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Neanderthals: Human Evolution - Essay Example

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Neanderthals: Human Evolution A lot of theories and verdicts have been conventionally proposed to trace the origin of humans. Some theories e.g. Darwin’s theory has traced the origin of humans in monkeys while religious scriptures have revealed that all human beings are the children of Adam and Eve…
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Neanderthals: Human Evolution
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Neanderthals: Human Evolution

Download file to see previous pages... There has also been a lot of debate about the level of resemblance of the Neanderthals with humans and gorillas. This paper discusses several aspects of Neanderthals including their role in the evolution of humans, the places where they lived, the length of time and the era in which they lived, their physical characteristics and how they compare to the physical characteristics of the modern humans, hunting tools used by them and the causes of their extinction. Neanderthals were early humans that were physically designed by nature to live in forests, and were outlived by modern humans due to their physical adjustability and adaptability to the changing environmental conditions. Neanderthals were the most widely recognized late archaic human beings. The Neanderthal skeletons discovered outnumber any other species of ancient humans. Neanderthals resided in Southwest Asia and Europe. There are numerous sources to suggest the evolution of the Neanderthals from the South European Homo heidelbergensis. Fossils as old as 400000 years have been found in Spain that contained the skull characteristics of the Neanderthals. A vast majority of the Neanderthals both culturally and physically adapted to the conditions prevalent in the ice age. Some people are of the view that they were so dissimilar to the humans that they might not be included in the human species, in which case they can be referred to as Homo Neanderthalensis. Neanderthal bones were originally found in Western Europe around 1820’s. In the decades that followed, various other Neanderthals were found and were placed in the museums but they were not essentially identified as early human beings. A Neanderthal child’s skeleton was found in 1839 in Engis, Belgium followed by the discovery of the skull of an adult female Neanderthal in 1848 at Gibraltar, Spain. A discovery in Germany made in 1856 led to the identification of Neanderthals as a form of early humans. The earliest of the Neanderthals played the role of scavengers in hunting in that they snatched food hunt by other animals. Later, in the Middle Paleolithic period, the Neanderthals had started to use spear to hunt. Tools used by the Middle Paleolithic include but are not limited to all-purpose scrapers and stone flake tools. “The shift in tools that marks the transition from Middle to Upper Paleolithic is marked by increased complexity—that is, tools were created for specific tasks rather than all-purpose—and the addition of bone and antler as raw material. Mousterian tools were used both by early modern humans, and Neanderthals” (Hirst, 2012). There were certain features of Neanderthals that were similar to those of the early modern humans (EMHs). They walked straight and possessed large brains like humans do. One physical characteristic that was typical of the Neanderthals and which made them special was the power of their bone structure. They had muscular legs, arms and torso. Their jaws and teeth were very strong. “This last characteristic combined with exhibited tooth wear suggests to archaeologists that they used their teeth as tools for holding and stripping things more than EMH” (Hirst, 2012). The Neanderthals matured quicker than modern humans do and also died much earlier than most of the modern humans. “The anatomy of both sexes shows they required more muscular effort and activity to survive - brawn was probably still as important as brain to the Neandertals” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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