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Thread: European Neanderthals Were On the Verge of Extinction Even Before the Arrival of Modern Humans

  1. #11
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    Neanderthal timeline.

    OK, this is the last post I am making about Neanderthals. I think it is a waste of time to even discuss them. They were never part of human evolution and were just an oddity along the long path of hominid evolution. There are more interesting things to discuss.

    mtDNA was compared with the bones of Neanderthal and modern humans. Neanderthal mtDNA was not more closely related to that of people from any 1 continent over another. This was an unwelcome finding for anthropologists who believed that there was some interbreeding between Neanderthals and early modern humans living in Europe. The researchers determined that the common ancestor to Neanderthal and modern humans lived as long as 500,000 years ago. Well before the the most recent common mtDNA ancestor of of modern humans. This suggests that Neanderthals went extinct without contributing to the gene pool of any modern humans.
    From: Nova Online-Neanderthals on trial, tracing ancestry with mtDNA.
    www.pbs.org

    Findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 9th, 2011, reviews the the present Neanderthal timeline. It is commonly believed that Neanderthals died out about 30,000 years ago. But there may have been small pockets still around later. The latest discovery could push back the Neanderthal extinction to 39,700 years ago. At least in the region around the Urals in Russia. Since modern humans were are believed to have arrived in the Northern Caucasus region just a few hundred years prior to that, that means that our species did not have much time to interact with Neanderthals.
    That is where this other site got the 300 years from. 40,000 minus 39,700 is 300.
    From news.discovery.com

    Here is another good site: NGM.nationalgeographic.com Article in Natgeomag-Last of the Neanderthals.
    In Jared Diamond's book, The 3rd Chimpanzee, He suggests a scenario of violent conflict between Neanderthals and Cro Magnons.

    More researchers now believe that Cro Magnons were directly responsible for Neanderthal extinction. The old theory that Cro Magnons were better adapted to the conditions and climate just dosen't hold water anymore.

    In regards to the 1 t0 4% DNA in humans. It is only a small pocket of humans in Asia and Europe that have this %. Not ALL humans. And the new research with mtDNA even questions this. There was believed to be interbreeding in an area in the middle east called the bottleneck were humans and Neanderthals paths crossed. But this was estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 years ago and one researcher suggested it might have been as long as 100,000 years ago.

    There is a cave in northern Spain called El Sidron. It is loaded with Neanderthal bones that had evidence of predation.
    There is another cave on the Rock of Gibralter, called Gorham's cave. There are numerous Neanderthal bones there that show signs of predation. They were a later pocket of small numbers of Neanderthals that were dated to 24,000 years ago. The researchers thought that the Neanderthals were cannibalizing themselves. They later explored the rest of the cave and at the very back, on the wall were hand prints. The type made by throwing black powder on the hands to make an impression. They were Cro Magnon hand prints. Dated to approximately the same age as the bones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halldorr View Post
    mtDNA was compared with the bones of Neanderthal and modern humans. Neanderthal mtDNA was not more closely related to that of people from any 1 continent over another. This was an unwelcome finding for anthropologists who believed that there was some interbreeding between Neanderthals and early modern humans living in Europe. The researchers determined that the common ancestor to Neanderthal and modern humans lived as long as 500,000 years ago. Well before the the most recent common mtDNA ancestor of of modern humans. This suggests that Neanderthals went extinct without contributing to the gene pool of any modern humans.
    From: Nova Online-Neanderthals on trial, tracing ancestry with mtDNA.
    www.pbs.org
    The PBS program "Neanderthals on Trial" appears to have been broadcast in 2002. If that is the case then it may have been superseded by more recent findings on Neanderthal DNA.


    Findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 9th, 2011, reviews the the present Neanderthal timeline. It is commonly believed that Neanderthals died out about 30,000 years ago. But there may have been small pockets still around later. The latest discovery could push back the Neanderthal extinction to 39,700 years ago. At least in the region around the Urals in Russia. Since modern humans were are believed to have arrived in the Northern Caucasus region just a few hundred years prior to that, that means that our species did not have much time to interact with Neanderthals.
    That is where this other site got the 300 years from. 40,000 minus 39,700 is 300.
    From news.discovery.com
    Ok. But just because Neanderthals only survived in small pockets doesn't prove that interbreeding didn't take place.

    In regards to the 1 t0 4% DNA in humans. It is only a small pocket of humans in Asia and Europe that have this %. Not ALL humans. And the new research with mtDNA even questions this. There was believed to be interbreeding in an area in the middle east called the bottleneck were humans and Neanderthals paths crossed. But this was estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 years ago and one researcher suggested it might have been as long as 100,000 years ago.
    Not so.All non-Africans have some degree of Neanderthal DNA. I have been tested (by 23andme) as having 2.6% neanderthal DNA. My mother has 3%. These are common levels for western Europeans.

    There is a cave in northern Spain called El Sidron. It is loaded with Neanderthal bones that had evidence of predation.
    Do they really have evidence of predation or only of cannibalism after death? It is widely believed that Neanderthals cannibalized their own dead as some primitive peoples still do today. This is evidenced by the presence of tiny cut marks at the tendon attachment sites on many Neanderthal bones but is accompanied by a marked absence of evidence for homicide. The injuries that Neanderthal bones typically present with are indicative of blunt force trauma and over-use injury i.e bone fractures (usually healed) and osteoarthritis. There is an absence of the kinds of puncture wounds that would indicate being killed by spear or blade thrusts. It is difficult to kill someone using a stabbing weapon without leaving tell-tale punctures, notches or gouge marks on the skeleton.

    [QUOTE]
    There is another cave on the Rock of Gibralter, called Gorham's cave. There are numerous Neanderthal bones there that show signs of predation.
    I have yet to see such evidence. I'd be interested if you could provide a link.

    They were a later pocket of small numbers of Neanderthals that were dated to 24,000 years ago. The researchers thought that the Neanderthals were cannibalizing themselves. They later explored the rest of the cave and at the very back, on the wall were hand prints. The type made by throwing black powder on the hands to make an impression. They were Cro Magnon hand prints. Dated to approximately the same age as the bones.
    "Approximately the same age" in this context could easily mean 500 years later. Just because humans were there at roughly the same time doesn't mean they killed off the Neanderthals. The Neanderthals may have moved on, died out or bred with the modern humans and so been absorbed by them.


    There is some evidence of interbreeding between neanderthals and modern humans from Iberia at around this time in the form of a skeleton known as "The Lapedo child".;

    In 1998, the discovery of an early Upper Paleolithic human burial site in the valley has provided evidence of early modern humans in southern Iberia. The remains, the largely complete skeleton of an approximately 4-year-old child, was buried with a pierced shell and red ochre (dated to circa 24,500 years B.P.).[2][1] The cranium, mandible, dentition, and postcrania appear to present a mosaic of European early modern human and Neanderthal features,[3] although this interpretation is disputed.[4][5][1] If the child was indeed a hybrid of anatomically modern humans and homo neanderthalensis, there could be significant implications regarding the Neanderthal interaction with Cro-Magnons and the taxonomical classification of these (possibly sub-) species.[1]

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    We may have only a small % of neandertal DNA but at the same time it is worth considering we may also only have only a small % of DNA from archaic homo sapien sapiens/cro-mags. Certain alleles of neandertal may be present in modern day people in much higher or lower % and certain groups may have far more or less neandertal DNA compared to the average. 1-4% is a statistical mean and I'm still yet to see expansive testing of the middle east and central europe - places like Israel, which is where many neandertal remains have been found and where we are told the major interbreeding took place.

    Also the actual pattern and movement of ice ages needs to be accounted for and is rarely discussed in relation to neandertal. Articles usually simply discuss cold climate generally without describing its pattern and subsequent shifting of people in relation to it. The neandertals and their ancestors (ie heidelbergensis) survived in europe for hundreds of thousands of years and during that time they would have been pushed south following the ice age cycles. So at various times during peak glacial times there weren't any hominids in greater europe because it was frozen over completely except for small pockets to the south of europe and the middle east/eurasia. Does that mean they became extinct? Not really, they were pushed south particularly into eurasia and returned during interglacial periods. After the last two ice ages, greater populations of people from the south (north africa) started to enter europe and the remaining small populations of neandertal were assimilated or wiped out. I dont really see it that the neandertal simply couldn't cope with cold climate as various hominids had survived for a million years in europe in far more primitive states and the neadertals morphology clearly shows it was considerably toughend up for mountainous and cold conditions. They weren't just always hanging around in the same spot for hundreds of thousands of years. They were continually pushed south by the ice ages, following food sources and also influenced by other southern groups genetic flow.

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