Saturday, February 25, 2006

Homo Sapiens Killed Off Neanderthalers Very Quickly According To New Information

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Homo Sapiens, rather than being the pinnacle of greatness probably should be renamed "Homocidaliens". Evidently, no sooner than our ancestors flooded into Europe, we killed all the Neanderthalers very quickly. This is probably due to better weapons and a ruthless disregard for other species.

From Associated Press:
Neanderthals in Europe were killed off by the advance of modern humans thousands of years earlier than previously believed, losing a competition for food and shelter, according to a scientific study published Wednesday.

The research uses advances in radiocarbon dating to revise understanding of early humans, suggesting they colonized Europe more rapidly and coexisted for a much shorter period with genetic ancestors.

Paul Mellars, professor of prehistory and human evolution at the University of Cambridge and author of the study, said Neanderthals — the species of the Homo genus that lived in Europe and western Asia from around 230,000 years ago to around 29,000 years ago — succumbed much more readily to competition.
Since even today, we kill with only slight cause or no cause at all like Cheney nailing his hunting buddy, what killed off every single Neanderthal wasn't "competition" but "murder." Our invasion of Europe should read like an Agatha Christie murder mystery.

Homo sapiens used their cleverness to outwit the Neanderthalers and we systematically butchered them, man, woman and child. This happened during the Ice Ages when life was difficult for everyone but humans who haven't evolved much except in a regressive way because we figured out how to exploit the Ice Age for ourselves, especially the "skin those you hunt and wear it as an extra covering" part.

Thanks to research in places like Russia, we know our ancestors lived often in tents, they even used mastadon tusks for the arches of these skin tents as well as using reeds to build shelters. The idea that we were cave dwellers is probably due to summer hunting grounds when a cave was OK. In winter, a cave is very cold and unpleasant but in summer, the real difficulty is the various biting insects which anyone hunting in Alaska knows all too well, ha, here in New York, the "no-see-um" season is so annoying, those tiny biting bugs like to fly into eyeballs and noses which is why, when they are spawning which they do three times in summer starting with June, I wear a veil.

Mosquitos and gnats don't go into caves so retreating to them during the summer is probably a survival tactic.

The ability to make structures that were pretty durable for winter shelter meant more babies of the homo sapiens survived the long, dark night of winter back then. Heating a tent is pretty easy, the more the merrier, the bodies warm it up and throw a few mastadon pelts on the sandy floor and it can be quite luxurious for the toddlers to climb around on.

Most likely winter quarters were along the Mediterranean Sea which was much lower so looking for evidence of this is difficult, it being under water, but I suppose the French Riviera was a popular hang out back then, in winter, it gets much balmier the closer to the Med one gets.
"The two sides were competing for the same territories, the same animals and fuel supplies and occupying the same cave spaces. With that kind of competition, the Neanderthals were always going to come out as the losers," said Mellars, whose paper was published in the journal Nature.
Since time immemorial, homo sapiens likes to hunt other humans starting in spring time. It just isn't a winter activity. When humans invaded Europe, they probably brought their buddies, the early dogs, with them. The dogs helped hunt down the remaining Neanderthalers and since they had no dogs, they didn't know when hunting parties were sneaking up on them but when they sought to retaliate, I suppose the dogs did what they do now: bark like crazy and then attack.

The timeline for eradicating the Neanderthalers coincides with one of several possible timelines for the dog/human bond forming. Since the people who reached Australia had dingo dogs already, I am assuming the much later invaders of Europe had them, too. Europe was very dangerous with huge lions hunting in packs, cave bears, giant elephantine trunked and tusked animals, it was a very dangerous environment. I suspect homo sapiens saved it for the last colonization effort because of this and because of the extremes in weather between summer and winter. Developing an ice culture took a lot longer than say, developing social systems to cope with the balmy climate of Australia or India much less, Africa.

Unlike those places, the humans became herd followers and traveled huge distances between summer and winter. Also, due to the lack of fruits and nuts in the summer zone, they were like many far norther tribes were up until this century like the Inuit, for example, total meat/fat/fish eaters.

It looks like homo sapiens didn't co-exist with Neanderthalers from much longer than it took to hunt them down and eradicate them, this took less than 1,000 years. Here is an interesting article about the genetics of human migrations during the last Ice Age. From DNA Heritage Class:
The Neanderthals would have died out around 14,000 years ago leaving the nomadic hunter-gatherer Cro-Magnon (modern man) to pursue the animals of the time. Due to the cold and the need for food, the populations of the day waited the ice age out in the three locations shown on the map. These were the Iberian Peninsula, the Balkans and the Ukraine.

These people were skilled in flint-knapping techniques and various tools such as end-scrapers for animal skins and burins for working wood and engraving were common. Cave painting using charcoal had been around for a couple of thousand years although at this time they were now more subtle than mere outline drawings. These artistic expressions are significant as it shows that people are able to obtain some leisure time. Whether this is ‘art for art’s sake’ or objects of ritual is not known.
The three groups of humans had taken refuge for so long that their DNA had naturally picked up mutations, and consequently can be defined into different haplogroups. As they spread from these refuges, Haplogroups R1b, I and R1a propagated across Europe.

- Haplogroup R1b is common on the western Atlantic coast as far as Scotland.
- Haplogroup I is common across central Europe and up into Scandinavia.
- Haplogroup R1a is common in eastern Europe and has also spread across into central Asia and as far as India and Pakistan.

These three major haplogroups account for approx 80% of Europe's present-day population.
Despite many later invasions, it seems that the origional ice age colonizers have multiplied and occupy all of Europe. The Laplanders being the most unchanged from their Ice Age culture, following the reindeer and ice to the far north.

It is really amazing, how little populations have changed after we killed off all competitors.
And these are my ancestors.
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