Navigation Links
New evidence suggests Neanderthals organized their living spaces
Date:12/3/2013

DENVER (Dec. 3, 2013) Scientists have found that Neanderthals organized their living spaces in ways that would be familiar to modern humans, a discovery that once again shows similarities between these two close cousins.

The findings, published in the latest edition of the Canadian Journal of Archaeology, indicate that Neanderthals 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."

The findings are based on excavations at Riparo Bombrini, a collapsed rock shelter in northwest Italy where both Neanderthals and, later, early humans lived for thousands of years. This study focused on the Neanderthal levels while future research will examine the more recent modern human levels at the site. The goal is to compare how the two groups organized their space.

The site comprises three levels assigned to Neanderthals. Scientists found that Neanderthals divided the cave 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. They also found evidence of ochre use in the back of the shelter.

"We found some ochre throughout the sequence but we are not sure what it was used for," Riel-Salvatore said. "Neanderthals could have used it for tanning hides, for gluing, as an antiseptic or even for symbolic purposes we really can't tell at this point."

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.

"When you make stone tools there is a lot of debris that you don't want in high traffic areas or you risk injuring yourself," Riel-Salvatore said. "There are clearly fewer stone artifacts in the back of the shelter near the hearth."

The bottom level, thought to represent a short-term base camp, is the least well known because it was exposed only over a very small area. More stone artifacts were found immediately inside the shelter's mouth, suggesting tool production may have occurred inside the part of the site where sunlight was available. Some shellfish fragments also suggest that Neanderthals exploited the sea for food; like ochre, these are found in all the levels.

The discoveries are the latest in continuing research by Riel-Salvatore showing that Neanderthals were far more advanced than originally thought.

In an earlier study, he found that Neanderthals were highly innovative, creating bone tools, ornaments and projectile points. He also co-authored a paper demonstrating that interbreeding between Neanderthals and humans may have led to the ultimate demise of the outnumbered hominins. Still, Neanderthal genes make up between one and four percent of today's human genome, especially among Europeans.

"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."


'/>"/>

Contact: david kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-503-7990
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Research reveals first evidence of hunting by prehistoric Ohioans
2. Strong scientific evidence that eating berries benefits the brain
3. UNH research adds to mounting evidence against popular pavement sealcoat
4. NIST/UMass study finds evidence nanoparticles may increase plant DNA damage
5. Evidence shows that anti-depressants likely do more harm than good, researchers find
6. Evidence of familial vulnerability for epilepsy and psychosis
7. New evidence that many genes of small effect influence economic decisions and political attitudes
8. DNA evidence shows that marine reserves help to sustain fisheries
9. New evidence in fructose debate: Could it be healthy for us?
10. Study provides first evidence of coevolution between invasive, native species
11. First direct evidence that elemental fluorine occurs in nature
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New evidence suggests Neanderthals organized their living spaces
(Date:7/26/2018)... ... July 26, 2018 , ... Shirley Holmlund, ... impact of biofield energy healing treated Vitamin D3 on the strength and health ... levels, over 290% improvement in bone mineralization and over 100% increase in ALP, ...
(Date:7/25/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... July 25, 2018 , ... A pioneering ... and Coalition Duchenne dedicated its annual Mt. Kinabalu climb to raising awareness of the ... journey to finding one starts with patients and families willing to participate in a ...
(Date:7/25/2018)... ... July 25, 2018 , ... There are few things worse than ... hygiene can cause for your pet. , Foul mouth odors can indicate tooth decay ... with heart disease also have dental disease severe enough that needs dental care. Pets ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/9/2018)... ... August 08, 2018 , ... InTouchMD , the leading provider of data ... be exhibiting at Biotech Week Boston , September 4th – 7th at Hynes ... platform, healthcare’s most powerful all in one marketing solution. Pulse is a multi-use ...
(Date:8/9/2018)... ... August 09, 2018 , ... Rockland Immunochemicals, ... Dr. Birte Aggeler, Director of Antibody Development at Bio-Techne, composed a peer-reviewed article ... published online on August 9, 2018 and will be printed in the September ...
(Date:8/7/2018)... ... August 06, 2018 , ... PetPace , the ... in pet genetic testing, today announced the launch of a groundbreaking study to identify ... of another ongoing general study of pregnant dogs sponsored by PetPace and conducted by ...
(Date:7/31/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... July 31, 2018 , ... ... 2 additional CE/IVD marked molecular quality controls to its expanding CE/IVD product inventory. ... controls to our expanding CE/IVD QC offerings. ZeptoMetrix remains entirely committed to fully ...
Breaking Biology Technology: