Category Archives: Homo Neanderthalensis

Chinese teeth support pre- and post-Toba dispersals of modern humans

It is becoming increasingly likely that there were at least two major dispersals of modern humans Out of Africa and through Arabia (Out of Africarabia). The first was prior to the Toba eruption of 74,000 years ago and possibly around 130,000 years ago and the second, post-Toba expansion around 60-70,000 years ago. Continue reading

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Neanderthal rock carvings from 40,000 years ago

This is the first time that abstract rock carvings have been attributed to Neanderthals and could be evidence of their ability to handle abstract concepts and symbols. It would further reduce the usually presumed cognitive differences between Neanderthals and modern humans. Continue reading

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Archaeological evidence suggests Neanderthals and AMH overlapped for upto 250 generations

If the interactions at the various locations each spanned 100 to 250 generations – and approximately 2,000 generations ago – it is not difficult to imagine a gradual assimilation and subsequent disappearance of Neanderthals – especially if there was a fertility difference in favour of AMH. There would be no need then to assume catastrophic extinction or genocide of the Neanderthals. An AMH population expanding much more rapidly than a co-existing, socially compatible but declining population of Neanderthals would suffice to explain the 3% or so of Neanderthal genes left in the surviving population today after a further 2,000 generations. Continue reading

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For Nenderthals as well as for hunter-gatherers it was absorption and not extinction

Two new studies suggest that it was interbreeding and absorption into larger populations and not some dead-end extinctions that caused Neanderthals and later hunter-gatherers to disappear. Continue reading

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Kebara 2 Neanderthals had speech 60,000 years ago

The presence of modern-human-like histological features and micro-biomechanical behavior in the Kebara 2 hyoid indicates that this bone not only resembled that of a modern human, but that it was used in very similar ways.
Not only H. neanderthalensis, but perhaps the common ancestor of both Neanderthals and modern humans may have been capable of speech. Continue reading

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Neanderthal genes are everywhere

Neanderthals may have provided the genes favourable to cold resistance which were then selected forin Northern climes. They may also have thus provided the genes for skin and hair colour changes. But they also provided the genes which increased the susceptibility to some new diseases. Hybrid Neanderthal – modern human males may have been infertile and so the assimilation of Neanderthal genes may primarily have been through the hybrid females. All this probably between 80,000 years ago and 40,000 years ago – over about 2,000 generations. Continue reading

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Promiscuity in the Pleistocene

At some point there must have been children who were 50% Neanderthal and 50% AMH. And some who were 50% Neanderthal and 50% Denisovan. How did they survive? What kind of society existed in these ancient times that would permit such offspring not only to survive but also to mate and produce offspring in their turn? But however it happened, our ancestors in the pleistocene were a promiscuous lot. Continue reading

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DNA from a 400,000 year old hominin from Spain decoded

The Max Planck team have now taken a giant leap backwards in time in extracting and analysing an almost complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a 400,000-year-hominin. The specimen is from Sima de los Huesos, a unique cave site in Northern Spain. The results show that it is related to the mitochondrial genome of Denisovans, extinct relatives of Neandertals in Asia. Continue reading

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The first string? Man-made, twisted, fibre, cords at least 90,000 years ago

Much of the material recovered from the Abri du Maras site and appears to provide compelling evidence that twisted fibres were being created by Neanderthals at least 90,000 years ago. Continue reading

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Origins of spoken language pushed back to 500,000 years ago

Could spoken language -instead of originating with AMH some 50,000 -100,000 years ago – have originated with the common ancestors of AMH, Neandertals and Denisovans perhaps 500,000 years ago? Continue reading

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