Neanderthals did not always live in caves: the ancient human ancestor lived in the open air in Israel as recently as 54,000 years ago
- Neanderthal occupied Ein Qashish during the Middle Paleolithic period
- The site in Northern Israel was occupied by the Neanderthals at four different times
- Area was an up and down home for them between 71,000 and 54,000 years ago
Normans are often regarded as cave-dwelling barbarians, but new research has shown that the old human ancestor also lived in open-air areas.
Remains were found of the species at the Northern Israeli site Ein Qashish dating back to the Middle Paleolithic period and extending as recently as 54.00 years ago.
It is more common to find Neanderthals in sheltered locations such as caves, but researchers have identified skeletal remains and more than 12,000 objects from the site.
A team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem says this is proof that the area was home to the Neanderthals between 71,000 and 54,000 years ago.
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Neanderthals are often regarded as cave-dwelling barbarians, but new research has shown that the old human ancestor also lived in open-air areas, a new study suggests
It is more common to find Neanderthals in sheltered locations such as caves, but researchers have identified skeletal remains and more than 12,000 objects from the site
Sheltered locations such as caves were easily recognized and often visited by Neanderthals, explaining the abundance of evidence that they lived in them, say the scientists of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Dating techniques used isotope analysis to determine that the artifacts of four different times are coming to the same site when the circumstances vary enormously.
Animal bones and tools were clearly altered and the authors of the study, published in the journal PLOS One claim, is the proof of flint tools and the consumption of animals locally.
Previous theories state that open-air settlements are short-lived and used only for very specific tasks in the lives of the northern residents, but the long-term use of & # 39; Ein Qashish refutes this.
Each of the time periods where there is evidence from the Neanderthals living there demonstrates that it has organized a series of general activities, indicating a stable and consistent settlement system.
The authors suggest that in a complex settlement system, open-air workshops may have been more important to prehistoric people than previously thought.
Dr. Raavid Ekshtain, who led the study, said: & # 39; Ein Qashish is a 70-60 thousand year outdoor location, with a series of layered human activities in a dynamic, flat flood environment.
& # 39; The site stands out in the vast excavated area and a number of unique finds for an open-air context, from which we deduce the diversity of human activities in the landscape.
Dating techniques used isotope analysis to determine that the artifacts of four different times are coming to the same site when the circumstances vary enormously
Each of the time periods where there is evidence from the Neanderthals living there shows that it has organized a series of general activities, indicating a stable and consistent settlement system
& # 39; Unlike other well-known outdoor locations, the place was not used for task-specific activities, but this time and again served as a residential location.
& # 39; The stratigraphy, a branch of geology, data and finds from the site allow a reconstruction of a robust settlement system of the late Neanderthals in northern Israel, just before they disappeared from the regional record.
This, he said, led to questions about the reasons for their disappearance and about their interactions with contemporary modern people.
Remains were found of the species at the Northern Israeli site Ein Qashish dating back to the Middle Paleolithic period and extending as recently as 54.00 years ago
WHO WERE THE NEANDERTHALS?
The Neanderthals were a close human ancestor who mysteriously died out around 50,000 years ago.
The species lived in Africa with early humans for hundreds of millennia before moving to Europe about 500,000 years ago.
Later they were accompanied by people who took the same journey in the last 100,000 years.
The Neanderthals were a cousin of humans, but not a direct ancestor – the two species that were split from a common ancestor – who died around 50,000 years ago. Depicted is a Neanderthal museum exhibition
These were the original & # 39; cavemen & # 39 ;, historically dull and brutal compared to modern people.
In recent years, and especially in the last decade, it has become increasingly clear that we have sold Neanderthals briefly.
A growing number of evidence points to a more refined and multilingual type of & # 39; caveman & # 39; than anyone had ever thought possible.
It now seems likely that Neanderthals buried their dead with the concept of an afterlife in mind.
Moreover, their eating habits and behavior were surprisingly flexible.
They used body art such as pigments and beads, and they were the very first artists, with Neanderthal cave art (and symbolism) in Spain apparently dating back to the earliest modern human art in around 20,000 years.
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