Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neanderthal Man Was An Innovator

Date:
June 20, 2007
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
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.

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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Neanderthal Man Was An Innovator." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070619164133.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2007, June 20). Neanderthal Man Was An Innovator. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070619164133.htm
University of Leicester. "Neanderthal Man Was An Innovator." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070619164133.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-Lift

Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-Lift

AP (July 24, 2014) The U.S. Mint has re-designed the John F. Kennedy half dollar coin to better match the former president's likeness. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire

Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire

AP (July 22, 2014) Authorities say a 241-year-old church on the National Register of Historic Places has been ravaged by fire in Maryland. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins