Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

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Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#1  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 27, 2019 7:43 pm

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 9119302069

Highlights

• The Golden Eagle was the most frequently caught raptor by Neanderthals.
• Golden Eagles were caught for their feathers and talons.
• Golden Eagles were probably ambushed by Neanderthals at carcases.
• The tradition of catching raptors dates to at least 130kya.
• Neanderthals are the first humans known to practice eagle-catching.



https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04 ... -years-ago

Although rock dove and raven remains were the most numerous birds, the remains of golden eagles were also present at 26 sites. Cut marks along the wing bones—where golden eagles have little meat—suggest Neanderthals carefully extracted the feathers, the researchers report in Quaternary Science Reviews. Additional cuts to the birds’ leg and foot bones suggest their claws and talons were also delicately separated from the rest of their bodies.

No golden eagle Neanderthal jewelry has been discovered, but anthropologists in 2015 reported finding talons from another eagle—the white-tailed eagle—adorning a Neanderthal necklace. Because Neanderthals were apparently catching and fashioning jewelry from large raptors in Eurasia thousands of years before modern humans migrated up into the continent from Africa...
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#2  Postby Macdoc » Apr 27, 2019 8:09 pm

Our dearly departed relatives seem to be coming up in the world in terms of being "brutes" ....what's next? ...a Rosetta stone of course :coffee:
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#3  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 28, 2019 5:05 am

It's amazing how popular a meme it is that Neanderthals were cartoony stone-age brutes.

In the field, this hasn't been considered the case for nigh on a century.
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#4  Postby Macdoc » Apr 28, 2019 5:13 am

Is it just in popular view ...???

Image

seems to me acknowledging art and speech was fairly recent
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#5  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 28, 2019 6:01 am

Macdoc wrote:Is it just in popular view ...???


As far as I know, yes.


Macdoc wrote:... seems to me acknowledging art and speech was fairly recent


Art, yes... but not speech. That's ancient news. The original Neanderthal skeletons (1856) lacked a hyoid bone (it's very fragile), so it was hypothesized from that they could not speak. However, it was only a couple of decades later than Neanderthals with fragmented pieces of hyoid bones were discovered, so the assumption upon which the argument was initially proposed was falsified a loooong time ago. A complete hyoid wasn't actually discovered until the 70's or 80's, but by then it was pretty much academic.

In my undergraduate in the 90's, it was already one of those little academic stories which serve as a backdrop to understanding the history of the field, and it was commonly accepted that they employed complex symbolic behaviors like speech and art, albeit in a different and probably less sophisticated way to early sapiens. Given the historical context, many discussions revolved around how we might know if Neanderthals used speech - it obviously not fossilizing.

The routine arguments were that the manner of hunting they employed would have required complex social interactions, and that the sophistication of their tool-making would require the ability to communicate... personally, I don't think either of these are particularly good arguments, but all the facts together suggest that their social world was as involving as early humans, and language certainly seems to be a prerequisite for that.

I think Dan Dediu phrased it best: the debate isn't really about whether Neanderthals could speak, the debate is really about what language is.
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#6  Postby Macdoc » Apr 28, 2019 6:23 am

Thanks
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#7  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 28, 2019 6:25 am

Spearthrower wrote:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277379119302069

Highlights

• The Golden Eagle was the most frequently caught raptor by Neanderthals.
• Golden Eagles were caught for their feathers and talons.
• Golden Eagles were probably ambushed by Neanderthals at carcases.
• The tradition of catching raptors dates to at least 130kya.
• Neanderthals are the first humans known to practice eagle-catching.



https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04 ... -years-ago

Although rock dove and raven remains were the most numerous birds, the remains of golden eagles were also present at 26 sites. Cut marks along the wing bones—where golden eagles have little meat—suggest Neanderthals carefully extracted the feathers, the researchers report in Quaternary Science Reviews. Additional cuts to the birds’ leg and foot bones suggest their claws and talons were also delicately separated from the rest of their bodies.

No golden eagle Neanderthal jewelry has been discovered, but anthropologists in 2015 reported finding talons from another eagle—the white-tailed eagle—adorning a Neanderthal necklace. Because Neanderthals were apparently catching and fashioning jewelry from large raptors in Eurasia thousands of years before modern humans migrated up into the continent from Africa...

The thread title had me all hyped up about Golden Eagle legionaries of the Neanderthals. :naughty:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#8  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 28, 2019 6:27 am

Spearthrower wrote:It's amazing how popular a meme it is that Neanderthals were cartoony stone-age brutes.

In the field, this hasn't been considered the case for nigh on a century.

That's what popular science leads to. It's also why people still talk about the dark ages, middle ages etc.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#9  Postby Macdoc » Apr 28, 2019 6:37 am

That is far too broad a condemnation and smacks of eliteism.
Some memes do persist but running science stories in popular media is an important conduit. No one has time to keep up with the pace of science and technology in depth.

That's why sites that cover a wide variety of current stories like
http://news.sciencemag.org
http://phys.org

and many others are needed and popular. Then readers can burrow in deeper as their time and interests dictate.

Science should never dwell in ivory towers accessible only to the high priests of academia. :coffee:
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#10  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 28, 2019 8:27 am

Macdoc wrote:That is far too broad a condemnation and smacks of eliteism.

Nope, an accurate analysis and nothing to do with elitsm. Unless you consider being concerned with facts over story to be elitist somehow.

Macdoc wrote:
Some memes do persist but running science stories in popular media is an important conduit. No one has time to keep up with the pace of science and technology in depth.

That's why sites that cover a wide variety of current stories like
http://news.sciencemag.org
http://phys.org

and many others are needed and popular. Then readers can burrow in deeper as their time and interests dictate.

None of that refutes the fact that popular science reporting consistently leads to misinformation. I already gave some examples from the field of history, but another great example is the endless stream of popular science articles misrepresenting the results of studies into the health benefits of everything from chocolate to superfoods.

Science should never dwell in ivory towers accessible only to the high priests of academia. :coffee:

How fortunate then that I never advocated any thing like that.
But thank you for providing an excellent example of how superficial reading can lead to misinformation.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#11  Postby zoon » Apr 28, 2019 10:53 am

Spearthrower wrote:It's amazing how popular a meme it is that Neanderthals were cartoony stone-age brutes.

In the field, this hasn't been considered the case for nigh on a century.

Neanderthals have been thought of as ape-like compared to modern humans, which as you say would definitely be wrong - with similar-sized brains, their thinking was presumably not noticeably less complex than ours. It would be very surprising (and extremely interesting) if they had evolved the same size of brain without speech. There's nothing wrong with calling them stone-age, though, as all modern humans were also stone-age at the time?
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#12  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 28, 2019 5:24 pm

zoon wrote:
Neanderthals have been thought of as ape-like compared to modern humans, which as you say would definitely be wrong...


If you had one suited and booted, I doubt anyone would even notice if he walked down a street in any capital city the world over.

In a way, this is kind of obvious as a very large percentage of modern humans have some Neanderthal DNA so we must have interbred meaning that at the very least sapiens males considered them plausible mates.

Mate recognition is one valid way to define a species, which is intriguing given the long standing argument for considering Neanderthals to be a subspecies of sapiens (albeit temporally reverted). Pearce, 1971; Szalay and Delson, 1979

As an example:

https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sci ... rthalensis

That just straight up calls them Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, and our species Homo sapiens sapiens. Perhaps it would be more accurate in the same vein to call us Homo neanderthalensis sapiens, though, given typical classification rules.

I don't really agree with this though, even if it is an interesting way to think. We both share an immediate common ancestor in Africa, probably something like heidelbergensis, and I think anatomical differences warrant giving us our own distinct species.


zoon wrote: - with similar-sized brains, their thinking was presumably not noticeably less complex than ours. It would be very surprising (and extremely interesting) if they had evolved the same size of brain without speech.


On average, their brains were slightly larger, but their encephalization quotient (brain to body size) was slightly lower than modern humans.

However, brain size doesn't necessarily correlate to complex thinking; there are many tasks which are not really involved in thought processes but which take up varying degrees of brain space.

Their eyes were larger than ours, for example, so presumably some of that larger brain capacity was employed in visual tasks; they were also substantially more bulky with barrel chests and heavier frames, so who knows what other somatic functions the brain might have been maintaining without actually offering any more processing power.


zoon wrote: There's nothing wrong with calling them stone-age, though, as all modern humans were also stone-age at the time?


I meant that cartoony picture of club wielding, skin wearing brutes, bopping females on the head to choose mates, only able to say 'ug' or use pidgin English.
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#13  Postby Macdoc » Apr 29, 2019 6:59 pm

Not being up to date in field or a specific aspect of a field does not automatically mean "superficial reading".

Just your use of the term reinforces the "haughty academic asshole"
Yours is a prime example of the "ivory tower" attitude :nono:

Just what don't you comprehend about?
Then readers can burrow in deeper as their time and interests dictate.
:coffee:
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#14  Postby Macdoc » Apr 29, 2019 7:09 pm

If you had one suited and booted, I doubt anyone would even notice if he walked down a street in any capital city the world over.

In a way, this is kind of obvious as a very large percentage of modern humans have some Neanderthal DNA so we must have interbred meaning that at the very least sapiens males considered them plausible mates.


One of the neatest exhibits at the Smithsonian was our ancestral relations sculpted in actual size to the people wandering the exhibit and showing the "best guess" reconstruction of faces or sometime entire bodies.

Image

http://humanorigins.si.edu/exhibit/reco ... rly-humans
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#15  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 29, 2019 7:27 pm

Yeah, they're beautifully done. I've got a big book of human evolution with glossy prints of those, and my son loves those pictures. Although he's mostly intrigued by positing emotional states for them.
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Re: Neanderthals & Golden Eagles

#16  Postby Macdoc » Apr 29, 2019 10:50 pm

Given what we are learning about animals and especially bird these days anthropomorphizing is becoming less verboten especially with primates and our ancestors..
We are more alike than is sometimes accepted - just reading a fascinating book by Jim Robbins on the wonder of birds and how some birds are analogues for human family relationships with all the secret trysts, given more attention to bio kin than step kin and interfering mothers.

I do not think "isolating" study subjects from our own physiology and psychology is particularly useful practice as one informs the other.

Image

In the Smithsonian seeing the faces and size of the "relations" was eye opening.
I recall being blown away seeing a red hand outline ( blowing ochre around a hand ) that could have been done on a wall in a city yesterday but was actually 26k BP.

I think we need to get our human heads collectively inside our biome and fellow intelligences past and present instead of trying stand above it in some manner.
We are all products of evolution and our "hind brain" is forever old in evolutionary terms and informs perhaps too much of our activities.
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