Archaeological Record about Humanity of Neanderthals

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Archaeology

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The name Neanderthal, therefore, means “the man from the Neander valley “Though there were speculations of Neanderthal discoveries in 1829, there were no enough evidence to tell whether the remains were truly from the human ancestor or not. It was not until the discoveries at this valley that records on Neanderthals stood straight as more discoveries took over the second half of the 19th century. Dating back to the history of human evolution, Neanderthals evolved 28,000-300,000 years ago. Based on the classification, Neanderthals existed as three subsets of three subsequent season that is, Early Homo neanderthalensis who lived about300, 000 years ago, Classic Homo neanderthalensis who lived from about 130,000 years ago and the late Homo neanderthalensis who lived from about 45,000 years ago. They co-existed with human beings for a long time before they become extinct around 28,000 years ago (Yamauchi, 2016, pp. An archeological study in 2009 attests that these separate sub-groups of the man existed with a slight difference from each other, suggesting the possibility of the existence of the fourth group in parts of Western Asia. China represented the eastern-most possibilities of Neanderthal existence with the discovery of the “Maba” a human-like skull that massively suggested Neanderthal existence. The study investigated the genetic variability of these beings and the structure of mitochondrion DNA (mtDNA) transmitted maternally reaping references from a 1997 publication detailing 12 mtDNA sequences for the Neanderthals. The study concluded that the population of the Neanderthals was not constant due to migrations. Since these discoveries came over, they triggered series of more discoveries about the Neanderthals, their existence and way of life.

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Archeologists over the years have been able to compile detailed research, recording characteristics, beliefs, facts, culture, and way of life of Neanderthals and the traits that make them have some sense of humanity. Discussed below are traits, behaviors, and evidence of humanity amongst the Neanderthals (Fu, Q. Hajdinjak, pp. Physical features Neanderthals are noticeably human though had divergent facial features and stocky build that evolved over time as they adapted to the changing and adverse dry, cold environment. In comparison to modern man, some parts of the body showed great difference due to adaptations to specific activities and nature within their environment. The skull had a bulge at the back called the occipital bun and a “suprainiac fossa” which was a depression that helped an effective attachment of neck muscles. They had a relatively flat receding forehead with a rounded brow ridge underlying.

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This helped them to maintain an upright head posture that could help them keep vigil on their front. Their mid face had a characteristic forward prognosis due to projections of the mid-face bones and the nose. The eye orbits were rounded and seemingly large widening the mid-face appearance. Bimolecular study and DNA The genetic composition and characteristic of Neanderthals have been studied over the years in the scrutiny of how related these beings could be close to human beings living in the current world. The major publication that gave a breakthrough to this study was the 1997 publication on Neanderthals genome over which 12 mtDNA sequences transmitted maternally were sampled for the study. In comparison to the modern human genome, Neanderthals portrayed a rough genome. A report that was released in 2009 shows that some of their other biomolecules have less composition as seen in the modern human.

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A very conspicuous trait seen as an effect of genetic inheritance is the 2007 findings of the genetic trait which results in fair skin, and red hair was recorded of this beings. Tools The Neanderthals had several tools used in their expeditions as they lived. Among the most unique category of tools was the Mode 3 technology tool kit that most of the Homo sapiens inherited from them. The tool kit was famously known as Mousterian a name obtained from Le Moustier which was a site where it was first used and classified. This tool was majorly used in Europe before they began to manufacture a more complex and refined tool kit called Chatelperronian which had a great characteristic with the blade tool used by Homo sapiens. All this happened when the modern human arrived in Europe.

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Burials Archeological studies have it that the organization of Neanderthals can be seen to have been largely dependent on their daily activities. Although there is no conclusive and ritualistic behavior of handling the dead, it is believed the dead were buried with the fact that some sites have produced artifacts that seemingly shows evidence of buried bodies upon uncovering of what is believed to be the grave yard. Diet and environment Neanderthals lived during a period with a range of environmental vagaries across the Middle East and Europe in general. The climate had unforeseen changes that triggered adaptations among these species. The interspersed Ice Age that covered most parts of the Europe interchanged with warmer periods which later changed after 110,000 years to full glacial season which appeared approximately 40,000 years ago after average temperatures completely disappeared.

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In Spain, the cave of El Sidron supposes more evidence for cannibalism as hundreds of Neanderthal bones were seen to have been deliberately cut and broken in search of flesh and extraction of bone marrow with even more evidence of body butchery for human flesh. Fate of Neanderthals Neanderthals existed for so many years in extremely harsh conditions. They co-existed in Europe with the Homo sapiens for approximately 10,000 years before they became extinct. Two main theories have been put in place to explain the disappearance of this species that shaped modern man characteristics when they co-existed. The first theory suggests that, due to co-existence with the Homo sapiens for quit some good time; they interbreed massively with the Homo sapiens dominating the population leading to their extinction. References Fu, Q. Hajdinjak, M.

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Moldovan, O. T. Constantin, S. The talking Neanderthals: what do fossils, genetics, and archeology say?.  Biolinguistics, 7, pp. Krueger, K. L. Ungar, P. Sackett, J. Neanderthals and Scientific Archaeology. Torres, J. B. A history of you, me, and humanity: mitochondrial DNA in anthropological research.

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