderthals were exploiting those plants and cooking them, too. When you cook grains it increases their digestibility and nutritional value,” she added.

The findings bring fresh evidence to the long debate over why Neanderthals and not our direct ancestors, the early modern humans, went extinct.

The last of the Neanderthals are thought to have died out around 28,000 years ago, but it is unclear what role – if any – modern humans played in their demise.

“The whole question of why Neanderthals went extinct has been controversial for a long time and dietary issues play a significant part in that,” Piperno said.

“Some scholars claim the Neanderthals were specialised carnivores hunting large game and weren’t able to exploit a diversity of plant foods.

“As far as we know, there has been until now no direct evidence that Neanderthals cooked their foods and very little evidence they were consuming plants routinely.”

Piperno’s team was given permission to study the remains of three Neanderthal skeletons. One was unearthed at the Shanidar cave in Iraq and lived 46,000 years ago. The other two were recovered from the Cave of Spy in Belgium, and date to around 36,000 years ago.

The scientists examined three teeth from the Iraqi Neanderthal and two from each of the Belgium specimens. To look for traces of food on them, they scraped fossilised plaque from each tooth and looked at it under a microscope.

Grains from plants are tiny, but have distinct shapes that the scientists identified by comparing them with a collection at the Smithsonian’s herbarium. The researchers also cooked a range of plants to see how their appearance changed.

They collected 73 starch grains from the Iraqi Neanderthal’s teeth. Some of these belonged to barley or a close relative, and appeared to have been boiled in water.

“The evidence for cooking is strong. The starch grains are gelatinised, and that can only come from heat associated with cooking,” Piperno said.

Similar tests on the Belgian Neanderthals’ teeth revealed traces of cooked starch that probably came from parts of water lilies that store carbohydrates. Other cooked starch grains were traced back to sorghum, a kind of grass.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

In Piperno’s opinion, the research undermines one theory that suggests early modern humans drove the Neanderthals to extinction by having a more sophisticated and robust diet. The work also raises questions about whether Neanderthals organised themselves in a similar way to early hunter-gatherer groups, she said.

“When you start routinely to exploit plants in your diet, you can arrange your settlements according to the season. In two months’ time you want to be where the cereals are maturing, and later where the date palms are ready to pick. It sounds simplistic, but this is important in terms of your overall cognitive abilities.

“In early human groups, women typically collected plants and turned them into food while men hunted. To us, and it is just a suggestion, this brings up the possibility that there was some sexual division of labour in the Neanderthals and that is something most people did not think existed.”

First humans arrived in Britain 250,000 years earlier than thought

Archaeologists digging on a Norfolk beach found stone tools that show the first humans were living in Britain much earlier than previously thought

  • 2010 year in science: Happisburgh illustration :  first evidence of humans living in Britain

    July: Humans arrived in Britain 250,000 years earlier than thought. Flint tools found on a beach in Norfolk were probably left by hunter-gatherers who lived on the flood plains and marshes bordering an ancient course of the river Thames

Archaeologists explain how flint tools and other artefacts found on the Norfolk coast reveal how the first Britons lived. Video: Nature Link to this video

A spectacular haul of ancient flint tools has been recovered from a beach in Norfolk, pushing back the date of the first known human occupation of Britain by up to 250,000 years.

While digging along the north-east coast of East Anglia near the village of Happisburgh, archaeologists discovered 78 pieces of razor-sharp flint shaped into primitive cutting and piercing tools.

The stone tools were unearthed from sediments that are thought to have been laid down either 840,000 or 950,000 years ago, making them the oldest human artefacts ever found in Britain.

The flints were probably left by hunter-gatherers of the human species Homo antecessor who eked out a living on the flood plains and marshes that bordered an ancient course of the river Thames that has long since dried up. The flints were then washed downriver and came to rest at the Happisburgh site.

The early Britons would have lived alongside sabre-toothed cats and hyenas, primitive horses, red deer and southern mammoths in a climate similar to that of southern Britain today, though winters were typically a few degrees colder.

“These tools from Happisburgh are absolutely mint-fresh. They are exceptionally sharp, which suggests they have not moved far from where they were dropped,” said Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum in London. The population of Britain at the time most likely numbered in the hundreds or a few thousand at most.

“These people probably used the rivers as routes into the landscape. A lot of Britain might have been heavily forested at the time, which would have posed a major problem for humans without strong axes to chop trees down,” Stringer added. “They lived out in the open, but we don’t know if they had basic clothing, were building primitive shelters, or even had the use of fire.”

The discovery, reported in the journal Nature, overturns the long-held belief that early humans steered clear of chilly Britain – and the rest of northern Europe – in favour of the more hospitable climate of the Mediterranean. The only human species known to be living in Europe at the time is Homo antecessor, or “pioneer man”, whose remains were discovered in the Atapuerca hills of Spain in 2008 and have been dated to between 1.1m and 1.2m years old.

The early settlers would have walked into Britain across an ancient land bridge that once divided the North Sea from the Atlantic and connected the country to what is now mainland Europe. The first humans probably arrived during a warm interglacial period, but may have retreated as temperatures plummeted in subsequent ice ages.

Until now, the earliest evidence of humans in Britain came from Pakefield, near Lowestoft in Suffolk, where a set of stone tools dated to 700,000 years ago were uncovered in 2005. More sophisticated stone, antler and bone tools were found in the 1990s inBoxgrove, Sussex, which are believed to be half a million years old.

“The flint tools from Happisburgh are relatively crude compared with those from Boxgrove, but they are still effective,” said Stringer. Early stone tools were fashioned by using a pebble to knock large flakes off a chunk of flint. Later humans used wood and antler hammers to remove much smaller flakes and so make more refined cutting and sawing edges.

The great migration from Africa saw early humans reach Europe around 1.8m years ago. Within 500,000 years, humans had become established in the Mediterranean region. Remains have been found at several archaeological sites in Spain, southern France and Italy.

In an accompanying article in Nature, Andrew Roberts and Rainer Grün at the Australian National University in Canberra, write: “Until the Happisburgh site was found and described, it was thought that these early humans were reluctant to live in the less hospitable climate of northern Europe, which frequently fell into the grip of severe ice ages.”

Researchers led by the Natural History Museum and British Museum in London began excavating sites near Happisburgh in 2001 as part of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project and soon discovered tools from the stone age beneath ice-age deposits. So far, though, they have found no remains of the ancient people who made them.

“This would be the ‘holy grail’ of our work,” said Stringer. “The humans who made the Happisburgh tools may well have been related to the people of similar antiquity from Atapuerca in Spain, assigned to the species Homo antecessor, or ‘pioneer man’.”

The latest haul of stone tools was buried in sediments that record a period of history when the polarity of the Earth’s magnetic field was reversed. At the time, a compass needle would have pointed south instead of north. The last time this happened was 780,000 years ago, so the tools are at least that old.

Analysis of ancient vegetation and pollen in the sediments has revealed that the climate was warm but cooling towards an ice age, which points to two possible times in history, around 840,000 years ago, or 950,000 years ago. Both dates are consistent with the fossilised remains of animals recovered from the same site.

“Britain was getting cooler and going into an ice age, but these early humans were hanging in there. They may have been the remnants of an ancient population that either died out or migrated back across the land bridge to a warmer climate,” said Stringer.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stone tools discovered in Arabia force archaeologists to rethink human history

The tools found in southern Arabia date from 125,000 years ago – 55,000 years before humans were thought to have left Africa

stone tools flints Stone hand axes belonging to humans who lived in Arabia more than 100,000 years ago. Photograph: AAAS/Science/PA

A spectacular haul of stone tools discovered beneath a collapsed rock shelter in southern Arabia has forced a major rethink of the story of human migration out of Africa. The collection of hand axes and other tools shaped to cut, pierce and scrape bear the hallmarks of early human workmanship, but date from 125,000 years ago, around 55,000 years before our ancestors were thought to have left the continent.

The artefacts, uncovered in the United Arab Emirates, point to a much earlier dispersal of ancient humans, who probably cut across from the Horn of Africa to the Arabian peninsula via a shallow channel in the Red Sea that became passable at the end of an ice age. Once established, these early pioneers may have pushed on across the Persian Gulf, perhaps reaching as far as India, Indonesia and eventually Australia.

Michael Petraglia, an archaeologist at Oxford University who was not involved in the work, told the Science journal: “This is really quite spectacular. It breaks the back of the current consensus view.”

Anatomically modern humans – those that resemble people alive today – evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Until now, most archaeological evidence has supported an exodus from Africa, or several waves of migration, along the Mediterranean coast or the Arabian shoreline between 80,000 and 60,000 years ago.

A team led by Hans-Peter Uerpmann at the University of Tübingen in Germany uncovered the latest stone tools while excavating sediments at the base of a collapsed overhang set in a limestone mountain called Jebel Faya, about 35 miles (55km) from the Persian Gulf coast. Previous excavations at the site have found artefacts from the iron, bronze and neolithic periods, evidence that the rocky formation has provided millennia of natural shelter for humans.

The array of tools include small hand axes and two-sided blades that are remarkably similar to those fashioned by early humans in east Africa. The researchers tentatively ruled out the possibility of other hominins having made the tools, such as the Neanderthals that already occupied Europe and north Asia, as they were not in Arabia at the time.

The stones, a form of silica-rich rock called chert, were dated by Simon Armitage, a researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London, using a technique that measured how long sand grains around the artefacts had been buried. Another strand of the archaeologists’ work, described in Science, focused on climate change records and historical sea levels in the area. They show that between 200,000 and 130,000 years ago, a global ice age caused sea levels to fall by up to 100 metres, while the Saharan and Arabian deserts expanded into vast, inhospitable wastelands.

But as the climate warmed at the end of the ice age, fresh rains fell on Arabia, opening up the region to human occupation. “The previously arid interior of Arabia would have been transformed into a landscape covered largely in savannah grasses, with extensive lakes and river systems,” said Adrian Parker, a researcher at Oxford Brookes University and co-author of the paper.

The revival of Arabia coincided with record lows in sea level, which left only a shallow stretch of water about three miles wide at the Bab al Mandab Straits separating east Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Uerpmann said early humans may have walked or waded across, but added: “They could have used rafts or boats, which they certainly could make at that time.”

The new arrivals would have found good hunting grounds at the end of their journey, with plentiful wild asses, gazelles and mountain ibex, Uerpmann said.

The discovery has sparked debate among archaeologists, some of whom say much stronger evidence is needed to back up the researchers’ claims. “I’m totally unpersuaded,” Paul Mellars, an archaeologist at Cambridge University, told Science. “There’s not a scrap of evidence here that these were made by modern humans, nor that they came from Africa.”

Chris Stringer, a palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, said: “The region of Arabia has been terra incognita in trying to map the dispersal of modern humans from Africa during the last 120,000 years, leading to much theorising in the face of few data.

“Despite the confounding lack of diagnostic fossil evidence, this archaeological work provides important clues that early modern humans might have dispersed from Africa across Arabia, as far as the Straits of Hormuz, by 120,000 years ago.”

Britain, when attached to Europe, 700,000 years ago & populated!

First Britons may have used clothes, shelters and fire to ward off cold

To brave a climate similar to that of southern Scandinavia today, the first Britons living at Happisburgh some 950,000 years ago must have been surprisingly clever

  • Mike Pitts

  • guardian.co.uk, Thursday 8 July 2010 15.01 BST

  • Article history

  • Artefacts and organic remains at Happisburgh suggest the first Britons were capable of changing their behaviour to adapt to a cooling climate. Artist: John Sibbick/PA

    I remember standing in the Boxgrove quarries 15 years ago, marvelling not just at the astonishing preservation of an ancient landscape with scenes of hunting and butchery, but that it was all 500,000 years old – 200 millennia before we had thought early humans had first reached Britain. Five years ago the story moved round the coast from Sussex to Suffolk, where the discovery of tiny flint tools at Pakefield told us humans were here a further 200 millennia ago.Now that history has taken a third stride back for possibly yet another 200,000 years.

    Yet at Happisburgh, it’s not just the age that makes these finds so exciting. In fact, we’re getting used to this rapid ageing, and there’s every reason to think that before long we will be talking about early humans in Britain a million years ago. What has really surprised researchers – and was partly responsible for delayed publication of these new finds as earth scientists debated whether or not they’d got it right – is the context in which the pieces of flint were found.

    The world in which these hominins lived was not one in which large game herds were on tap and in which the weather was always toasty – conditions archaeologists had come to accept as the basic requirements for early humans, the ones which limited expansion around the world once they had left Africa. Happisburgh has exceptional preservation of organic remains – not just bones, but insects’ and plants’ remains, including pieces of wood and pollen grains. All these describe a landscape and climate that was more like southern Scandinavia today than the Mediterranean.

    The northern latitude contrasts with other Early Pleistocene archaeological sites, which all lie at least 8 degrees further south. As if to emphasise the significance of this, at Happisburgh the artefacts are not found at a time of deciduous woodland. They were made when conifer forest and grassland had replaced oaks as the climate cooled before an era when glaciers covered the land.

    This undermines the traditional view that early hominins moved back and forth with herds of large mammals on which they depended for food, sticking to a warm climate. The new evidence suggests they were capable of adapting behaviour as the world changed around them. We have no evidence how they did this, but strategies must have included changes in how they gathered food.

    The northern forests would have challenged a genus that hitherto had spent most of its time in regions less marked by seasonal change. At Happisburgh the hominins are likely to have eaten more plants in summer and more meat in winter – and then hunting or scavenging in shorter days, and sometimes extreme cold.

    The key to survival may have been the mix of habitats around a river. We might imagine them not braving mammoth and bison, but collecting roots, shellfish and seaweed, and tracking grazing animals such as deer coming down to the water to drink.

    And in the winter it got cold – several degrees colder than a modern winter in Norfolk. Surely they must have worn some clothing, and made artificial shelters. Perhaps, even, they had mastered the use of fire (charcoal was found at the dig, though we do not know what caused the wood to be burnt – it could come from natural fires).

    The actual flint artefacts are rare, simple and small. But the story they tell is profound. Even this long ago, early humans were substantially cleverer than modern chimpanzees. And with a track record of underestimating early human capabilities, archaeologists are likely to turn up more finds to reinforce that view.

    Mike Pitts is the editor of British Archaeology The first Britons: Reconstruction of the palaeogeography of northwest Europe

  • At the time of the ancient human occupation at Happisburgh, the Thames drained into the North Sea, 150 kilometres to the north of its current estuary. The broken lines indicate the ancient coastline. In between is the land bridge that once connected Britain to mainland Europe. Photograph: Parfitt et al/Nature

    Link to this video(Visualise) a beautiful Norfolk estuary with ample hunting, but watch out for those sabre-toothed cats….Norfolk just ain’t what it used to be. Some 850,000 years ago, coniferous forests covered East Anglia, and on the floodplains of the Thames estuary roamed herds of giant elk, horses and mammoths. Early human hunters of the species Homo antecessorwould have been spoilt for choice, according to a study published in Nature yesterday.”Happisburgh is really an exceptional site,” said Simon Parfitt of University College London, who led the research. “Here we have a tremendous range of fossils of plants and animals … There’s no other place where you would have this range of fossils from land and sea.”

    Pine cones and pollen from spruce trees showed that the estuary was dominated by a coniferous forest at the time. Six seasons of archaeological digs at the site have sifted through hundreds of cubic metres of river gravels and estuarine silts. “The majority of what we found is wood,” said Parfitt, “thousands of flakes of wood.”

    Among all those wood flakes was a rich assemblage of herbivore remains. Key finds included teeth from the southern mammoth, Mammuthus meridionalis, toe bones from the extinct horse Equus suessenbornensis, and the bones of red deer, Cervus elaphus, which indicated nearby grasslands.

    “Southern mammoths were hairless and would have looked a lot like elephants today,” said Parfitt. He said they were adapted to warm climates and arrived in Britain by crossing the land bridge which then linked it to the rest of Europe. “They’ve been found as far south as Italy,” he added.

    The Happisburgh mammoth’s teeth suggest it was a browser, feeding on leaves from trees and shrubs. As the climate cooled, mammoth teeth changed as they adapted to more abrasive food types like grass. The woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius of the Ice Age films evolved later, as glaciation advanced across Europe.

    Scientists were able to reconstruct the past climate of Happisburgh using the fossil remains of temperature-sensitive plants and animals. The presence of fossil beetles suggested that summers at the site were probably warmer than today, and winters were at least 3C cooler.

    Humans would have had more to worry about than the cold, however. “Sabre-toothed cats were probably the dominant carnivore and were almost certainly a threat to these humans,” said Parfitt.

    The team also unearthed coprolites (fossilised droppings) of an extinct hyena the size of a lion. “It would have been a very formidable animal.”

    “We’ve got a base here where [the early humans] were coming to process their food,” said Chris Stringer at the Natural History Museum in London. “As a human palaeontologist my dream is we will one day recover human fossil material from Happisburgh … I think if we keep looking there’s every chance.”

    Early human tool fragments found in UK

     Badge Jonathan Jones on Art Blog 

    Happisburgh tools: masterpieces with a cutting edge

    Only the flint-hearted would deny that the beautiful haul of

    Stone tools can do more than cut up mammoth meat. They can change the map of prehistory. It was announced this week that a pristine haul of stone implements found near Happisburgh in East Anglia has pushed back the earliest known date of human existence in Britain by 250,000 years. According to this new find, Britain was first occupied by a human species 840,000 or 950,000 years ago. The 78 pieces of flint constitute “the oldest human artefacts ever found in Britain”, reported Ian Sample in the paper a few days back.

    But are they art? The oldest humanly-crafted objects are shaped stones, made to be used, but often displaying a sense of beauty. The oldest object in the British Museum, a stone chopping tool from Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania that is about a million years more ancient than the newly discovered British artifacts, looks rough, lumpen and utilitarian. But from such basic origins evolved hand axes – the first symmetrical, elegant and powerful human objects. The tradition of stone tools lasted far longer than metals have so far lasted, far longer than “art” has existed, and if we look at the latest manifestations of stone age culture, from Avebury to Easter Island, we would have to acknowledge the sculptural sensibility of ancient peoples.

    So should a beautiful hand axe like one from Olduvai that is also in the British Museum, and was made about 1.2 million years ago, be considered a work of art? It is finely crafted to resemble a leaf, as if a natural shape had been released by the maker from the stone. Symmetry, order and elegance proclaim it a work of human design, human imagination. Surely it is as profoundly cultural and aesthetic as the cave paintings traditionally labelled “the first art”?

    If we accept that hand axes are art, we state that abstraction comes before figuration, sculpture comes before painting, and art is always part of a wider range of phenomena – an aspect of everyday life. You could argue that cave paintings, by contrast, fuel a belief that painting realistic images of the world is an essential and superior human talent. Except this itself is a myth about cave art: in the caves of southern France you see as many dots, geometric patterns and enigmatic beings as “realistic” paintings. The first artists were simply the first people, and art in their world was something you made and used. A masterpiece might also be good for chopping up reindeer.

    http://fora.tv/embedded_player�� a Neanderthal Child of the Pyranèes�


    Dr. Jean.Jacques Hubblin: Neanterthals deciphered




Synchrotron Reveals How Neanderthal Teeth Grew

ScienceDaily (27 Nov. 2006) — Scientists from the United Kingdom, France and Italy have studied teeth from Neanderthals with X-rays from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). They found that the dental development of Neanderthals is very similar to modern humans. Their results are published in Nature this week.


Three-dimensional virtual reconstruction of the deciduous and permanent Neanderthal molars. Both enamel and dentin are rendered in transparency to show the pulp chamber and the root canals. (Credits: Luca Bondiolli and Arnaud Mazurier)

Reference

Neanderthals first appeared in Europe approximately 200,000 years ago and became extinct about 25,000 years ago. These predecessors of modern humans have always been considered genetically closer to us than any other members of the genus Homo. It has even been suggested that Neanderthals achieved adulthood faster than modern humans do today.

 A research team from the United Kingdom, France and Italy has recently shed new light on this theory by studying this species’ teeth. Teeth express genetic differences found between individuals and different populations more efficiently than any other tissues preserved in the fossil record. Studies with teeth can identify a timescale on the entire period of dental development that occurs from before birth until adulthood.

 Scientists used the ESRF X-rays to study the enamel dentine junction of a deciduous and a permanent Neanderthal molar tooth (approximately 130,000 years old) that was found on a site in France. The technique used to image the teeth is high-resolution tomography at ID17. The researchers noticed that the samples showed more complex folding of the enamel dentine junction than their modern human counterparts. Some of the unique surface morphologies of Neanderthal molars clearly showed a deep embryological origin and are likely to have been functionally significant.

 Thin ground sections of the same Neanderthal molars revealed that the crowns and roots did not grow faster than those of modern humans. The permanent molar tooth studied had completed its root growth at about 8.7 years of age, which is typical of many modern human children today.

 Almost all deciduous teeth contained an accentuated birth line, or neonatal line that results from the changing physiology and stress of birth. The Neanderthal deciduous also showed a neonatal line with evidence of the usual perinatal physiological stress but with no signs of additional postnatal stress.

 Among anthropoid primates there is a close relationship between brain growth and tooth eruption. Scientists predicted that the first permanent molar eruption in this Neanderthal (6.8 years) fits a dental development schedule similar to those found in modern humans.

 The next step in the research is to find out whether Neanderthal teeth from sites dated to more recent times will reveal evidence of the demographic pressures that overcame the Neanderthals as they approached extinction.

Reference: Macchiarelli et al., How Neanderthal molar teeth grew, Nature online, 22 November 2006.

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30,000-Year-Old Child’s Teeth Shed New Light on Human Evolution

ScienceDaily (08 Jan. 2010) — The teeth of a 30,000-year-old child are shedding new light on the evolution of modern humans, thanks to research from the University of Bristol published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


The teeth are part of the remarkably complete remains of a child found in the Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal and excavated in 1998-9 under the leadership of Professor João Zilhão of the University of Bristol. Classified as a modern human with Neanderthal ancestry, the child raises controversial questions about how extensively Neanderthals and modern human groups of African descent interbred when they came into contact in Europe.

‘Early modern humans’, whose anatomy is basically similar to that of the human race today, emerged over 50,000 years ago and it has long been the common perception that little has changed in human biology since then.

When considering the biology of late archaic humans such as the Neanderthals, it is thus common to compare them with living humans and largely ignore the biology of the early modern humans who were close in time to the Neanderthals.

With this in mind, an international team, including Professor Zilhão, reanalysed the dentition of the Lagar Velho child (all of its deciduous — milk — teeth and almost all of its permanent teeth) to see how they compared to the teeth of Neanderthals, later Pleistocene (12,000-year-old) humans and modern humans.

Employing a technique called micro-tomography which uses x-rays to create cross-sections of 3D-objects, the researchers investigated the relative stages of formation of the developing teeth and the proportions of crown enamel, dentin and pulp in the teeth.

They found that, for a given stage of development of the cheek teeth, the front teeth were relatively delayed in their degree of formation. Moreover, the front teeth had a greater volume of dentin and pulp but proportionally less enamel than the teeth of recent humans.

The teeth of the Lagar Velho child thus fit the pattern evident in the preceding Neanderthals, and contrast with the teeth of later Pleistocene (12,000-year-old) humans and living modern humans.

Professor Zilhão said: “This new analysis of the Lagar Velho child joins a growing body of information from other early modern human fossils found across Europe (in Mladeč in the Czech Republic, Peştera cu Oase and Peştera Muierii in Romania, and Les Rois in France) that shows these ‘early modern humans’ were ‘modern’ without being ‘fully modern’. Human anatomical evolution continued after they lived 30,000 to 40,000 years ago.”

The team was led by Priscilla Bayle (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France) and Roberto Macchiarelli (Université de Poitiers, France) and included Erik Trinkaus (Professor of Anthropology at Washington University, St.-Louis, Cidália Duarte (Câmara Municipal do Porto, Portugal), and Arnaud Mazurier (CRI-Biopôle-Poitiers, France).

Virtual 3D reconstruction of four deciduous and one permanent teeth assessed for linear, surface, and volumetric tissue proportions. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Bristol)


Werner Herzog’s Chauvet-Cave Painting Documentary

‘The Birth of the Modern Human Soul’

A handprint from Chauvet Cave: Only a tiny handful of scientists are ever...

AFP

A handprint from Chauvet Cave: Only a tiny handful of scientists are ever granted access to the cave.

Photo Gallery: 5 Photos

Berlinale 2011

Werner Herzog’s new film “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” is a stunning 3D documentary about a cave in France that is home to the world’s oldest known human art. The legendary German director talked to SPIEGEL ONLINE about his life-long fascination with Stone Age cave paintings, the birth of the human soul and why he will only stop making films when he is taken away in a straitjacket.

Werner Herzog has always had a fascination for extreme places. Whether it’s the rainforests of 1972’s “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and 1982’s “Fitzcarraldo,” the ravaged oil fields of Kuwait in the 1992 film “Lessons of Darkness,” or Antarctica as featured in the 2007 documentary “Encounters at the End of the World,” the legendary German filmmaker seems happiest when he is in the kind of location that tests human endurance to the limits.

But seldom has Herzog filmed in a place as inaccessible as the location of his latest documentary. In “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” which features in the official program of the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival, Herzog visits the Chauvet Cave in southern France, which is home to unique examples of Paleolithic rock art. The cave was sealed off for dozens of millennia — and even today, no one is granted access apart from a handful of scientists.

The cave, discovered in 1994, is home to hundreds of pristine artworks. Over 30,000 years old, they are the oldest known pictures created by humans and show at least 13 different species of animals, including horses, cattle, lions and bears.

In the spring of 2010, Herzog was given a unique opportunity to film inside the cave. He and his team were only allowed access for a period of a few days, and were only able to use battery-powered equipment. High levels of radon gas and carbon dioxide in the cave meant they could only stay inside for a few hours at a time.

The director opted to make the film in 3D — the first time he has used the technology — to do justice to the cave paintings, which use the contours of the rock for dramatic effect. “I knew immediately that it was imperative to shoot in 3D,” he says. The result is a visually stunning documentary that transports the viewer into the cavern and captures the artwork in all its glory.

SPIEGEL ONLINE spoke to Herzog in a telephone interview as the director prepared to visit a maximum security prison in Texas to shoot footage for a new film about inmates on death row.


SPIEGEL ONLINE: While you have certainly covered a wide range of topics in your career, a film about static cave paintings does not seem obvious at first glance. How did the film come about?

Werner Herzog: It was somehow in the air. The production company Creative Differences, with whom I had done “Grizzly Man” and “Encounters at the End of the World,” approached me. They cautiously asked if I was interested, and I said: Yes, yes, yes. Paleolithic cave paintings were my first independent fascination as a child and as an adolescent. At the age of 12, I saw a book on cave paintings in the window of a bookstore. I wanted to have this book so badly that I worked as a ball boy on tennis courts to earn money, and four months later I finally bought it. I still have inside me the shudder of awe that I experienced when I saw these paintings, and I think this excitement even pervades the film.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Still, given the fragility of the paintings inside, you surely didn’t think you’d ever get the opportunity to film inside the Chauvet Cave.

Herzog: I never thought there would be a chance. Some of the most important caves, like Lascaux in the Dordogne region in France, have had to be closed down. There had been too many people allowed in, and they left a mold on the walls that is spreading and which can’t really be stopped. Only a tiny handful of scientists have access to the Chauvet Cave.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is the world missing?

Herzog: You have to realize that, about 20,000 years ago, there was a cataclysmic event when an entire rock face collapsed and sealed off the cave. It’s a completely preserved time capsule. You’ve got tracks of cave bears that look like they were left yesterday, and you’ve got the footprint of a boy who was probably eight years old next to the footprint of a wolf. Visitors can’t step on anything, so you can only move around on a two foot wide metal walkway.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: It sounds like an almost overwhelming experience.

Herzog: It was always the same awe, an almost shocking experience. It’s not only the paintings: You are in a place that has not been seen for tens of thousands of years, because it was so sealed off. There is such silence that when you hold your breath you can hear your own heartbeat. Everything is so fresh that you have the sensation that the painters have merely retreated deeper into the dark and that they are looking at you.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Some people might consider cave paintings to be primitive. How do you see the works?

Herzog: This is the birth of the modern human soul. The artists are like us, not like the Neanderthals, who had no culture — and who incidentally were still roaming the landscape at the time the paintings were made. It is striking that there is a distant cultural echo that seems to reach all the way down to us, over dozens of millennia. In the Chauvet Cave, there is a painting of a bison embracing the lower part of a naked female body. Why does Pablo Picasso, who had no knowledge of the Chauvet Cave, use exactly the same motif in his series of drawings of the Minotaur and the woman? Very, very strange.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: This is the first time you’ve used 3D in one of your films. Why the sudden departure?

Herzog: In general, I’m skeptical about the use of 3D — it’s not the perfect tool for cinema, at least for certain types of cinema. But in this case, I knew immediately that it was imperative to shoot in 3D. The paintings are not just on flat walls — you have these enormous niches, bulges and protrusions, as well as stalactites and stalagmites. The effect of the three-dimensionality is phenomenal. It’s a real drama which the artists of the time understood, and they used it for the drama of their paintings.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Can you imagine using the technology in future films?

Herzog: I am currently shooting a film about inmates on death row and obviously this is a film I am not going to do in 3D — it would only be distracting, a technical gimmick. Indeed, of the five or six projects I am currently working on, none of these films are suitable for 3D. And when you look back at the 60 or so films that I’ve made so far, there’s not a single one which I should have done in 3D. Still, I would not completely rule it out in the future. It depends on the subject.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Given the restricted access to the Chauvet Cave, it seems surprising that the privilege was granted to a filmmaker from Bavaria rather than one from France. Why did they choose you?

Herzog: I was fortunate that Frédéric Mitterrand, the French minister of culture, has always been a great admirer of my films, as he told me during our first meeting. I proposed that I could work as an employee of the Ministry of Culture for a fee of €1 (). So the French ministry got the film delivered for €1, and they can also use the film for free for non-commercial purposes, such as in classrooms across France.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do you see your film as a kind of historical document?

Herzog: The historical or scientific document will be created by the scientists. I entered the cave as a filmmaker, as somebody who creates images, with my perspectives, fascinations and my instincts as a narrator. You have to activate the audience’s imagination. If you are just giving them scientific results, they would forget the film in five minutes flat. But it sticks to you, as if you had been in the cave itself.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: You’ve been making films now for over four decades. Any plans to retire?

Herzog: One day you’ll have to take me out in a straitjacket. Only then I will give up making films.

Interview conducted by David Gordon Smith

Scientists Find Where Neanderthals Went to Die

Published 12 May 2011

Associated Press

Hyper-realistic busts of human ancestors -- like this version of homo neandertal -- give us a glimpse of what our ancient relatives may have looked like.

John Gurche

Hyper-realistic busts of human ancestors — like this version of homo neandertal — give us a glimpse of what our ancient relatives may have looked like.

Scientists have identified what may be one of the last northern refuges of Neanderthals, a spot near the Arctic Circle in Russia with artifacts dated to 31,000 to 34,000 years ago.

Stone tools and flakes found there look like the work of Neanderthals, the stocky, muscular hunters who lived in Europe and western Asia until they were replaced by modern humans, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science.

The site lies along the Pechora River west of the Ural Mountains, about 92 miles (150 kilometers) south of the Arctic Circle. Researchers dated it from animal bones and sand grains. Nobody has found any human bones or DNA that could provide stronger evidence that Neanderthals lived there, report the scientists, from Russia, France and Norway. The artifacts had been collected during various expeditions.

Neanderthals first appeared more than 200,000 years ago. They died out sometime after modern humans arrived in Europe, which occurred some 40,000 to 45,000 years ago.

Richard Klein, a Stanford University professor of anthropology, said the artifacts do look like the work of Neanderthals, but that it’s also possible they were made by modern people instead.

Neanderthals were not previously known to be in that area, nor convincingly shown to be present anywhere at such a recent time, he said. Finding another site or human bones would help settle the question, he said.

Eric Delson, a paleoanthropologist at Lehman College of the City of New York, cited a 2006 study that suggests Neanderthals occupied a cave near the southern tip of Spain at about the same time as the new work puts them in Russia. Maybe the two locations show how Neanderthals retreated in opposite directions from the encroachment of the modern humans, he said.

Related Links
Did Modern Humans Meet Neanderthals?
Ancient Man May Have Left Africa 50,000 Years Earlier Than Expected
The Neanderthal Enigma: Why Were their Noses So Big?
Human, Neanderthal, or Other? Finger Bones Point to New Branch of Humanity

Archaeology

The Neanderthal Enigma: Why Were their Noses So Big?

By Charles Q. Choi

Published 14 January 2011

| LiveScience

A mystery of Neanderthals for more than a century is one that’s literally as plain as the noses on their faces — why did they have such big schnozes?

One common answer suggests their faces somehow helped our extinct relatives deal with the extreme cold they faced. Now, however, scientists find that Neanderthal faces were not built for the cold — meaning that no one still knows why Neanderthals had such noses.

The enigma that such a large nose poses is that it seems like an excellent way to lose heat — a paradox, given that Neanderthals lived when glaciers dominated Europe. Modern humans and other animals, in contrast, typically have evolved significantly narrower, longer noses in cold climates. [The Many Mysteries of Neanderthals]

Scientists have tried solving this mystery by suggesting there were equally giant sinuses behind the broad noses. Some proposed the sinuses helped warm the air before it entered the lungs so Neanderthals were able to keep their bodies warm. Others speculated the sinuses actually had the exact opposite function, helping Neanderthals rid their bodies of heat, preventing them from drenching in sweat that could have cooled them off even more.

“The question is what sinuses do — that is, what is their biological function. Scientists have been arguing over that for hundreds of years,” researcher Todd Rae, a paleoanthropologist at Roehampton University in London, wrote in an e-mail. “There are dozens of suggestions for what they may do for the animals that have them, including adding resonance to the voice and acting as flotation devices!”

To learn more about what role sinuses might have played in Neanderthals, Rae and his colleagues analyzed X-rays and CT scans of several Neanderthal skulls. They found Neanderthal sinuses were actually comparable in scale with those of modern humans and not unusually large or small. In contrast, they had previously discovered that sinuses get smaller in the cold in both macaque monkeys and rats.

These findings suggest that scientists no longer have to do “philosophical and logical backflips” to explain how their noses and sinuses might have aided Neanderthals for a life in the cold — Neanderthals’ researchers hint they didn’t, Rae told LiveScience. It could be there was no special reason why their noses were unusually broad, Rae said — they could have just evolved that way randomly.

“I would agree with their overall conclusion that the differences between Neanderthals and modern human faces do not appear in general to be adaptations to extreme cold climates,” said paleoanthropologist Tim Weaver at the University of California, Davis, who did not take part in this research. “That doesn’t mean that smaller features might not be shaped by cold climate. The projection of the nose of Neanderthals is very pronounced, and we see that characteristic in present-day humans who have ancestry in cold climates. Whether that’s due to cold climate is unclear, but it’s at least consistent.”

“One of the things that’s really fascinating about Neanderthals is that they are perhaps the most closely related species to humans that have ever lived, and in that way can help us really understand the evolutionary forces that shaped us,” Weaver added.

Rae and his colleagues detailed their findings online Dec. 21 in the Journal of Human Evolution.

*   Top 10 Mysteries of the First Humans
  *   Top 10 Things That Make Humans Special
  *   The Coldest Places on Earth

Copyright © 2010 LiveScience.com. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Neanderthals together in Society with Cro-magnon

16 SEPT. 2011

Neanderthals vs Humans?

German Scientists Bring Fossils into the Computer Age

By Johann Grolle

Photo Gallery: German Scientists Bring Fossils into the Computer Age

Photos

Volker Steger

Researchers in Leipzig are compiling a ground-breaking digital archive of artefacts from around the world. Created to contrast Neanderthals with modern man, the archive could revolutionize their field — which is exactly why many oppose it.

Info

Visitors are greeted by three skulls with seashells in their eye sockets. On a table behind them, a student completes a detailed drawing of the teeth in a human jaw.

The bone chamber lies behind a simple steel door on the ground floor. Located right next to the delivery entrance of the anatomy institute at Tel Aviv University, what looks like a janitor’s storeroom is actually one of the world’s largest treasure troves of human history.

Nestled on foam within blue storage drawers are all sorts of crumbling bones, including arm bones, leg bones, wrist bones, ribs, jaw bones, children’s skulls and a range of teeth. These are one-of-a-kind fossils that reveal a key episode in the history of the human species.

Paleoanthropologists have excavated the bones of some three dozen individuals from the rocks in caves in northern Israel. What’s unique about their find is that the bones come from two different species of man. They indicate that modern man and Neanderthals once lived hardly a stone’s throw away from each other.

This raises a number of questions: Did the two cousins live here at the same time? Did they interact? Did the two rivals have their first showdown for world domination right here in the Levant?

Historic Intercourse

Last year’s decoding of the Neanderthal’s genetic makeup provided strong evidence in support of this thesis. Researchers working under Svante Pääbo, the director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, found that modern Eurasians inherited a small portion of their DNA sequence from Neanderthals . This suggests that the two species of man must have had sexual intercourse.

What’s more, the genetic researchers were also able to narrow down the timeframe of this momentous genetic intermingling. According to their findings, the intercourse took place between 65,000 and 90,000 years after modern man set foot on the Eurasian landmass, presumably on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean.

Scientists are now trying to determine the exact relationship the inhabitants of these Israeli caves had with the forefathers of modern-day Eurasians. In particular, they are examining the fossil remains to see if there are traces of the interaction between the two species.

Treasure Trove

Jean-Jacques Hublin almost gets sentimental as he gingerly lifts the skull and jaw bones from their drawers. “As far as I’m concerned, they belong — so to speak — to my family,” says the 57-year-old paleoanthropologist from the Max Planck Institute.

Hublin’s experience here in Israel goes back 36 years to when he was a budding scientist. At the time, Hublin says that scientists used a helicopter to hoist massive boulders out of the Qafzeh Cave near Nazareth.

Hublin, who has become one of the leaders in his field, has now returned to Israel in the hope of unlocking the secrets of the finds he once helped to salvage and to aid scientists in deciphering the enigmatic creature known as the Neanderthal.

When Hublin arrived in Israel from Leipzig, the guardians of the treasure trove of fossils regarded him with both awe and suspicion. Of course, they had grown used to having visitors in the form of scholars travelling here from all over the world to inspect the most famous pieces in the collection. But this time was different.

Digital Fossils

Hublin and his team of researchers didn’t arrive with sketch pads and sliding calipers. Instead, their luggage was packed with high-tech devices weighing tons. Their plan was to use a mobile computer tomography machine to make digital images of as many of the fossils as they could.

Hublin predicts that doing so “will fundamentally alter paleoanthropology.” Instead of having to travel from museum to museum, researchers could soon be able to examine finds from around the world from their home computers. What’s more, the images often even allow them to recognize details that would have escaped notice under the naked eye.

Hublin has already traveled with his equipment to South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Croatia and Russia to X-ray all the fossils of human ancestors and prehistoric man he could get his hands on. Piece by piece, he is assembling a digital archive of the family history of Homo sapiens.

To show just what the future holds for his field, Hublin crossed the back courtyard of the anatomy institute in Tel Aviv. There, next to the dumpsters, stands a 20-foot (6-meter) container that the Israeli technicians like to smoke behind. The box’s exterior gives no hint that it holds a laboratory on prehistoric man unlike any other one in the world.

X-Ray of History

Patrick Schönfeld spends his days in the cramped, frostily air-conditioned chamber inside the container. The system technician’s job is to calibrate the tomographs. Through a display panel, he can follow how the X-ray is scanning the slowly spinning fossils. The procedure can last four, six and sometimes up to eight hours.

The software eventually transforms the massive amount of data into an image of the fossil that is accurate to a few thousandths of a millimeter. The original will have long since been back resting in its drawer when the Max Planck researchers are rotating, spinning or turning it over in their virtual-reality laboratory back home in Leipzig. And whenever they want something they can touch for their research, they don’t even have to wait 30 minutes before getting a true-to-size plaster replica of it from their ZCorp Spectrum Z510 3-D printer.

However, paleoanthropologists are an argumentative bunch, and not all of Hublin’s colleagues have welcomed his vision of digitalized research on prehistoric humans. Israel Hershkovitz, for example, the curator of the collection in Tel Aviv, cannot hide his unease about the project.

Safe-Guarding Fragile Artifacts

Hershkovitz’s office desk is surrounded by dozens of skulls. “Each one of them tells a story,” he says. The one with the bullet hole in the skullcap, he explains, was an execution on one of Napoleon’s besieging soldiers. Another skull was opened by a Stone Age surgeon. “We’re guessing that he used beeswax to stop the bleeding,” Hershkovitz says.

Indeed, the Israeli anthropologist views his field as a treasure trove of fascinating stories. And he doubts whether the pricey equipment and sophisticated software of the Max Planck researchers are really necessary to unlock them.

Hershkovitz adds that he isn’t completely opposed to the project. In a region as volatile as the Middle East, he thinks it is a good thing to create digital copies as a safety precaution. He recalls how researchers have lost irreplaceable items. During World War II, for example, the Chinese collection of precious prehistoric human remains disappeared without a trace. And a unique skeleton of a Stone Age child was lost in the confusion of the civil war in nearby Lebanon.

Hershkovitz says that digitally scanning fragile items could prevent them from getting damaged. After all, he says, there’s always another case of a fossil that has to be glued back together because some student was clumsy.

‘Too-Virtual’

Despite these positive aspects, Hershkovitz insists he is still a fan of the old-school way of doing things. He views the work of his colleagues in Leipzig as “all too virtual.”

Indeed, Hershkovitz sees himself as a champion of the archaeologists who have amassed all the treasures in his collection. Most of them have toiled away in the field for years or even decades, Hershkovitz explains, before finally being able to bring home a handful of bones. And now others are supposed to use virtual copies to harvest the scientific fruits of their labor? In Hershkovitz’s mind, anthropologists are merely “scavengers who feed off the sweat of archaeologists.”

Most importantly, though, the Israeli curator feels uneasy about the influence of his Leipzig-based colleagues. “We have seen the rise of a mega-center of prehistoric man research,” Hershkovitz says, and one that is increasingly setting the direction of new trends in paleoanthropology. “Too much power in a single place can be dangerous,” he says.

He worries that people who want to work on his fossils might eventually be forced to travel to Leipzig instead of coming to Tel Aviv.

Power Shift

For his part, Hublin has grown used to this kind of resistance. In fact, he is extremely proud of the rapidly rising influence of his institute. “Fifteen years ago,” he says, “Leipzig had yet to establish a firm place on the map of paleoanthropology. Today, it’s home to what just might be the greatest institute in the world.”

It’s hardly surprising that this would arouse the envy of Hublin’s colleagues — and all the more so because he is fully aware of the fact that his digitalization project could threaten to shift power relations in his field.

Until now, Hublin says, it was usual to handle fossils from the dawn of mankind “like relics or national treasures.” Under these circumstances, curators assumed the role of keepers of the Grail.

In this way, curators were holding on the reins of scientific power. After all, it is vital for researchers to have access to the fossils. “Whoever is denied (this access) will never get anywhere,” Hublin says.

A New Era for Research

Indeed, Hublin believes having a virtual fossil archive could herald the end of this system. He sees his work as boosting accessibility to the objects and says curators “are afraid of losing control.”

But, the fact remains that it means a new era for research: Now a large number of discoveries will be made with the click of a computer mouse rather than with a hammer on stone.

This new era is currently visible in the Tel Aviv bone chamber, where Max Planck researchers are conducting painstaking detective work to assemble a more and more precisely detailed picture of the Neanderthal.

The powerful, brightly colored canine of a member of the Neanderthal species is rotating on the monitor of Adeline Le Cabec. Its surface is furrowed with grooves and scratches. “That’s the result of abrasion,” the researcher explains. “I’ve even seen teeth that were so worn down by use that the nerve was exposed,” she adds. “One doesn’t even want to imagine how bad that must have hurt.”

Carrying with Teeth

Le Cabec says it’s rare to find a dental root that is so bulky among modern humans. And the fact that the chin juts out so prominently primarily results from the degeneration of the chewing apparatus.

With the Neanderthals this is all very different. They apparently ground their teeth more, but why? Did he chew on wood? Did he use animal skin to clean his teeth? Did he gnaw on bones?

To answer these questions, Le Cabec scanned more than 400 teeth as part of her doctoral dissertation. These images showed that the teeth — and particularly the canines and incisors — were much more firmly grounded in the jawbone than they are in modern humans. She took this as an indication that Neanderthals used these teeth to hold on to things more than modern humans do.

Through a study of the equilibrium organ inside the cranial bone, Max Planck researchers also determined that modern humans and Neanderthals also moved in different ways. The way in which the semicircular canals in the inner ear are curved suggests that the Neanderthals plodded about in a more ponderous manner.

Neanderthals’ Hiking Prowess

This hypothesis is supported by yet another finding scientists made in Leipzig: The sponge-like matrix inside the Neanderthal’s shinbone has a different structure than that of his modern cousin. To determine how such differences could arise, the scientists had sheep with bent legs hobble along on treadmills. A half an hour every day was enough to alter the bone structure in a perceptible way. This confirmed the researchers’ hypothesis that the Neanderthal was a good hiker, but not as good as modern man at sprinting or jumping.

Another, more significant, difference between the species became evident thanks to X-ray analysis: Neanderthals appear to have had a much quicker life cycle.

Researchers came to this conclusion by analyzing the teeth of both species. They can determine a child’s age by analyzing the razor-thin layers of enamel. From this, it emerged that young Neanderthals mature and reach adulthood much more quickly — between two and three years faster — than modern humans.

A short childhood, an inability to run fast and teeth with a very strong grip: The more his team of researchers look, the more Hublin feels confirmed in his suspicion that the similarities between the two types of men have been exaggerated.

Neanderthal Romance?

In museums and textbooks, Hublin says, Neanderthals are mostly depicted as a sort of modern man. But Hublin advocates paying closer attention to the differences. For that reason he was bothered by the enthusiastic response given to the news that Neanderthal genes can be found in modern humans.

“People made a stirring love story out of it,” he says. But he adds that history teaches that kidnapping and raping human women may have been the origin of this genetic merging.

Hublin argues that many researchers paint an overly harmonious picture of the coexistence of these two rivals. He thinks it was probably modern man that spelled the end of the Neanderthals. But over time Hublin has realized that his opinion is far from popular. “Whenever I say anything like that in public,” he says, “I am greeted by enraged protests.”

Translated from the German by Josh Ward

ARTICLE…

DER SPIEGEL

SOCIAL NETWORKS

The CT fosil scanner is part of the new tool kit at the Evolutionary...

Volker Steger

The CT fosil scanner is part of the new tool kit at the Evolutionary Anthropoloy Institute in Leipzig. Their new digital archive will enable researchers to examine finds from around the world from their home computers.

Jean-Jacques Hublin, a paleoanthropologist from the Max Planck Institute, has...

Volker Steeger

Jean-Jacques Hublin, a paleoanthropologist from the Max Planck Institute, has taken his hi-tech devices to Israel. He hopes that his findings will help scientists decipher the enigmatic creature known as the Neanderthal.

But not everyone welcomes the digital archive. Israel Hershkovitz, curator of...

Johann Grolle / DER SPIEGEL

But not everyone welcomes the digital archive. Israel Hershkovitz, curator of the collection in Tel Aviv says the work of his colleagues in Leipzig is “all too virtual.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FROM A FULL-FLEDGED OPENLY ADMITTED “SCHIZOID” comes a VERY/ VERY SICK  ONLINE THEORY!
Miguel Alberto wrote from 
“TRIP-ATLAS”:   With this new theory it can be
seen that Homo Sapiens are the hybid product of Neanderthal and Cro Magnon
Man.

Now, all we have been handed is a pack of lies.
Old books of skin preserved by copper acetate were protected by
Gheorghe Rakoczy.

Georges II Rákóczi

 Georges II.Georges II Rákóczi (hongrois II. Rákóczi György) prince de Transylvanie de 1648 à 1657 puis de 1658 à 1659 et enfin prétendant de 1659 à 1660.

Biographie

Jerzy II Rakoczy.jpg

George II Rákóczi
An article in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from George II Rákóczy)
Go to: navigation, search for other uses, see George II.
George II Rákóczi (Hungarian II.) (György Rákóczi) prince of Transylvania 1648 in 1657 and 1658 1659 and finally claiming of 1659 1660.

Biography

Georges Ier Rákóczi and Zsuzsanna Lorántffy born 30 January 1621 eldest son, he was elected as the successor and prince associated with his father since 1642.

He became prince of Transylvania 11 October 1648. Taking advantage of the good domestic situation left by his father, he turned to the foreign policy. The nomination of his brother Sigismund Rákóczi Poland throne supports first in 1648.

The weakening of the Turkish power enables it to intervene in the Danube principalities to install princes are faithful: in 1653 Gheorghe Ştefan in Moldova and in 1654, Constantin Ier Şerban Basarab in Wallachia.

He then intervenes in the thirty years war as the Protestant powers Sweden and Brandenburg against Catholic Poland ally. The campaign is disastrous, his army was captured by the Turks who supported the Poland vassals Crimean Tatars. The recovery of the Ottoman power in the Grand Vizir Köprülü Mehmet is fatal. After the prince of Transylvania refused to attend a convening of the Grand Vizir, the troops invade the country.

Before the ravages of the invasion that is sweeping across Transylvania, he must resign October 25, 1657. It attempts to regain power 14 January 1658 to 30 March 1659. The Turks then entrusted the throne to Ákos Barcsay, their protected. George II Rákóczi was defeated by the Pasha of Buda and died of his wounds 7 June 1660 at Nagyvárad.

We copied them in his castle, and translated them.

FIRST EARTH “MEN”:

They give us this story of the Old Ones who came from the “outer
darkness”, that is, out side our galaxy, apparently from the galaxy in
Andromeda.
They traveled here by probability transduction travel, much faster
than light, and we got the technology of how to do this, and much more
from these books.
But God, came and genetically engineered Neanderthal
Man to inter-breed with Cro Magnon (in doing so, creating “Homo Sapiens”, with the intent of depriving
“the Old Ones”/ (the original black Cro Magnon’s) of existence.
The Universal Holy Roman-Catholic-Church of that God, today has an embassy in the Crown Temple in
London, England,
 the acting capital of the White Right Hand Path One
World Order, as, the Crown Temple. [It is a regency of the Vatican.]
In the early 400’s there was a mini-ice age that drove tribes from
Central Asia into Europe. Some Scythians went to Scandanavia, took some
Viking ships and sailed to Ireland.
In Ireland St. Patrick lead a movement to drive the Scythians out
of Ireland. The exiled Scythians came to New England and left ruins and
arifacts in Mystery Hill and Sharon Springs, New Hampshire. This is the
truth behind the legend of St. Patrick driving the “snakes” out of
Ireland.
There has always been a little known war between the Homo Sapiens [TheNeanderthal-HYBRIDS/white-elite]
and the pure Cro-Magnon Man [black Negroid man]. It constitutes genocide!

Falsely, in the standard re-invented histories, you will hear that Cro-Magnon man exterminated Neanderthals. A racial karma from this?
In books of the Old Testament we see that the Jews were ordered to exterminate the Philistines, and nationalities like the Pherezites,
Jebusites, etc.

Was Hitler’s Holocaust racial karma?

But, the Homo Sapien white-elite has decided to exterminate all its weak
and sickly, you with antispychotic drugs that cause diabetes. And, then
there are no diabetic sweeteners available without “dextrose”, sugar in
them.
Cancer causing, blinding, corticosteroids are being pushed on
people with allergies. “Failures” are being exiled into homelessness.

It’s your turn now.

Dywyddyr

Charmingly Strange Qua[r/c]k (7,718 posts)

Originally Posted by alpert555

Gheorghe Rakoczy did his private scientific writings in the 1670’s, the principles of which he derived from more ancient books that he had.

Wrong. He didn’t write anything scientific. But he did write quite a lot of woo woo mysticism.

He was a prince, and there were no “cranks” of his rank in those days. In fact, it was very dangerous to be a crank in those days.

He wasn’t a prince. And the fact that he was a crank is evidenced by his claims to be a prince.

Perhaps Edward Kelly or even Dr. John Dee might be considered to be cranks; but, they were the royal court science advisers of Queen Elizabeth, and later King James.

And how would that stop them being cranks? Simply because a crank has royal approval doesn’t prevent them being a crank.

Those old books that Gheorghe Rakoczy had were written in precuniform Sumerian hieroglyphics on skin pages that had been preserved by copper acetate. They were carbon dated to be 10,000 years old.

Bull. $%!+.

They explained everything in the universe and answered the mysteries of the Nephalim.

More bull $%!+.

In these books of skin, called Necronomicons, it is claimed that the “Old Ones” came from a place called Davanna, in the “outer darkness”, beyond our galazy, which was probably the galaxy in Andromeda.

You do realise that the “great old ones” AND the “necronomicon” were fiction? They were both invented by H. P. Lovecraft for his horror stories.

Faster than light travel was facilitated by probability transduction travel which was done with what was like a “Star Gate”. In the caverns under MtNegoi, titanium disks were found. I have one.

No it wasn’t and no you didn’t.

It was written that the Old Ones genetically engieered Neanderthal Man into Cro Magnon Man. Not to “evolve” the human race, but to provide bodies to body switch into, just for fun.

A federation of fifty races in our Milky Way galaxy, who arrogantly called themselves the “elder gods”, rebelled against the Old Ones and genetically engineered Homo Sapiens from Cro Magnons, with the intent to thwart the pleasures of the Old Ones, and then proceeded to exterminate Cro Magnon Man.

But, this genocide remains incomplete to this day, but which their regency in the Crown Temple in London is still attempting to complete. All Cro Magnon males were Double Y’s. They were called the Anakim in the Bible.

You know, if you got yourself a decent editor to correct your grammar and spelling you might have the basis of a decent fiction book.

Originally Posted by alpert555

Here I have cut & pasted an article about the Old Ones, which will give you more information. The author is also a member of Alchemy61 and gave permission for this publication. You can compare this from what I just wrote from memory.

Could you please tell us how, exactly, the inane ramblings of yet another idiot in any way validates your nonsense?

A shared delusion is still a delusion.

_______________________________________________________________________

ESOTERIC EXTRAS:

The Ceaucescu government said that their archaeologists found
evidence that God came and genetically engineered
Neanderthal Man into Homo Sapiens, in order to provide bodies for all His spirit children; not to evolve the Human Race.
Titanium disks, found in the caverns under Mt. Negoi, were carbon
dated to to be 70.000 years old. And, you may ask, “And, you believe
that?” I was there. And, I have one of those disks.
Then, you may ask, “Why don’t you sell it for big money?” Do you
think THEY would allow that. THEY would steal it if THEY knew where I
have it hidden. That’s still another reason why we mustn’t have America
dissolved into a North American Union.
The disks seem to be solid state remotes. Perhaps the Old Ones
could see something we can’t see in them, like an I-phone, visible in
the infra red or ultra violet range of the spectrum. I never tried
feeling around it. Touching the right spots on the disk may trigger
something.
In an emergency, like a North American Union, I will feel around
the disk until something drastic happens. I’d have nothing to lose. Now,
I could be aiming the thing the wrong way, but if I get desperate…!
History has again been rewritten.

WHAT? Can anyone decipher this?:
   By Steve Connor:
…to them, has raged ever since the first with scientists saying they have created three-dimensional T Neanderthal skull was excavated from HE MYSTERY of what killed off the Neander Valley, near Dusseldorf, in materials that can bend visible the Neanderthals about 30,000 1856. light. years ago comes a step closer to It is now generally agreed that they For the moment, the vanishing being solved with a study suggesting were not the direct ancestors of modern act takes place on a nanoscale, that they formed a tiny population that humans but a side-branch on man’s measured in billionths of a had been teetering on the brink of extensive family tree. However, some metre. extinction. anthropologists have clung to the belief But there is no fundamental Neanderthals first appeared in Europe that they must have interbred with reason why the same principles at least 300,000 years ago but they humans at some stage in their history, cannot be scaled up one day to disappeared after the arrival of which means that there is a little bit of make invisibility cloaks big anatomically modern humans, Homo Neanderthal in us all. enough to hide a person, a tank sapiens, who first arrived in Europe However, a number of DNA studies, or even a tanker, the scientists 50,000 years ago. including the latest published in the say.

 

This has led to speculation about journal Cell, have found little to support The groundbreaking whether the Neanderthals interbred with that theory. Whenever it has been experiments, led by Xiang the new arrivals to form a hybrid possible to analyse the sequence of Zhang at the University of population that became submerged in heavily degraded DNA fragments California at Berkeley, were the human gene pool, or were instead extracted from Neanderthal bone, it reported simultaneously this wiped out by them, either through shows that the genetic variation lies well week in the British journal competition for resources or by outside the variation seen in modern Nature and the US-based journal violence. humans. Science. The latest evidence, an analysis of The latest study suggests, for instance, Recent advances have created DNA recovered from a 38,000-year-old that the Neanderthals last shared a other so-called metamaterials, fossilised thigh bone, suggests the common ancestor with modern humans artificially engineered structures Neanderthals did not interbreed with some 660,000 years ago  long before with optical properties that bend modern humans but were eradicated by the emergence in Africa of Homo light in unnatural ways. them. sapiens as a distinct species about But previous attempts had DNA extracted from an adult 100,000 years ago. three serious limitations.

 

Neanderthal man who lived near caves However, the scientists who carried One was that they only in what is now Croatia also revealed that out the study emphasised that their work worked on the microwave range the Neanderthals in Europe probably cannot as yet completely rule out the of the light spectrum, bending never numbered more than 10,000 possibility that there was some limited, wavelengths much too long to be individuals at any one time  a small-scale interbreeding between visible to the human eye.

The precariously small population size. Neanderthals and modern humans, at earlier technology was also The new evidence about the demise of some place between the Caucasus and limited to two-dimensional the Neanderthals comes from the western Europe the geographic range systems no thicker than a single complete sequence of DNA within tiny of the Neanderthals. layer of atoms. cellular structures known as One of the best bits of evidence in Finally, a large portion of the mitochondria.

This mitochondrial DNA support of that idea emerged about a light was absorbed rather than is maternally inherited and is easier to decade ago when scientists found the refracted, a form of energy loss isolate from ancient bones than the skeleton of a young boy who had died that reduced the “invisibility” conventional DNA found within the cell about 25,000 years ago in what is now factor. nucleus. Spain. His thick-set features suggested The new material, by contrast, Oil from algae promises

The scientists repeatedly decoded the he was hybrid of Neanderthal and Cro- produces the negative refractive mitochondrial DNA from the 38,000- Magnon  but other scientists believed needed to work within a visible year-old Neanderthal bone 35 times to he was just an unusually stocky lad. light spectrum and in three make sure that they had the correct There is little doubt that Neanderthals dimensions. genetic sequence, so that they could use would have looked very different from Negative refraction  or “left- it as an accurate comparison against the the new arrivals in Europe.

Their rib handed” materials deflect light climate-friendly fuel mitochondrial DNA of modern humans cage flared out, so they would have had in a way that breaks the standard and chimpanzees  man’s closest living no waists, which would have “right-handed” rules of relative exaggerated their thick-set appearance. electromagnetism. “For the first time, we’ve built a Heavy jaws, a double arch over the By Alok Jha compatible with current infrastructure, John Loughhead, executive director of the Unhindered, light will travel sequence from ancient DNA that is eyebrow resulting in a beetle brow ….
_____________________________________________

kenneth suskin  writes:
…We have no fossils to indicate the evolution of Cro-Magnon Man, if in fact he evolved at all. The easy (unscientific) explanation would be that God created Man….
modern humans may have been genetically engineered, or at least someOne installed the software in our brains….
Although they didn’t have telescopes, ancient peoples had a phenomenal knowledge of astronomy. They knew about Uranus and Neptune which Europeans didn’t “discover” until relatively recent times. According to the theories of Professor Robert M. Schoch who wrote several books about the ancient Egyptians, the Sphinx and the three Giza pyramids were built thousands of years before conventional historians place them. Carbon dating does not work with granite. Schoch’s theory is that their placement reflects astronomical configurations at the end of the Age of Virgo, about 10,900 B.C.

He points out that the Sphinx had water erosion, not sand erosion around its base which would indicate that the Sahara was green and rather wet at that time. We know that 10,000 years ago, much of the Sahara was green. And we still haven’t addressed the engineering and mathematical complexity of constructing the Great Pyramid. It seems unlikely that pre-Egyptian men of the Stone Age could pass on that kind of knowledge. Schoch’s theories were once thought to be crazy, but now they are gradually gaining acceptance among “mainstream” scientists. The great library of Alexandria which might have answered these questions was destroyed in a war in the 7th Century A.D.

The three Giza pyramids near the Sphinx, which I’ve recently visited, are in the same configuration as Orion’s Belt in the summer night sky. From North to South, those are commonly known as the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. The most important star for the Egyptians was the “dog star” Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. Its position signified major events of the year, like spring planting. The goddess Isis, depicted as a mermaid, is linked with the star Sirius.

The West African Dogons, who are believed to be descendants of the ancient Egyptians, have an ancient tradition that gods, resembling mermen and mermaids, called Nommo, came from the Sirius star system 5,000 years ago in 3-legged space ships. This whole thing sounds fishy, and you can believe what you want, but their ancient carvings are amazingly accurate models of that star system, which wasn’t discovered until the 20th century. Their oral history, told to French anthropologists in the 1930’s, describe Sirius B as a small, heavy star. Sirius B, first photographed in 1970, is the companion star to Sirius. It is a white dwarf star, about the size of the Earth but so dense that it weighs as much as the Sun. The great density of this star wasn’t discovered until recently. The two stars rotate around each other in a spiral pattern similar to DNA in a 50 year cycle which the Dogons were aware of. This is not visible to the naked eye, and not even to most telescopes. The Dogons also describe a Sirius C, but because of its small size, we moderns haven’t discovered it yet. Take it from the Dogons–it’s probably there! On the other hand, the Dogons celebrate this cycle every 60 years. Go figure!

Speaking about the Nommo, these same guys appear in Babylonian, Akkadian and Sumerian mythology. Are their mythology stories independent of each other? More study is needed.

Don’t even get me started on the Sumerians. They left us much written history which we’re in the process of deciphering…..If they came out of the Stone Age, they certainly did so at astonishing speed. Some of this stuff is pretty extreme, but if these folks evolved from cavemen, or whatever, you would think that their civilization and language would evolve slowly also, and be very simple in ancient times. But early languages were quite complicated and early civilizations were very advanced, especially in astronomy, engineering and mathematics.

The History Channel production discusses our DNA, of which 98% is essentially “junk” DNA which does not appear to have any effect on our appearance or traits, and may be left over from evolution. We still have much to learn about that.

Need To Know about Neanderthals

Next to our own selves, there is no more interesting hominid than the Neanderthal. Neanderthals are the humans manqué, the evolutionary dead-end; eerily like us, but different in many ways. And they are the subject of one the hottest ongoing debates in anthropology. These big-brained, stocky-bodied people, inhabited Europe and the Middle East about 200,000 years ago. And there is still tons of information to find out about them. However, with the information we have, we can see that Neanderthals are very similar to modern humans. This helps us know everything we need to know about Neanderthals.

About 35,000 years ago, is when Neanderthals died out. The fossils that we find have been dug up in various places, mainly in Europe. This also, tells us that it is likely that Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis appeared roughly 120,000 years ago. In the past, some have claimed that Neanderthals held ritual burials, which would have implied highly developed social behaviors and possibly even religion. But that belief was largely based on a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal burial at Shanidar cave in Iraq, where pollen grains were taken to imply that the body had been covered with flowers. Many scientists now believe the plant material is an

incidental intrusion. In reality the number of claimed Neandertal burials is extremely low and none has yielded convincing evidence for grave goods. Neanderthals lived during the time of the Ice Age. They became well adapted to cold conditions. They roamed widely and used certain settlement places at particular times of the year. They traveled very slowly to other continents. They did not need a boat, since it was the time of the Ice Age. There were natural bridges of solid, frozen ice and land that allowed them to travel over vast rivers and seas. But, for a very long time, the earth was frozen, creating giant walkways. Some of these walkways were a hundred miles wide. These early people wandered from Africa to Europe and Asia and from Asia to America, probably in search of food. This early man was named after the valley in which the first skeleton remains were found, Neander Tal. This early man’s real name is Homo Neandertalensis. However, In the beginning, scientist believed Neanderthals were dim-witted brutes with clubs and beast-like features, who walked with bent knees and shambling gaits, with heads slung forward on their big squat necks. But scientist had to rethink a bit after all the discoveries they found. Now, today scientist is still finding and learning more about Neanderthals.

Neanderthals used their Homes, Food, Clothing, and Tools and Weapons to survive in the wild Environment they lived in. These early men built permanent homes, to shelter from the long, harsh winter of the Ice Age. In the summer, they followed the herds, and lived in tents and caves. Winter homes were Ice Age huts, built teepee style, from branches and mammoth bones, covered with animal skins. These huts were used for many years, so they built them carefully. Holes were dug, deeply into the ground. Poles were inserted into these holes, and then tied tightly together at the point of the teepee, at the top, with string made from animal guts. Warm furs were laid over this structure and sewn tightly in place. Large rocks were piled around the bottom, to help hold the hut together. For Food, these hunt-gatherers are a variety of seeds, berries, roots and nuts, as did their ancestors. They also are fish and seemed to have an ample supply of freshly caught game. There lives were not a constant struggle for survival because they were such good hunters. They learned to organize hunts and to cure and store food for the long winter. Hunting was done individually and in-groups. They used traps, which allowed them to catch food while they were busy doing something else. Fisherman used bows and arrows, nets woven from vines, fish hooks, and even poisons. Some groups built rafts and canoes, to catch bigger fish in deeper waters. Neanderthals also used clothing to survive.

In colder climates, early man learned to soften leather to make warm, comfortable clothes, sewn together with string made from animal guts, using needles made from bone. In warmer climates, they made cooler clothes from woven grass, and even from bark. They made necklaces and bracelets out of shells, teeth, feathers, flowers, and bone. Some decorated their bodies with paint and tattoos, made from natural dyes, using red ochre to draw and cover their dead before burial. That’s not the only way they survived.

The most important way they survived was from their tools and weapons. Man had learned to be a skilled toolmaker. Weapons included stone axes, knives, spears, harpoons, wooden bows and sharp stone tipped arrows. These tools and weapons were used for finding food and protection and other ways they could use them. It is obvious that Neanderthals used lots of ways to survive their harsh environment.


Current evidence in today’s society has shown that the Neanderthal’s were not very different from ourselves in many important ways. Certainly, they had a distinctive skeletal structure, but few differences clothes would not hide. On the average, their bodies were stockier and more mascular than ours, which, combined with their facial features, gave them greater resistance to the fierce cold of glacial climate. Neanderthals were capable craftsmen. As compared to the general-use artifacts of earlier humans, their stone tools were made in a variety of well-defined shapes, often for specific purposes.
There is also clear evidence that they had control of fire, lived in caves or open-air structures of stone and vegetation, hunted large game from which they made clothing, cared for their sick or weak, and even buried their dead with some “religious” ceremonies. It is a proven fact that fossils found today of Neanderthals are just like those of modern humans. And with that kind of evidence it is hard not to believe that modern humans and Neanderthals were similar.

The Neanderthals married into other groups, and that over time, they ceased to exist as a separate species. However, it has been suggested that they disappeared because they are our direct ancestors, they evolved into modern humans.

90,000 years ago, early Africans were living in the southern part of the continent. They finally replaced the Neanderthals. Asian peoples continued to spread outward as populations increased, reaching both Australia and the Americas, known as the Aiynu (from JAPAN). Their geological record reveals that they conquered all the climatic regions of the world, and began the exploration of the universe.

From all the evidence shared and found by scientists, it is safe to say that Neanderthals and modern humans are very similar. All the way from their physical features, how they lived, and their bone structures compared to ours. Still, there is more to find out, and more information to be explained, as more remains of Neanderthals will be found.

�Genetic Engineering for 10,000 years? Some Say YES! (from Dr. Donald Ryles)
“… here is the truth of the matter: …Mankind IS a child of God…. 

About 30,000 to 10,000 years ago, something odd occurred in the evolution of homo sapiens: a new and different kind of modern human appeared almost magically and began evolving beside Neanderthal man in Europe and the Middle East. The Saldanha Man of South Africa, the Montmaurin Man of France, the Rhodesian Man of Africa, and Neanderthal Man of Europe and the Middle East all existed generally during the early part of the upper Pleistocene era with the Neanderthal Man actually overlapping the appearance of Cro-Magnon Man of Europe after about 30,000 years ago.
There is ample evidence to suggest that Neanderthal Man and Cro-Magnon Man lived side by side even up to historic times in Europe, the Neanderthals having been interbred withCro-Magnon Man to the point that they are no longer recognizable as Neanderthals in much the same way that the Ainu have merged into the mainstream of modern Japanese stock.


Cro-Magnon Man seems to have emerged as a separate species of homo sapiens and related sciences agree that in Earth’s recent history, Cro-Magnon underwent a change that is difficult to explain… unless one considers the Genesis story with the Holy Scriptures.

Let us say that once man did obtain an incredibly higher status; and did explore already the outer-reaches of OUR SOLAR SYSTEM,…but by the horrendous scheming of SATAN/MELKOR/MORGOTH, mankind lost suddenly all this knowledge [because our Eve DID rebel, listen to Satan and seek the power to be like God. Therefore, our Adam and the eartly decendants of our Eve, necessitated that Christ perform His Act of Redemption for All His Fallen Creation. The Blood aspect was for Mankind’s sins; but His Body was for ALL-living.


Corporal Resurrection is freely granted to all the created-living; & in Him, “All Creation was blessed” ! [The Animals that fell along with Man of our earth, suffering death, because of our Eve’s disobedience…they died too; but are now made whole in Christ as well.] But it is “the fallen”, yet still Intelligent soul of mankind that can only be redeemed by His Sacred and Holy Blood….AND THAT MEANS THE NECESSITY OF the Sacrament of BAPTISM for all the Fallen of mankind
.]

…”let us agree that the tampering claim is true” [and was performed by God]; “and, that all proof to substantiate the claim has been accepted by all without further argument.”….This would collaborate the Genesis story of the Fall of Man:
Then, the Genesis story of Adam and Eve really is a real recounting of the fallen state of man: Fallen from a marvelous technicolgical state, in which the remnant of mankind was forced to return to a primitive agricultural society, following the last ice-age of Our Earth?

Thus also thenthe “FALL” is also a precursor for the future (then) events of Mary, the “new Eve”, and Jesus (the new “ADAM”) to usher-in the Redemption of Mankind, [who were living in a grave, fallen-State, alienated from God, their Creator]; but who would eventually, through Jesus’ intervention, return onto the path of understanding, purity —with the intellectual and compassionately loving ability to rightly rejoin Our Creator in the civil manner He intended His creation originally to do (prior to the Great Fall)?? This makes perfect sense of the FALL—-

(Thus, we were forced) “out of a primarily right brain intuitive, layed-back existence in the Garden of Paradise and into a left brain, high-stress, high tech existence,” (Then God)� implanted within us, a knowledge of the world outside the Garden, (and) gave (to) us a self-awareness….” [the so-called “FRUIT” of the forbidden Tree].

Considering the cosmos as a hole, God was probably wise to nip his terribly flawed experiment in the bud.”….

NEWS STORY:
Richard Walker
, a retired professor of medicine and specialist in the biology of aging, lives in a house on a lagoon in the coastal town of Indian Rocks, Florida. Richard Walker, a geneticist with the University of South Florida College of Medicine, says:eternal life is conceivable.
Walker believes that aging is merely the continuation of the body’s development. He uses the image of a house to illustrate his point. First the house is built. When it’s finished — or, in the case of the body, when sexual maturity is reached — the construction crew would normally leave the site. But in normal people the construction workers stay and keep building, according to a plan that’s been fulfilled and a construction supervisor who says nothing but nonsense. Soon the crew builds things like contorted bay windows and shaky dormers. Supporting beams are suddenly sawed off, and then walls start falling. Finally the building collapses completely — and death catches up with the body.
“Aging happens when developmental genes merely run out of meaningful information and subsequently cause chaos,” Walker says. His idea is to simply shut off the master genes of development. This, he hopes, will put a stop to the aging process. If Walker is right, the consequences will be dramatic. A body manipulated in this fashion would no longer change, but would only perform repair work. Eternal life would be within reach.
“Biological immortality is possible. If you don’t get hit by a car or by lightning, you could live at least 1,000 years.”
All this talk has exhausted the professor. He sits in his heavy armchair and gazes out at the glittering water. A dinghy and a motorboat are tied to his private jetty directly in front of the deck, and a surfboard is lying nearby. The doctor sails, surfs and skis. He is 71. He loves his life.
Does he want to be immortal?
“Of course I want to live forever,” he says. “I could study mathematics; I could learn so many more things. It would be the greatest gift in the world.” Many people, says Walker, imagine that eternal life would be nothing but hardship and senescence. “But that’s not how it would be,” says Walker. Ideally development would be arrested just after a person reaches sexual maturity.
And the social consequences? Who would be allowed to live forever, and who wouldn’t? Who would be allowed to have children?
Walker hesitates. “These are ethical questions, not scientific questions,” he says. “These would be arguments made by philosophers and priests.”‘Highly Unlikely’
Walker’s theories are controversial.

The British biologist Aubrey de Grey, for example, holds his American colleague in high esteem, but believes that aging and development are not related. He points to the phase of life between the ages of 20 and 40, in which the body hardly changes at all. “Is it likely that the developmental gene expression suddenly stops during this time and then starts up again? No, this is highly unlikely,” he says.


De Grey favors the standard theory that the body’s cells simply wear out over the years, and that they accumulate toxins and lose their ability to regenerate. He has identified seven causes of death, like cell loss or changes in genetic material, which he hopes to combat with stem-cell therapy or special injections.
But Walker doesn’t challenge the criticism. “The deterioration of the body’s cells is precisely a consequence of the unregulated activity of development genes,” he argues. His theory is seductive in a sense. While biologists like de Grey tamper with the countless symptoms of growing old, Walker simply wants to do away with aging altogether.
“Imagine we could stop the degenerative changes of the body,” he says enthusiastically. “The onset of age-related diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia and many forms of cancer could be prevented.”

All in the Genes:
Nicky Freeman, a 40-year-man who seems to be trapped in a boy’s body, lives in Esperance in Western Australia. His biological age is estimated at 10 years.
Can Nicky point the way to the fountain of youth? Walker doesn’t know yet.
[If genetic mutations are found in his DNA] Walker plans to identify the corresponding genes in laboratory rats and then block them. He reasons that if the genetically manipulated remain young, researchers will in fact have put a stop to their development.
He’s anxious to press on with his work, because he feels that his time is running out.
———————————————————————————-
In any case, mankind is far older than just recent civilization c. 4000 B.C.

Evidence also suggests that early ancient-Mars and even before that, her parent-planet (of which 24 Themis and other similar asteroids, containing definitely water and organic componds, which circle the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter were originally part-of) had human life pehaps millions of years ago. What happened to them? (or, if we ARE them?)� This is what Phobos annd Hartley2 suggests, as well as the ground evidence on Mars…
Corporal Resurrection is freely granted to all the created-living; in Him, “All Creation was blessed” ! [The Animals that fell along with Man, suffering death, because of our Eve’s disobedience…they died too; but are now made whole in Christ as well.] But it is the Intelligent soul of mankind that can only be redeemed by His Sacred and Holy Blood….AND THAT MEANS THE NECESSITY OF the Sacrament of BAPTISM. Therefore, if any intelligent-beings “out-there” are “Fallen” like us, they need to be Baptized, as there is only One Baptism: The Baptism served by Our Lord Jesus Christ for All Mankind, no matter where they are.

Around 11,000 BC “SOLUTREANS” were in the European-Mediterannean (ie. Corsica and the Pyranéees coast of modern France). Upon the end of the iceage, they [whom we call the “Solutreans”] headed north and north-east, some to Basque country and then others went WESTWARD [from where they embarked across the frozen northen reaches of the North Atlantic to what is now the North American continent…about the area of Delaware, initiating eventually the Clovis Culture],

 

Others of this group, migrated to the Black Sea region (before the innudation of the Bosphorus) and south-east to the area known today as Gobekli Tepe. (This is the area described as The Garden of Eden*1 in the Holy Scriptures.)
Eventually some of the other settlers from the Basque country settled into British Isles, as there was no sea separating the Isles from the mainland as of yet. Many did not remain in those Isles; but also fled south-eastward, joining their fore-going brethern, into the Anatolian hills —carrying with them their peculiar tongue*2—as warlords (to eventually become, many centuries later, the mighty “Hittites”).
The Hyksos worshiped only one God. Genetically, their DNA is tracably similar to the Danaans !the Danaans who became the Dumnoni/Domnann Celts of Britain! As is stated above, they migrated to the Bosphrus before it was flooded [circa 10,000 B.C.], and down into the vast-area today seen as Armenia and also Gobleki Tepe in Turkey. They were warriors.

*!: If the expulsion from Eden is really a metaphor for the agricultural period of Our Last History after the Ice-Age, then indeed, Gobleki Tepe and the region therabouts (as far as IRAN) is indeed Eden as revealed by David Rohl.

*2: In this prospective, this also confirms what we now know: that the Hittite 

language has all the same roots as old English, which is how they cracked the code of the language of the Hittite tablets from their vast hidden libraries. The origins of their written language can be traced also to the Vinca Alphabet, which, by thousands of years, PREDATES the Sumerian.
Abraham and Lot, who were from Haran originally, were decendants of this culture which has become known today as the Hittites 
(by reasoning of their capital of Hythusa). They, the Bible tells us, migrated to Canaan/ the area about Jordan and the Dead Sea; but because of a quarrel with his brother Esau, Abraham’s grandson Jacob/ to be known as “Israel”, returned to the area about Salem, [the area ruled by Melchezidek at the time when Abraham lived], to marry.

Abraham’s great-grandson was Joseph, who became the great Vizier of Egypt (whose dynasty can now be proven to be the Hyksos Kings). Eventually, after their Egyptian expulsion, the Hebrew clan immigrated (through the Sinai Desert) back to the lands of Canaan, given as their “God-mandated right” to re-conquer their Isaacian ancestral promised “homeland”. Centuries later, a Judaic decendant, named David, conquered the city of Salem, renaming it Jerusalem [the peace of God] .From this lineage, came forth Our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

  Standard Podcast [55:33m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

By Ted Kosmatka
Read by Kim The Comic Book Goddess

First appeared in Seeds of Change, 2008.
Comparing this story to a physical anthropology course is like comparing a Physics 101 course with that episode of Star Trek with the half-black half-white aliens.

  •  Thras says:

    May 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I couldn’t listen to it. I got part way through. The kids are pale, red-haired, I’m assuming that they’re Neanderthals?

    Anyway, what exactly is the point of writing a story about how evil hate is as an excuse to rant about how crazy religious people are? Is there some sort of meta-irony I’m not getting?

  •  Rachel says:

    While I’m against racism, I’m also against heavy-handed stories that can’t execute their themes smartly. (Neanderthal weren’t all red-haired…)

    Also mind-numbing amounts of info dump which distracts from the character’s voice and the story themes. It needs editing. (cutting down.)

    Waaaaaayyyy too long and doesn’t put the listener/reader in the place of the people receiving the racism. Fail. One Act of the non-science fiction story, Driving Miss Daisy or even 1 entry of Anne Frank’s journal did ten times better and didn’t jam it with long histories of hominid evolution. (And my class on Physical Anthropology wasn’t this dull.)

    The outro, did ten times better than the story on the same theme in a much shorter time. Skip the story, listen to the outro.

  •  Scott says:

    May 8, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Well I really liked this and I thought it was really well written and well read. The back story wasn’t about Neanderthals but about the cloning of them – very relevant to the story.

    Thras, I don’t think you even paid very close attention to the part to which you listened. There was very little religious reference in the story – it was about racism.

    What I liked best about this story was the emotions that we feel from the side of the narrator. Somebody tangetally feeling the racism of the story. To me that is way less heavy handed than a story told by a character whose life revolves around expressing how he/she is the object of racism.

     M. says:

    May 9, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I enjoyed this story very much. Of course it’s anti-racism. The useage of Neanderthals as point reference is an incredibly creative move. Those who’ve never experienced racism first hand would probably view this as too heavy. It’s definitely not. The abject cruelty is stark and broodingly realistic. The emotions carried in narrative are superb. The fear and worry of a mother viewing her son as her son but knowing that the world will view him differently… spot on accuracy there.

    As for not all Neanderthals being gingers, maybe not all were. Same as not all humans are either. It’s called “creative license” for a reason. By the same token, I’d not expect to be “beamed up” any where any time soon either. If red-headedness, or lack thereof is the only point by which one defines a story done “smartly” then some are missing the essence of this work entirely.

    This is a very well crafted work of science fiction. Compelling and thoroughly ejoyable.

     scatterbrain says:

    May 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I first thought this wasn’t going to be very original, Neandathal-cloning already covered by Asimov’s own “The Ugly Little Boy”, but this story was pretty fresh and stands on its own. This story wasn’t about racism par see, but it was more about human attitudes and reminded me a lot of Pohl’s “The Day the Martians Came”.

  •  Pablo says:

    May 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    @Jake Webb – As it was presented in the story, the Neanderthals could not be called a different species: they were capable of interbreeding.

    The “we’re just fighting back against being outdone by a different species” is the same justification that people of successful minority groups have to listen to as an excuse for racist behavior. That’s pretty much the point of the story.

    Having said that, I also found myself wondering whether my reaction would have been different if, instead of Neanderthals, the minority group had been genetically engineered rich children. (Anyone remember Userpers?)

  •  Gia says:

    May 11, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I didn’t like this one. What I got out of it was: The Neanderthals are Mary Sues and you hate them just because they’re perfect and you’re jealous and/or evil.
    Not a single Neanderthal did anything wrong and not a single protester was shown to be an otherwise reasonable person. The whole thing was dumbed down and so many variable were ignored.

  •  Church says:

    May 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Really interesting story, and not, I think, as simplistic as some of the commentators have stated. There’s an direct threat to what we have previously considered ‘humanity’ (tempered by the ‘Cro-Magnon Trash’ perspective of the narrator and her red-headed child.)

    That said, I think that there’s a tipping point for ‘racism’ and that individuals or small groups tend to be tolerated as not being a threat. A few thousand ghosts distributed around the globe would be considered exotics, and eventually blend. Although the story seems to imply that they all end up in the same place? That part confused me.

    Also, fantastic narration (except for that one editing glitch.)

     DrCrisp says:

    May 25, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I like Pablo’s take. Seemed to me more of a take on how we don’t like certain ethnic groups in America succeeding more than “us”. Whether its Jews that are too rich, Asians that are too smart, Africans that are too fast, etc etc. And it nicely shows how have treated these groups in the past as “sub humans” and especially put up blockages of inter-breeding with them.

    It is also always nice to see an anti-evolution story of any type. This story shows interbreeding of two people which would, of course, destroy the concept of man “descending” from Neanderthal. If Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens Sapiens can produce children, then we are both the same species. Rather like the concept of the mulatto in our past, where people used to think that offspring of African and Europeans were some sort of “throw-back”. The ability for the theory of evolution to rationalize racism is a subject that is rarely brought up these days.

  • Ted Kosmatka receiving his half of the Asimov’s Readers’ Choice Award from editor Sheila Williams, 2010.  

    –Photo by Jane Jewell.

    Click here to purchase.

    (And the first Seeds of Change reviews are in)

    Contact Ted at:  genotype219@yahoo.com

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