The Neanderthals

The Neanderthals
Probably derived from
Heidelbergensis in Northern
Europe 300,000-200,000 ybp
Territory: from Siberia to Iberia
to the Levant
Neanderthal Physics
• Cold adapted:
short, stocky,
thick boned
• 5’6’’; 176, females
smaller, 20%
heavier per pound
relative to
Neanderthal Physics
• Faces: larger nose; higher browridge; longer,
lower cranium; larger teeth and jaws
Neanderthal brains
• Slightly larger
than human
(1425cc vs. 1350)
• Enlarged erectus
• Relative parietal
expansion in
Neanderthal hunting
• Varied diets, but large big game meat consumers
• Cooperative hunting (100,000-50,000 ybp) Mauran, Le Borde,
Combe Grenal, and La Cotte (below)
• No projectile weapons; thrusting spears, close-in ambush hunting;
little evidence of long-range hunting expeditions or intercept
• Rodeo rider injuries, tough life
Neanderthal tools
• Mousterian; Levollois points/flakes; more specialized than
Heidelbergensis tool kit
• Mostly stone; rarely bone or antler
• Little evidence of innovation; procedural strategies
• Hafting points onto spears
• Local, little evidence of “exotic” raw material or trade
Neanderthal symbolism?
• Frequent use of pigments. For what purpose? Processing of hides,
hunting camo; adhesives; selectivity for color suggest more than
just practical
• Beads; Chatelperronian controversy (borrowed from CroMagnons?)
• Recent finds in Spain earlier than Hss At Cueva de los Aviones (3
peforated shells), Cueva Antón (1 shell); 50,000 ybp
• Tata engravings 70,000 ybp
Neanderthal social life
Homogenous population est. 70,000 in Europe at 40,000 ybp
Smaller less organized campsite
Smaller hearths, possible no communal use of fire
Smaller social groups; no trade; local face-to-face interactions
Possibly little gender specialization; longer gestation period >12months?
Burials inconclusive regarding ritual; afterlife beliefs, etc.
Neanderthal language
Some language but how

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