Saturday, October 21, 2006

Neandert(h)als survived longer in history than previous observations show!

` I don't have much time to do posts right now, so I decided to revert back to my pre-photo ways to solve that dilemma.... So, I rummaged through my email and found a kewl article about Neanderthal tools that were discovered to belong to a later time period than any others! However, I can't access it, though I did find material related to it:

Editor's Summary

19 October 2006

Rock on

Identifying the precise point when a species went extinct is probably impossible. You can never be sure that a fossil is the very last of its kind. The extinction of the Neanderthals in Europe is a case in point, but Finlayson et al. have gone further than anyone in their study of the Neanderthal occupation of Gorham's Cave in Gibraltar, showing that Neanderthals occupied this most southerly point of Europe as recently as 28,000 years ago, long after Neanderthals elsewhere in southwest Europe appear to have become extinct.

News and ViewsPalaeoanthropology: Return of the last Neanderthal

New finds from Gibraltar date Mousterian tools to as recently as 28,000 years ago. By inference, their Neanderthal makers survived in southern Iberia long after all other well-dated occurrences of the species.

Eric Delson and Katerina Harvati


Nature 443, 850-853(19 October 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05195; Received 12 April 2006; Accepted 25 August 2006; Published online 13 September 2006

Late survival of Neanderthals at the southernmost extreme of Europe

The late survival of archaic hominin populations and their long contemporaneity with modern humans is now clear for southeast Asia1. In Europe the extinction of the Neanderthals, firmly associated with Mousterian technology, has received much attention, and evidence of their survival after 35 kyr bp has recently been put in doubt2. Here we present data, based on a high-resolution record of human occupation from Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar, that establish the survival of a population of Neanderthals to 28 kyr bp. These Neanderthals survived in the southernmost point of Europe, within a particular physiographic context, and are the last currently recorded anywhere. Our results show that the Neanderthals survived in isolated refuges well after the arrival of modern humans in Europe.

` Good for the Neanderthals! It looks like they competed with our species for longer than we had suspected!


Galtron said...

I always used to think how much more powerful brain can be than brawn! Even though the neanderthals were better adapted to the environment then us, I guess they couldn't figure out a few things out that we could! After all, their technology was more primitive and they were injured a lot.
But was that so much of an edge? Maybe over all that time it was, but I still wonder; they were around for 20 thousand years more than we used to think! Would they still be around today if they tried it all over again? Is the reason they're extinct because we killed them?

The Leonard Files said...

When I go back and pay my home town a visit, it does seem to me sometimes (usually on a night out) like the neanderthals are still among us.

Thanks for the info, looks like a nice article, I will check it out.

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