or What Are You? A Neanderthal?
Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
La Chapelle-aux-Saints 1
"The Old Man" 60,000 yrs. old
Did We "Dance" With Neanderthals?
La Chapelle-aux-Saints cave
As I have researched and patiently waited the years, for the field work and science that would recover more intact Neanderthal DNA, new sequencing techniques that would build a bigger database of both the human and Neanderthal genome. All these would provide the whole Neanderthal genome and the human data that would help with the unanswered questions about the final fate of my favorite subject, our close relatives,
And in a way they're not entirely extinct either.
Want to see a real live Neanderthal?
Look in the mirror.
This short video will explain
ALL (non-african) humans in the world today
have a genome with about 2-4 percent,
uniquely Neanderthal DNA.
So, if your ancestors were not from African, then...
You Are A Humanderthal
The Neanderthals lived for hundreds of thousands of years. They showed the first glimmers of modern behaviors such as a sophisticated stone tool culture, control of fire, hunting and gathering, caring for the infirm and elderly, and interestingly some amount of symbolic or ritual behavior including burial of the dead. These traits we consider quite human and when you learn more about them you will see that there's no shame in being Neanderthal.
An Excellent Presentation by Carl Zimmer
Then as compared to Now
You see what you think you see... Compare how we used to think of Neanderthals, to what we know now. With more finds and new technologies, we realize...hey, they look a lot more like us! They didn't look like what we first thought at all. But then again, there was still a great deal we didn't know about them.
That was then. Now we have quite a bit of evidence to clear up many of the questions surrounding who the Neanderthals were, what might have happened to them, and what was their evolutionary and contemporary relationship with humans.
Over the years of research, refinement of technique and of course new finds, we have learned much about them.yet there remains so much more about them to be learned. Where they differ in genes and mutations can teach medicine more about many diseases. The further study of their genome has much to contribute to evolutionary medicine.
They likely had language and beyond tool production and other behaviors,
Neanderthals had their own aesthetics.
The Neanderthals indeed had culture(s)
passed on from generation to generation.
One still intriguing question that new dating methods have brought up is the artists who made the cave art in Europe. Was that only a modern human trait? Or was that the innovation that came from their meeting or mating? A Cro-magnon hybrid? Why there is cave art and what is the meaning of the art is speculative at best.
At more than 40,800 years old, these dots and crimson hand stencils on the walls of a cave called El Castillo in Spain are the world's oldest cave art.
It is the earliest time that the archeology shows humans and Neanderthals began overlapping in Western Europe roughly 45,000 years ago.
The details of Neanderthals are fascinating.
In future posts I hope to share more of those, including details of the Neanderthal sites and the human cave art that I have excavated or visited in Southern France.
Are We Human? or Are We Dancers?
© 2013 MU-Peter Shimon