An international group that includes a University of Kansas researcher has discovered a brownish piece of split limestone in a site in Croatia that suggests Neanderthals 130,000 years ago collected the rock that stands out among all other items in the cave.
“If we were walking and picked up this rock, we would have taken it home,” said David Frayer, a professor emeritus of anthropology who was part of the study. “It is an interesting rock.”
The finding is important, he said, because it adds to other recent evidence that Neanderthals were capable — on their own — of incorporating symbolic objects into their culture. The rock was collected more than 100 years ago from the Krapina Neanderthal site, which has items preserved in the Croatian Natural History Museum in Zagreb, where in recent years the research team has re-examined them. Paper. (paywall) – Davorka Radovčić, Dražen Japundžić, Ankica Oros Sršen, Jakov Radovčić, David W. Frayer. An interesting rock from Krapina. Comptes Rendus Palevol, 2016; 15 (8): 988 DOI: 10.1016/j.crpv.2016.04.013
Reminds us somehow of the “bombshell” discovery of Neanderthal art. These finds aren’t bombshells anymore though; that’s what’s changed.
See also: Neanderthal DNA an advantage to modern humans? Interesting work but note, by the way, the Darwinese title of the article: “Natural Selection Kept Neanderthal DNA in Modern Humans”. In short, we are here today either because of or in spite of that DNA (“natural selection” accommodates both). A major insight indeed. The article goes on to argue for an actual benefit conferred by the genes. But putting it so clearly would not be keeping Darwinism alive.
New York Times: Why did we get the Neanderthals so wrong?
Neanderthal artwork found: “Academic bombshell” obliterates “lesser human” theory?
Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents
A deep and abiding need for Neanderthals to be stupid. Why?
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