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Analysis of Brutish You Have to Hand it to the Neanderthals after All - Research Paper Example

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Analysis of “Brutish? You have to hand it to the Neanderthals after all” Introduction The article discusses about recent studies that have proved that the Palaeolithic Stone age cave paintings of images of hands and red discs located in El Castillo cave (part of Iberian art) close to Santander in Northern Spain, that were previously thought to be not more than 25,000 years are about 41,000 years old…
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Analysis of Brutish You Have to Hand it to the Neanderthals after All
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Download file to see previous pages On the contrary, the findings make it more probable that the Neanderthals made the paintings. The article also posits that the wrong dating resulted because scientists dated the paintings using the calcium carbonate layer, which is now believed to have accumulated on the artistic paintings years after the paintings had been made. This paper is an analysis of the article “Brutish? You have to hand it to the Neanderthals after all” authored by David Keys and featured in The Independent. The paper will also scrutinize additional research related to the articles content as well as dating of Palaeolithic cave painting in Europe. The paper will also try to establish the credibility of Keys' article and application of the research findings. Making use of a process referred to as uranium-series disequilibrium, the group that was led by Pike measured the radioactive decomposition of uranium and dated hand stencils and disks in El Castillo cave in Northern Spain. The paintings had been made by using the mouth to blow paint on the wall. The artistic paintings were found to be least 40,800 years old making them the oldest form of art in Europe. These results have ignited the debate on who is responsible for the cave paintings found in Spain and France. Previously, the paintings were attributed to modern humans but research acknowledges that modern man had not invaded Europe 41,000 years ago. At this period, Neanderthals inhabited Europe, which suggests that they could be responsible for these artistic paintings (Keys, 2012). Chauvet Cave paintings in central France were previously recognized as the world's oldest cave art paintings. The Chauvet cave paintings were dated 39,000 years old. However, the Chauvet cave dating is still controversial since it relies on radiocarbon dating making use of charcoal pigments. Archaeologists have put forward that dating based on charcoal pigments is unreliable since the pigments are susceptible to contamination by other forms of carbon, which would affect dating results. Additionally, using charcoal pigments could be erroneous in that the period when the fire was lit might not coincide with the time the painting was made (Keys, 2012; Pettitt and Pike, 2007). I selected this article due to its relevance to our understanding of the past and human history particularly the interactions between the Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. Primordial cave paintings lend a hand in connecting the modern man to the past species. Understanding the activities of the Neanderthal is crucial since he was the immediate ancestor of Homo sapiens, the modern man. Understanding Neanderthal would thus enhance a better understanding of the development of the art of painting. Additionally the findings suggest that the Neanderthals could have been the inventors of cave painting but passed the art to Homo sapiens. Evidence shows that modern humans first appeared in Northern Spain about 41,500 years ago, as successors of the Neanderthals. These findings are contrary to current perceptions that the Homo sapiens instigated artistic painting and that Neanderthals did not practice cave painting (Zilh?ao, 2007; Keys, 2012). Another important aspect roused by these findings is that the interaction between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals coul ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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