Recent information shows that different groups occupied Denisova Cave between 300,000 and 210,000 years ago. It sounds as though they all might have made objects that require symbolic thinking:
The suggestion Denisovans developed the Upper Paleolithic artifacts at the site bears on a hot topic in paleoanthropology: the origins of modern behavior and cognition. Once upon a time, archaeologists thought only H. sapiens made symbolic items such as jewelry and advanced technology such as standardized bone tools. Then discoveries in the 1970s ignited debate over whether Neandertals also might have invented such items. In recent years evidence has mounted in support of a more sophisticated Neandertal. For instance, last year researchers reported cave paintings in Spain pre-date the arrival of H. sapiens to the region by thousands of years and must therefore be Neandertals’ handiwork. Neandertals, however, are not the only archaic hominin species to show signs of advanced cognition: In 2015 archaeologists unveiled their discovery of a shell that was engraved with a geometric design some 500,000 years ago—long before the origin of modern humans or Neandertals—the implication being that an earlier human ancestor known from this time period, Homo erectus, must have been the designer. Kate Wong, “Cave That Housed Neandertals and Denisovans Challenges View of Cultural Evolution” at Scientific American
This kind of find is treated as problematic because it means that the missing link is still missing. Nobody is the subhuman. That;s not good needs for a Darwinian aproach to human evolution, in which someone must be the subhuman.
See also: Neanderthals Were Way Smarter Hunters Than We Used To Think
In any Darwinian scheme, someone must be the subhuman. Otherwise, there is no beginning to human history.
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