Blog 6: Neanderthals

So looking at the Neanderthals who have been discovered to be at 130 kya. They were discovered in 1829 and seems to be the first record of human fossils. The scientists look at neanderthals as they seem to be ancestors of the humans. It could also be that humans and neanderthals may have been in the same spot when they lived at a time. The two maybe have ancestor relations, but that doesn’t mean that the first human could not have lived at the same time as the neanderthals. There is even evidence that the two could have mated once upon a time. The real name of the neanderthal is Homo neanderthalensis as named by scientists. This weeks video explains that humans today could share a bit of the DNA from neanderthals as well. Since we have discovered the first fossils of neanderthals it is possible to say that it was a motivational tool for anthropology. This was the first ancestor we had discovered and it sparked an interest to find many more ancestors of the human race. Paleoanthropologists have looked at the remains of the neanderthals by looking at the bones and the tools that they have left behind. The Neanderthals had arrows made with stone as well as spears for combat. These things explain significance of life and relations to human like characteristics. There is also the fact that they have hunted as humans and even used furs for warmth. As we look at the concept of clothes, they also used needles in order to sew and make clothes. The Neanderthals also had rituals as most humans had as well. The neanderthals seemed to bury their dead and even dug the graves and performed ceremonies for the dead. They are an example of the earliest species to have buried the dead. They had certain rituals, which can be explained by the placement of artifacts next to the grave. They had put flowers, furs, or even belongings next to the dearly departed. This signifies that they were a race that had evidence of ceremonies in their time. The paleoanthropologists have looked at the bones of the neanderthals and even the DNA. They have used it to learn all about the development of their bodies and even the other ideas, such as their characteristics and body structure. This can and was related back to humans and illustrates an environmental change over time of the species and how we evolved from one state to the next. They were shorter than humans, but they were also a lot bigger than humans when it came to bulk. I assume this is because the environment around them was a lot harsher and the fact that they had to go and hunt for food. I personally believe that the most significant contribution was the idea that they had ceremonies and burials. This illustrates that they had similar brain function as we did as they felt emotions just as we did and even had sympathy for the dead. They also seem to have extremely different characteristics compared to us, yet they are our ancestors. It is clear that human diversity is due to environmental changes and how we changed as a species over time to get to where we are today. They are also extremely important as they started the search for the lineage of human ancestry.

2 thoughts on “Blog 6: Neanderthals

  1. Our findings on the Neanderthals is fascinating. They were truly an intelligent species with their own culture. It’s amazing how much they were like us. While some modern animals have shown some evidence that they can grieve the loss of mates or offspring, Neanderthals rituals and practices such as placing flowers on graves is a whole other level of emotional expression that ties into an understanding of loss and a concept of family. Though they might not have developed a language as complicated as ours, analysis of their DNA shows that they had a mental capacity to communicate much like we do. Though there is some obvious physical differences between us and them, if a Neanderthal was placed in the present day it is possible that it could be taught to interact much like a modern human. Though brain size does not directly correlate with intelligence, the Neanderthal brain was similar in size to a human brain with significant emphasis on the frontal lob, where we tend to credit our unique intellect.

  2. Hey Mohammad!
    I wanted to start off by saying great blog post, it was really interesting. I like how you talked a lot about behavior of neanderthals. I also wrote about burying the dead and using flowers and stuff as adornments. It is so fascinating to see the change in behavior that comes with the dramatic increase in capacity. It seems amazing to me that a species that existed such a long time ago had such intelligence and emotional capacity.

    I also like how you said “The two maybe have ancestor relations, but that doesn’t mean that the first human could not have lived at the same time as the neanderthals.” I am very interested to see if scientists make any more discoveries as to the extinction of neanderthals. There seems to be no common agreement as to the cause of extinction or as to whether they existed at the same time as humans.

    Anyways, thanks for a great blog post!

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