Neanderthals used make-up

Grimward

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This is going to set Covergirl (new slogan "Hairy, Scary, Neanderthal Cover...Girl?) back a hundred years (or, perhaps, 40,000 would be more correct....).
 

Wybren

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Thanks Brian, that is really interesting stuff! This really opens up to the possibility that Neaderthals also may have used art ie rock art etc, I mean if they went to all that trouble to make complex pigments then surely they could be using it for all sorts of uses not just for cosmetic use. Thats really going to annoy some of those palaeoanthropologists who had thier hearts set on paint/art as being what made humans different.

I have always (well since I started study in this area anyways) thought that neanderthals were not the dopey brutes that people made them out to be. They actually have a larger crainal capacity than modern humans, and while they are not as gracile as we, so as they dont appeal to our sense of beauty, that is neither here nor there as long as they were attractive to their own kind. I just think in the war of the Hominids that Homo sapiens were just better breeders than Homo neanderthalensis. You sort of see it with other primates too, where the Gorilla and Orangutan have a slow breeding rate because it takes time to reach sexual maturity and they invest such energy into each offspring that it is upwards of 3 years between pregnancies. This gives them a slower replenishment rate and makes them more susceptible to extinction should some outside influence come in and deplete their numbers.

I am interested to see what comes out of this find!
 

Gary Compton

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I have always (well since I started study in this area anyways) thought that neanderthals were not the dopey brutes that people made them out to be.

I'm putting me mascara on as we speak. Just whacked the wife over her head with me club and going down to the forest to meet up with the lads!

This time next millenia I might be civilised!!:)
 

Wybren

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Indeed, will we have to broaden our understanding of the term 'human' itself?

Not really I mean Human just refers to our species, so nothing changes there, and the Neanderthals were not a subspecies of Homo sapiens like the Bonobo is of the Chimpanzee. If they were still about today, all it would mean is that the Hominidae family would have 5 species instead of 4. What it does mean is that all those Palaeoanthropologists who have spent a life time dedicated to the study of prehistoric art and communication and symbolism who believe that the invention of Art was the trigger that separated us from the other apes are now going to have to re-examine everything.
 

J-WO

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I guess I mean human in a wider, more nebulous sense. Not very scientific of me, I know, but I do think there's a difference between the terms Homo Sapiens and Human.
If Neanderthals created art, buried their dead ritually etc, I'm more than tempted to put them in the humanity bracket.
 

Karn Maeshalanadae

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Of course, ritual isn't REALLY needed. But not leaving the dead laying on the surface of the earth is a good idea. If for nothing else, it helps prevent pestilence.


Neanderthals using makeup paint. One couldn't think of them as actually human, hmm? Where'd you get that notion?
 

Wybren

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It is quite easy to think of them as human, as they were very similar to Archaic Homo sapiens, except our ancesters were more gracile and had smaller brain capacities, and some class them as a subspecies of Homo sapiens ( Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) so I see no problem with them being classed as human (some might), it would be like how Chimpanzee's and Bonobos are put under the same umbrella as Chimpanzee.
 

The Procrastinator

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Why do people apostrophise plural's? Is it capital
Does this mean the time has come for someone to update Jean Auel's saga with a less brutish version of the Neanderthals? How inkeresting! Neanderthals have always been seen as part of the human family tree to my understanding, but this does bring them closer to us. It would certainly fit to see us outbreeding them rather than outthinking or outimagining...
 

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Procrastinator I would just be happy if she finished the last book!

I think with the Neanderthals, because they were not as attractive to our eye that they were assumed as less intelligent and brutish, unfortunately a by-product of humans thinking they are superior to every other creature on the planet.

This is is an iteresting article if your interested in knowing a bit more
What Makes Us Human? Neanderthal Genome Holds Clues | Wired Science | Wired.com
 

Parson

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Does this mean the time has come for someone to update Jean Auel's saga with a less brutish version of the Neanderthals? How inkeresting! Neanderthals have always been seen as part of the human family tree to my understanding, but this does bring them closer to us. It would certainly fit to see us outbreeding them rather than outthinking or outimagining...

I don't believe that Jean Auel portrayed the Neanderthal's as brutish. She portrayed them as individuals some of whom were brutish and some of whom were anything but. In a lot of ways her books could be seen as a kind of alien contact story with a stone age setting.
 

Karn Maeshalanadae

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It is quite easy to think of them as human, as they were very similar to Archaic Homo sapiens, except our ancesters were more gracile and had smaller brain capacities, and some class them as a subspecies of Homo sapiens ( Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) so I see no problem with them being classed as human (some might), it would be like how Chimpanzee's and Bonobos are put under the same umbrella as Chimpanzee.


It is easy to think of them as human, that's what I meant to convey. I suppose how I worded it might have been confusing, but I meant to say, "Where'd you get the notion that they weren't human?"

The only difference is the slightest genetic difference between them and modern humanity-and I seriously wonder if this is "evolution" at all.....

I wonder what evolutionary standard has placed the notions of greed, heartlessness, and destruction of the earth within our genes.....?
 

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I wonder what evolutionary standard has placed the notions of greed, heartlessness, and destruction of the earth within our genes.....?

Such behaviour is entirely in accord with our genetic programming, I'm afraid (and not just us: a male lion will kill the cubs of other males; elephants and other herbivores will destroy an entire ecosystem if their numbers get too high).

The only long-term hope for humanity, IMO, is if we use our advanced consciousness to overcome our genetic instincts, which are all about gaining advantage over others: if not other individuals, then other groups.
 

The Procrastinator

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Why do people apostrophise plural's? Is it capital
Parson - I get what you're saying, but my no doubt fallible memory of the books (read many years ago) was that sapiens was portrayed as superior to neandertalensis in some fashion - was it in terms of imagination? I know that brutishness was not how they were all portrayed, but my impression is that the sapiens of the time very much had that opinion of them (wrongly).

Harebrain - advanced consciousness- shame its not so widely spread...
 

Parson

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I also read them years ago. But as I remember (My memory is also subject to serious deterioration) sapiens was shown as superior in a couple ways. One was that we were portrayed as more adaptable. Perhaps related to that we were also shown as a race whose women could do the same things as men. Whereas the neandertalensis was shown as more static. But they had the advantage of "memories." They grew up knowing things about language and so the signs were inbred. The vocal had to be learned. Also the healers knew medicines whereas Ayalla [sp] had to learn which roots etc. could be used to helped cure which disease. Her advantage was that she could extrapolate from the knowledge and try things in combinations that her teachers could not conceive of.

A long way of saying that I think Jean A. saw neandertalensis as different, but not necessarily as inferior to us. Each had their own strengths and weaknesses.
 

J-WO

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Here's something that has always perplexed me about our portrayal of Neanderthals- why are they always pictured as dark haired and swarthy? Those living in Europe, at least, would surely have been blond and white due to living in the middle of an ice age. Too much melanin content would have prevented vitamin D production etc.

Are these depictions, as I suspect, some hangover from the Victorian outlook, ie- 'Well these Neanderthals were savages so there's no way they could look like they come from Kensington.' ?
 

HareBrain

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Here's something that has always perplexed me about our portrayal of Neanderthals- why are they always pictured as dark haired and swarthy? Those living in Europe, at least, would surely have been blond and white due to living in the middle of an ice age. Too much melanin content would have prevented vitamin D production etc.

Vitamin D production depends on sunlight, not temperature. If they were living in the location of modern Spain/Greece etc, why would they be any less dark than the current inhabitants of those lands?
 

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