The Well-Tailored Neanderthal; Or, They Walk Among Us!

Discussion in 'Earth Mysteries: Historical & Classical Cases' started by MrRING, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. GNC

    GNC King-Sized Canary

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    I listened to the DVD audio commentary for QfF many moons ago, and Ron Perlman was on it, describing himself as "the first Jewish caveman"(!).
     
  2. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Justified & Ancient

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    And I've heard Ron described as "everyone's favourite Neanderthal"!
     
  3. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    I've come across the Lake Mungo remains again by chance, via Australian megafuanal extinctions. The latest study I've come across was published in 'Nature' in 2003. And it gives a date of 38-42,000 years old, for the burial. And an timescale for human settlement in the area at 50 to 46,000 years.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v421/n6925/full/nature01383.html#B12

    Abstract only, sorry.
     
  4. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    I've been following any and every update concerning Australian Aboriginality for a few decades now, OR, It intensified back in the mid eighties after being accepted at the University of New England to study archaeology and paleoanthropology. During my time there I realised that there was/is a hipster like attitude concerning early dating of Aborigines in this country.

    It was well known that the stratigraphical delineation surrounding the finds at Lake Willandra had collapsed, due to the constant and consistent movement of the surrounding material of the sand hills where the remains are sited, and that the usual techniques for dating were considered haphazard and a large area of doubt must be expected due to contamination, and the senesence of C14 dating for that length of time.

    There are other methods of dating which could give a more accurate date, but due to the remains being locked away from human gaze, and the need to consider certain cultural sensitivities, the remains have not had more than a searching glance since about 1992.

    I suppose that what we can glean from the situation is that humanity lived there for some considerable time, the climate for that area, at the time, was more benign, they possibly lived alongside local megafauna, evidence indicates that they were Homo sapien with religious beliefs, specific burial traditions including cremation which would indicate a group culture of some sophistication and a lithic technology that was abundant. The physical evidence from the remains indicated osteoarthritic wear in the lumbar area, and significant wear on the teeth indicating a possible age of fifty years upon its death. Subsequent studies using the length of limb bones to estimate LM3's height, suggest a height of 196 centimetres -77 inches or 6 ft 5 inches.
     
  5. Xanatic*

    Xanatic* Justified & Ancient

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    Now you got me intrigued as to what a hipster attitude for dating remains is. Do all the fossil remains date back to a time before fossils were cool?
     
  6. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    :D:D:D
     
  7. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    There is/was a certain arrogance within the UNE and a cavalier attitude to establish an earliest as possible dating for remains from the Willandra Lakes. It was almost as if the aboriginal remains and their age added kudos to these archaeologists integrity [ i.e. the archaeologists 'owned' this stage of humanity, instead of the remains being more significant than the archaeolgists career], rather than the remains objectively establishing the significance of culture for these people at that time, and the tracing of the DNA to further establish connectivity of origins.

    These young turks could have approached the remains, with more humility and respect, that had been found at the Willandra Lakes sites.


    Just my thoughts and opinions though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  8. Xanatic*

    Xanatic* Justified & Ancient

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    If europeans have around 4% neanderthal DNA and other groups don't, how was this missed by the Human Genome Project? It seems a fairly large percentage, not something to be lost in measurement uncertainties.
     
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  9. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    Perhaps it was just taken as a trait common to the group that has it. And it wasn't until they sequenced the Neandertal genome that they realised what it was. Besides it's up to about 5%, the levels vary.

    Same for the Denisovans.
     
  10. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    I do intend to learn more about this. Can you recommend any books on the subject?

    My particular interest, aside from the obviously fascinating remains themselves, is whether the first Australians were present at the same time as the megafuana.
     
  11. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    I can't recomend any books OR, but there is evidence of MegaFauna remains in either the same horizon as humanity, or being dated when it was known that Aborigines were in Australia

    http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=190


    http://austhrutime.com/marsupial_megafauna_extinction.htm


    http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow014698.pdf


    http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10496


    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379115300809


    Here's a photo of skeletal megafaunal remains eroding out of the base of Lake Mungo [Willandra lakes].


    IMG_0053.jpg
     
  12. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    Thank you very much for those. I can't imagine being able to visit a place where you could see bones like that coming out of the ground. It's incredible.

    It's not easy being a marsupial fanatic in Europe.
     
  13. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    THE most amazing place that I've ever been OR, especially after espying the large paw print [ABC?], up over on the 'wall of china' - which is the white Lunette in the background of the above photo, and ancient lithic evidence everywhere...


    IMG_0047.jpg

    An Adze, and yes, it was that colour.
     
  14. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Wow. Wonder what type of rock that is? Looks glassy and volcanic.
     
  15. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    I think it's quartzite Mytho - not too sure. Its origins/signature have been traced to the Brisbane area and was supposed to have been traded by a mob from Brisbane, prehistorically.

    What intrigues me about this stone is that, for some reason, this mob from Brisbane would walk 1500 Kilometres to Lake Mungo to trade with the mob from Lake Mungo , and then back to Brisbane, another 1500 kilometres - what on earth were they trading it for to make them travel 3000 kilometres all up, and what was the significance behind the blue stone to the Lake Mungo People?

    Was it an item they traded, or was it the significance of travelling to the Lake Mungo area - this is in relation to the spirituality shown when they interred their dead, so was lake Mungo similar to Jerusalem, or Mecca - or am I reading too much into it...
     
  16. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Maybe Mungo was a Scarborough Fair equivalent?
    Somewhere where tribes could meet, and people could meet a prospective wife or husband?
     
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  17. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    Maybe not. As Mythopoeika says, perhaps it was some sort of gathering place. Do we know anything about the stability, or age, of it as a water source in comparison to the others round there. Or if at that time it was unique in some other way. Or again, how well the other bodies of water nearby have been excavated.

    Locally to me, Gower, we have remains from 33,000 plus in one of our sea caves. A lot has been found in the area, but it was only about six years ago that an example of cave art was discovered in a very well researched, regularly visited, and easily accessible land cave.
     
  18. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    Isn't it more likely that the prized stone (and / or other trade items) 'flowed' through multiple sites / exchanges over time, rather than being transported and hand-delivered by the same carrier(s) who removed it from its source location?

    ... Or is there some evidence pointing to a single long distance movement?
     
  19. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    Good question EnolaG.

    There are very little natural resources when it comes to a stone tool industry in the Lake Mungo region, and most, if not all specific stone for individual types of tools were carried distances by outlying mobs to the people of Lake Mungo. Whether the Brisbane Mob individually carried that specific stone all that distance is unknown, and your idea of seperate 'legs' in the journey seems more appropriate. The larger amounts of that specific stone found around the Willandra Lakes seems to indicate to me that there was trading along defined routes from a determined source, over a period of time that warranted either contractual contact with the Brisbane people, or very specific trade routes throughout Eastern Australia.

    The idea that established trading, over long distance trade routes, for a specific stone, at that time, would indicate a sophistication [if that's the appropriate word], in a hunter gatherer society that needs to be uppermost in anybodies minds the next time the topic of 'stone age people' enters the conversation.

    Here's a website EG that might interest you concerning early dating and curious facts associated with Australian Aboriginality for at least! the last 40,000 years.

    http://www.janesoceania.com/australia_aboriginal_sites1/index1.htm
     
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  20. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    Another possible angle on explaining the apparently long distance movements of trade items relates to the hunter gatherer life per se. Could it be that (in the climatic conditions of that long-past time ... ) there was a benefit obtained from moving one's clan / tribe seasonally (e.g., to follow a herd; to visit prey mating grounds at just the right time), and such seasonal movements resulted (at least secondarily) in trade exchanges across long distances?
     
  21. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Justified & Ancient

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  22. AlchoPwn

    AlchoPwn Ephemeral Spectre

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