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Who were the Neanderthals, and what caused their extinction Did they influence Homo sapiens, either genetically or culturally - Essay Example

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Neanderthals are the early hominids who have existed on the planet earth about 250,000 years to 300,000 years ago, and are geographically believed to be located in Eurasia, somewhere near Western Europe and the Near East (Schmit 2003)…
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Who were the Neanderthals, and what caused their extinction Did they influence Homo sapiens, either genetically or culturally
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Who were the Neanderthals, and what caused their extinction Did they influence Homo sapiens, either genetically or culturally

Download file to see previous pages... Also, These Neanderthals are also genetically associated with the “Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH)” by some anthropologists based on genetic and cultural evidence, while there is still an ongoing debate about the conformity of the proposition. Anatomically modern humans are the most immediate ancestors of the humans, and possibilities of interbreeding amongst the species are still being investigated. However, scientific study of genetics indicates that humans and Neanderthals have only been found to have ancestral connections about 550,000 years ago. However studying evolution from a cultural perspective indicates a strong sense of connection between early humans and the Neanderthals. These species, the Neanderthals were first discovered in 1829. In 1856, when Neanderthal specimen was found in a cave in Germany the scientists were amazed at the discovery as it was very unique and distinctive from other fossils previously been found, as the skull was oval in shape with thick and strong bones along with a retreating forehead (Delson 2006). The name Homo Neanderthals was suggested to these unknown species by the geologist William King in 1864 when these were found in the Neander valley in Germany (Jordan 1999). However, after a lot of research the scientists were able to discover the fact that the species discovered in 1829 were the same as these found later. Neanderthals had a strong body built with a heavy structure and a shorter height, ideal to absorb more heat so that they can survive in cold climates. Sexual dimorphism between both genders was comparatively unclear. To shed light on the causes of extinction associated with the Neanderthals, it is first crucial to study their modes of survival and their lifestyles. These species relied on the plants to acquire nutrition for their survival. However, due to the colder climates that they had to face, possibilities are that the plant supplies would have adequately dropped during the winters. Due to this factor they had to diversify their food sources including meat in their diet to fulfill their nutritious requirements (Shipmen 2008). Anthropological remains like sharpened tools for cutting and ripping away meat preys indicate that these species were seasonal meat hunters. Moreover, when scientists studied the plaque over the teeth of the remains, they even found out that these species incorporates mollusks, sharks and other marine species as their diets. Amongst other anthropological evidences, a flake tool sophisticated in its built was also found which was made after breaking off the stones from the surfaces, though it wasn’t as complex as those tools found amongst other ancestral species associated with humans. Moreover, having studied the anatomy of their bodies, it was concluded that their arms were rather asymmetric which are indicative of the fact that they used thrusting techniques to capture preys, which means that they utilized larger animals for consumption. Along with these remains, other significant discoveries were the needle like tools which can be used for sewing garments to wear. Moreover, Neanderthals are also found to have used fire for various purposes. Thorough analysis of the locales draws attention towards shallow pits along with other even shallower grave like structures. This indicates that these people used to bury the dead into graves and hold funerals to carry these events. The settings also reflect that these species used to live in a nuclear family setup while some instances indicate social gatherings and events to be a part of their lives as well. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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