Neanderthal String Making

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Neanderthal String Making

#1  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 14, 2020 9:20 am

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-61839-w

Neanderthals are often considered as less technologically advanced than modern humans. However, we typically only find faunal remains or stone tools at Paleolithic sites. Perishable materials, comprising the vast majority of material culture items, are typically missing. Individual twisted fibres on stone tools from the Abri du Maras led to the hypothesis of Neanderthal string production in the past, but conclusive evidence was lacking. Here we show direct evidence of fibre technology in the form of a 3-ply cord fragment made from inner bark fibres on a stone tool recovered in situ from the same site. Twisted fibres provide the basis for clothing, rope, bags, nets, mats, boats, etc. which, once discovered, would have become an indispensable part of daily life. Understanding and use of twisted fibres implies the use of complex multi-component technology as well as a mathematical understanding of pairs, sets, and numbers. Added to recent evidence of birch bark tar, art, and shell beads, the idea that Neanderthals were cognitively inferior to modern humans is becoming increasingly untenable.


Great find, but I really wish writers would get over the need to keep repeating that it no longer seems tenable to believe that Neanderthals were significantly cognitively inferior to humans when that has not been tenable for decades.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#2  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Apr 14, 2020 11:16 am

It’s like fighting the ingrained notions about socialism, or feathers on theropods. The author(s) have to take into account the possible ignorance, or misconceptions, of the reader.

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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#3  Postby aufbahrung » Apr 14, 2020 4:07 pm

They hard a slightly larger brain. What they used it for no ideas. But they outwitted humans when they went away. Is it string in my pocket or nothing, you could say?
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#4  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 14, 2020 4:23 pm

It is a common error to assume that brain size equates to higher intelligence. The primary function of a brain is for processing sensory data, not navel-contemplating.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#5  Postby laklak » Apr 14, 2020 4:24 pm

String bikinis? Could explain the interbreeding.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#6  Postby aufbahrung » Apr 14, 2020 4:30 pm

They were killed off by disease, at least in my thinking. My theory for a long time is that they were smarter and better adapted but met with a disease. Some sort of bat-flu from living in caves and mixing with bats?
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#7  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 14, 2020 5:51 pm

aufbahrung wrote:They were killed off by disease, at least in my thinking. My theory for a long time is that they were smarter and better adapted but met with a disease. Some sort of bat-flu from living in caves and mixing with bats?



So all neanderthals, spread across thousands of miles, isolated from one and other, all independently got a disease from bats and died out coincidentally with the arrival of early modern humans?

And as they all lived in caves - according to your thinking - for a quarter of a million years, among bats, they hadn't previously succumbed to this disease, had no immunity to it, but all of a sudden it struck them all down?
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#8  Postby zoon » Apr 14, 2020 6:32 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
aufbahrung wrote:They were killed off by disease, at least in my thinking. My theory for a long time is that they were smarter and better adapted but met with a disease. Some sort of bat-flu from living in caves and mixing with bats?



So all neanderthals, spread across thousands of miles, isolated from one and other, all independently got a disease from bats and died out coincidentally with the arrival of early modern humans?..

This does suggest early modern humans had some significant advantage over neanderthals, is there any consensus on what it might have been?
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#9  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 14, 2020 7:08 pm

zoon wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
aufbahrung wrote:They were killed off by disease, at least in my thinking. My theory for a long time is that they were smarter and better adapted but met with a disease. Some sort of bat-flu from living in caves and mixing with bats?



So all neanderthals, spread across thousands of miles, isolated from one and other, all independently got a disease from bats and died out coincidentally with the arrival of early modern humans?..


This does suggest early modern humans had some significant advantage over neanderthals, is there any consensus on what it might have been?



If I wrote ten thousand words on the subject, we'd only have a verbose pile of speculation.

In as much of a sound-bite as possible: more adaptable technology & food acquisition, more effective social organization, changing climate with generalists more adaptive than specialists, competitive exclusion or replacement, hybridization resulting in de facto extinction... I'd say it's not one thing, but some combination of the above.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#10  Postby zoon » Apr 14, 2020 7:49 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
zoon wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
aufbahrung wrote:They were killed off by disease, at least in my thinking. My theory for a long time is that they were smarter and better adapted but met with a disease. Some sort of bat-flu from living in caves and mixing with bats?



So all neanderthals, spread across thousands of miles, isolated from one and other, all independently got a disease from bats and died out coincidentally with the arrival of early modern humans?..


This does suggest early modern humans had some significant advantage over neanderthals, is there any consensus on what it might have been?



If I wrote ten thousand words on the subject, we'd only have a verbose pile of speculation.

In as much of a sound-bite as possible: more adaptable technology & food acquisition, more effective social organization, changing climate with generalists more adaptive than specialists, competitive exclusion or replacement, hybridization resulting in de facto extinction... I'd say it's not one thing, but some combination of the above.

Thanks, so many recent discoveries show neanderthals weren't obviously any less capable than modern humans, I was wondering what the possibilities were.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#11  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 14, 2020 8:07 pm

zoon wrote:
Thanks, so many recent discoveries show neanderthals weren't obviously any less capable than modern humans, I was wondering what the possibilities were.



Capable, artistic, curious, probably religious in some way - but also specialized in a biological sense, and apparently wholly lacking some types of quite rudimentary technology like bone hooks and needles. Regardless of whether European Neanderthals were already struggling from climatic changes and loss of habitat and typical prey species, and regardless of whether they and EMH were antagonistic to one and other, I think EMH technology still gave them a competitive edge in every imaginable scenario. It was a similar paradigm to the conquest of the New World, only slower and less systematic. EMH just swamped them.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#12  Postby Fenrir » Apr 15, 2020 10:07 am

String
String
String
String

Everybody loves string
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#13  Postby felltoearth » Apr 15, 2020 11:59 am

Fenrir wrote:String
String
String
String

Everybody loves string

Put lots of string together and you have a towel.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#14  Postby Fenrir » Apr 15, 2020 12:11 pm

Religion: it only fails when you test it.-Thunderf00t.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#15  Postby newolder » Apr 15, 2020 12:13 pm

felltoearth wrote:
Fenrir wrote:String
String
String
String

Everybody loves string

Put lots of string together and you have a towel.


Had to check that...

towel, n : a world sheet.

Phew1! Carry on...
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#16  Postby scott1328 » Apr 15, 2020 12:46 pm

zoon wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
aufbahrung wrote:They were killed off by disease, at least in my thinking. My theory for a long time is that they were smarter and better adapted but met with a disease. Some sort of bat-flu from living in caves and mixing with bats?



So all neanderthals, spread across thousands of miles, isolated from one and other, all independently got a disease from bats and died out coincidentally with the arrival of early modern humans?..

This does suggest early modern humans had some significant advantage over neanderthals, is there any consensus on what it might have been?

Jared Diamond of "Guns, Germs, and Steel", would hypothesize that the germs carried by early modern man out of Africa is what did in the Neanderthals.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#17  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 15, 2020 3:39 pm

scott1328 wrote:
zoon wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
aufbahrung wrote:They were killed off by disease, at least in my thinking. My theory for a long time is that they were smarter and better adapted but met with a disease. Some sort of bat-flu from living in caves and mixing with bats?



So all neanderthals, spread across thousands of miles, isolated from one and other, all independently got a disease from bats and died out coincidentally with the arrival of early modern humans?..

This does suggest early modern humans had some significant advantage over neanderthals, is there any consensus on what it might have been?


Jared Diamond of "Guns, Germs, and Steel", would hypothesize that the germs carried by early modern man out of Africa is what did in the Neanderthals.



Diamond's idea is based upon pastoralism/animal husbandry - humans living cheek by jowl with their domesticated animals, but this period is tens of thousands of years prior to such domestication.

It also requires that either EMH encountered essentially all neanderthal populations, or that neanderthal populations were in routine enough contact with one and other to spread that disease contracted from EMH. One must also wonder why neanderthals didn't pass on their diseases and have similar level extinction impacts on EMH populations. I expect neanderthal populations by this point were small enough that the impact would've been much greater on them, but it's hard to explain their total disappearance by disease alone.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#18  Postby scott1328 » Apr 15, 2020 4:41 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
scott1328 wrote:
zoon wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:


So all neanderthals, spread across thousands of miles, isolated from one and other, all independently got a disease from bats and died out coincidentally with the arrival of early modern humans?..

This does suggest early modern humans had some significant advantage over neanderthals, is there any consensus on what it might have been?


Jared Diamond of "Guns, Germs, and Steel", would hypothesize that the germs carried by early modern man out of Africa is what did in the Neanderthals.



Diamond's idea is based upon pastoralism/animal husbandry - humans living cheek by jowl with their domesticated animals, but this period is tens of thousands of years prior to such domestication.

It also requires that either EMH encountered essentially all neanderthal populations, or that neanderthal populations were in routine enough contact with one and other to spread that disease contracted from EMH. One must also wonder why neanderthals didn't pass on their diseases and have similar level extinction impacts on EMH populations. I expect neanderthal populations by this point were small enough that the impact would've been much greater on them, but it's hard to explain their total disappearance by disease alone.

It wasn't only thoses diseases that derived from animal domestication, though. IIRC, Diamond also argued that being from the African continent gave the migrating african people immunity to the diseases they were spreading to the indigenous populations.
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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#19  Postby laklak » Apr 15, 2020 7:55 pm

We know we interbred, perhaps we just shagged them to death.

I think that was R. Crumb's position.

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Re: Neanderthal String Making

#20  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 15, 2020 8:09 pm

scott1328 wrote:
It wasn't only thoses diseases that derived from animal domestication, though. IIRC, Diamond also argued that being from the African continent gave the migrating african people immunity to the diseases they were spreading to the indigenous populations.


Not sure as I remember that, and the 'indigenous' populations of other humans were from the African continent ultimately anyway.

As far as I recall, Diamond doesn't talk about pre- Homo sapiens in Guns, Germs, and Steel.
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