New view on Neanderthals and tool use

  1. jim mcnamara

    jim mcnamara 1,492
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Neandertals made the first specialized bone tools in Europe (abstract)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/08/08/1302730110

    The earliest bone tool so far found in Europe predates the time when modern humans began replacing Neanderthals.

    (IMO) The interesting aspect of this is that anthropologists frequently have a Homo sapiens-centric view of new technologies, i.e., modern humans made new innovations before they showed up in Neanderthal sites.

    If brain size correlates to cognitive power in human species, then H. neanderthalensis was no dummy.

    "Neanderthal Brain Size at Birth Sheds Light on Human Evolution". National Geographic. 2008-09-09. (cannot get to original). Neanderthal brain size was the same as modern humans at birth, adult Neanderthals had on average larger brains.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. turbo

    turbo 7,366
    Gold Member

    Thanks, Jim.

    I have been following this since the story first came out. The notion that Neandertals might have developed the first bone tools to polish and densify hides is not a stretch. The discovery of such tools in a Neandertal site is encouraging to me because I think that Neandertals have been given short shrift. I wonder how many other things that they could have taught to the newcomers?
     
  4. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    Considering the vast array of animals that use "tools", I wouldn't at all be surprised if even earlier humanoid species used specialized tools. Question is whether we will find them.
     
  5. HallsofIvy

    HallsofIvy 40,391
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Yes, there are many animals that use tools (your link does not mention chimpanzees using grass or straws to pull ants and termites out of holes which is another example) but I believe that the idea that Neandertals actually shaped tools for specific use would be use.)
     
  6. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Nice link Greg, yes the mention of chimps using tools to gather ants is there. None of the videos work for me, I just keep getting the advertisements over and over.
     
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