Friday, 20 July 2012

Neanderthal news

Widely reportit in the last twa-three days, Colin Shaw haes haed anither leuk at the over-developed Neanderthal richt erm, an strangly suggests it cam fae repetitive wark, sic as scrapin hides, raither nor intensive wark sic as huntin (the established view) - 'Neandertal humeri may reflect adaptation to scraping tasks, but not spear thrusting'

This fits in wi Bent Sørensen's views aboot Neanderthal claes. He haes a gey yuisefu approach tae reconstructin Neanderthal life in his airticle 'Energy use by Eem Neanderthals', publisht a couple o year syne, whaur he wirks oot whit it wad tak tae survive at different temperatures, an concludes that Neanderthal life nott weel-fittin claes, shuin, bedcovers, win-breaks, an some wey o preservin flesh (dryin?). There a guid review an discussion by Tim Jones here at, includin a quote fae an interview Sørensen gied tae Discovery magazine: “Neanderthal tooth marks indicate chewing hides for softening, which is essential for clothes making.” (This is the wey Inuit tradeetionally prepared hides an aa.)

In anither new airticle, Erik Trinkaus pu's back fae his earlier nory that Neanderthals maun hae huntit by gettin in richt close tae their prey because their remains shaws injuries the like o rodeo riders 'Neandertals, early modern humans, and rodeo riders'. It's aa up in the air again - turns oot the pattren o injuries in early modren humans is juist the same, an the daft idea that Neanderthals wisnae built for flingin things is oot the windae an aa.

Nae surprises, though yuisefu confirmation fae new data, in Karen Hardy et al., (£) 'Neanderthal medics? Evidence for food, cooking, and medicinal plants entrapped in dental calculus'  - Neanderthals cooked their mate, an yaised medeecinal herbs.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Mair nice stanes

As early as the Acheulian industry (Homo Erectus), fowk wis pickin up an hainin interestin stanes, the likes o fossils an crystals, accordin tae a thorough-gaun review o museum objecks by M.-H. Moncel et al ‘Non-utilitarian lithic objects from the European Paleolithic’, Archaeology Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia 40/1 (2012) 24–40.

From the abstract: “The occurrence of non-utilitarian lithic objects, often modfied, in Middle Stone Age or Upper Paleolithic sites is now widely accepted as evidence of symbolic behavior associated with the appearance of Homo sapiens. However the occurrence of non-utilitarian and unusual objects in far earlier sites raises questions about their signficance.”