How We Outlasted (and Ate) the Neandertals Aug 29, 2009 10:45:46 GMT -5
Post by Bozur on Aug 29, 2009 10:45:46 GMT -5
How Our Ancestors Outlasted (and Ate) the Neanderthals
dailygalaxy.com — Why our ancestors won out over the Neanderthals is an important anthropological question. Some say we were better at acquiring resources, we bred faster and we adapted better to a changing climate. Oh, and the minor matter of how we hunted them down and ate them -- that helped. More…
After more than 200,000 years of existence in Europe and Western Asia, the closest living relative to Homo sapiens had gone extinct.
Why our ancestors won out over the Neanderthals is an important anthropological question. Some say we were better at acquiring resources, we bred faster, we adapted better to a changing climate - oh, and the minor matter of how we hunted them down and ate them. That helped.
That's the conclusion reached by fossil expert Fernando Rozzi of Paris's Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique, and considering it's based on a jawbone from a Neanderthal clearly butchered for food by someone with Homo Sapiens tools, there really aren't many other options. The chips and damage to the jawbone were consistent with skeletons from deer which had been harvested for meat - except for, you know, the way it was a kinda-sorta person being eaten. Go Team Humanity!
Examination of the jawbone shows that even the tongue was cut out and eaten, proving that either early humans had an advanced culinary sensibility or were just really really hungry. This isn't very odd - the idea of actually choosing not to eat certain parts is an incredibly recent invention. For most of human history we've just had to eat everything, then there was a brief period where wealth allowed people to turn their noses up at the "gross" bits, then the hot dog was invented and we ate everything again.
The cannibal conclusion has already been opposed by other anthropologists, who apparently believe that the Neanderthals just spontaneously died out when humanity arrived. Also they don't study the entirety of human history, which has basically been "kill each other." While we agree it can be important to protect your family name, when you find actual murder-investigation-grade evidence that your great-great-great-great^3500-father ate people, you should face the facts. If only because we can absolutely guarantee he has no descendants to vow revenge.
[Were just kidding, Conan!].
Luke McKinney and Casey Kazan.