Daily Dose of Archaeology 4.0

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Lowell2

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Jun 2014
6,541
California

Lowell2

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,541
California
Did a volcanic cataclysm 40,000 years ago trigger the final demise of the Neanderthals? -- ScienceDaily The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption in Italy 40,000 years ago was one of the largest volcanic cataclysms in Europe and injected a significant amount of sulfur-dioxide (SO2) into the stratosphere. Scientists have long debated whether this eruption contributed to the final extinction of the Neanderthals. This new study tests this hypothesis with a sophisticated climate model. They point out, however, that the decline of Neanderthals in Europe began well before the CI eruption: "Radiocarbon dating has shown that at the time of the CI eruption, anatomically modern humans had already arrived in Europe, and the range of Neanderthals had steadily diminished. Work at five sites in the Mediterranean indicates that anatomically modern humans were established in these locations by then as well
 
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Interesting news this last one about the Neanderthals. Climate was definitely the cause of their extinction, directly or indirectly (lack of food). So a big Volcano eruption could had some influence, indirectly, on climate.
Still the melt of the ice cape and the persecution of great-game still sound more plausible.

There's a interesting possibility also related with this problem: Iberic peninsula could had been the first door to Homo Erectus in Europe, I've made a research work about it, and there's a chance that the hunt for game that was passing to the northern parts of Africa may created a vision of Europe, and some sort of event happened, allowing Hominins passing trough Gibraltar. Sounds odd, but they've made it on other similar places, like in Arabia to Iran, trough Ormuz strait.

Interesting subject this one.
 

Lowell2

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,541
California
Interesting news this last one about the Neanderthals. Climate was definitely the cause of their extinction, directly or indirectly (lack of food). So a big Volcano eruption could had some influence, indirectly, on climate.
Still the melt of the ice cape and the persecution of great-game still sound more plausible.

There's a interesting possibility also related with this problem: Iberic peninsula could had been the first door to Homo Erectus in Europe, I've made a research work about it, and there's a chance that the hunt for game that was passing to the northern parts of Africa may created a vision of Europe, and some sort of event happened, allowing Hominins passing trough Gibraltar. Sounds odd, but they've made it on other similar places, like in Arabia to Iran, trough Ormuz strait.

Interesting subject this one.
I'm inclined to think that while the volcanic activity added stress, the deciding factor was that H. Sapiens had dogs and Neanderthals didn't. As a defense alert system and as a hunting accessory, the dog is still so useful that even in modern times they outdo the technology. The evidence of the Neanderthals is that they were more heavily into big game than H. Sapiens Sapiens, but they did eat plant food as well and were certainly accomplished hunters. They did seem to have a differential in how fast they had kids, but that may have simply been that the environment wasn't conducive to having large numbers of kids rapidly and that this would have applied to H. Sapiens sapiens too.
The volcanic theory is definitely an interesting one though.
 

Lowell2

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Jun 2014
6,541
California
Red Lady cave burial reveals Stone Age secrets - life - 18 March 2015 - New Scientist
Some 19,000 years ago, a woman was coated in red ochre and buried in a cave in northern Spain.
Aged between 35 and 40 when she died, she was laid to rest alongside a large engraved stone, her body seemingly daubed in sparkling red pigment. Small, yellow flowers may even have adorned her grave 18,700 years ago – a time when cave burials, let alone one so elaborate, appear to have been very rare. It was a momentous honour, and no one knows why she was given it.
 

Lowell2

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,541
California
The stapes in the middle ear of a Neanderthal child shows anatomical differences from humans -- ScienceDaily Scientists have produced a 3-D reconstruction of the remains of a two-year-old Neanderthal recovered from an excavation carried out back in the 1970s at La Ferrassie (Dordogne, France). The work reveals the existence of anatomical differences between the Neanderthals and our species, even in the smallest ossicles of the human body. Featuring among the remains is a very complete left temporal bone and an auditory ossicle was found inside it: a complete stapes. Virtual 3D reconstruction techniques enabled this ossicle to be "extracted virtually" and studied.
This stapes is the most complete one in the Neanderthal record and certifies that there are morphological differences between our species and the Neanderthals even in the smallest ossicles in the human body. As Asier Gómez-Olivencia pointed out, "we do not yet know the relation between these morphological differences and hearing in the Neanderthals. This would constitute a new challenge for the future."
 
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