News / Science & Technology

Neanderthals Organized Homes by Activity

FILE - The March 20, 2009 file photo shows the prehistoric Neanderthal man "N, left, as he is visited for the first time by another reconstruction of a homo neanderthalensis called "Wilma", right, at the Neanderthal museum in Mettmann, Germany.
FILE - The March 20, 2009 file photo shows the prehistoric Neanderthal man "N, left, as he is visited for the first time by another reconstruction of a homo neanderthalensis called "Wilma", right, at the Neanderthal museum in Mettmann, Germany.
VOA News
You might feel right at home in the living space of a Neanderthal. Well, maybe not exactly, but the layout may at least look familiar.  New research says they organized their living spaces around certain activities, much like we do.

The study shows that man’s ancestors butchered animals, made tools and gathered round the fire in different parts of their shelters.

“There has been this idea that Neanderthals did not have an organized use of space, something that has always been attributed to humans,” said Julien Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver and lead author of the study. “But we found that Neanderthals did not just throw their stuff everywhere but in fact were organized and purposeful when it came to domestic space.”

Using excavations at a collapsed rock shelter at Riparo Bombrini in Italy that was once inhabited by Neanderthals and humans for thousands of years, the archeologists found that the Neanderthal portions were divided into different areas for different activities.

The top level was used as a task site, likely a hunting stand, where they could kill and prepare game. The middle level was a long-term base camp and the bottom level was a shorter term residential base camp.

Riel-Salvatore and his team found a high frequency of animal remains in the rear of the top level, indicating that the area was likely used for butchering game.

In the middle level, which has the densest traces of human occupation, artifacts were distributed differently. Animal bones were concentrated at the front rather than the rear of the cave. This was also true of the stone tools, or lithics. A hearth was in back of the cave about half a meter to a meter from the wall. It would have allowed warmth from the fire to circulate among the living area.

The discoveries are the latest in continuing research showing that Neanderthals were far more advanced than originally thought, creating bone tools, ornaments and projectile points.

“This is ongoing work, but the big picture in this study is that we have one more example that Neanderthals used some kind of logic for organizing their living sites,” Riel-Salvatore said. “This is still more evidence that they were more sophisticated than many have given them credit for. If we are going to identify modern human behavior on the basis of organized spatial patterns, then you have to extend it to Neanderthals as well.”

The study was published in the latest issue of the Canadian Journal of Archaeology.

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Comment Sorting
by: Babu G. Ranganathan
December 06, 2013 11:44 AM
Neanderthals Were Fully Human
NATURAL LIMITS TO EVOLUTION: Only evolution within biological "kinds" is genetically possible (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.), but not evolution across biological "kinds" (i.e. from sea sponge to human). How could species have survived if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems, etc. were still evolving? Survival of the fittest actually would have prevented evolution across biological kinds! Read my Internet article: WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS! (2nd Edition).

Natural selection doesn't produce biological traits or variations. It can only "select" from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. The real issue is what biological variations are possible, not natural selection. Only limited evolution, variations of already existing genes and traits, is possible. Nature is mindless and has no ability to design and program entirely new genes for entirely new traits. Evolutionists believe and hope that over, supposedly millions of years, random genetic mutations caused by environmental radiation will generate entirely new genes. This is total blind and irrational faith on the part of evolutionists. Read my articles. Visit my latest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION .

I discuss: Punctuated Equilibria, "Junk DNA," genetics, mutations, natural selection, fossils, dinosaur “feathers,” the genetic and biological similarities between various species, etc., etc.

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