Homo Neanderthalensis – Neanderthal Man Origin, Characteristics, Food and Tools –

Neanderthal man, Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, is a extinct species of genus Homo that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia from 230,000 to 28,000 years ago, during the Middle and Upper Pleistocene. Culturally we can integrate it into the Middle Paleolithic. He lived with the Cro-Magnon manfirst modern men in Europe and even the comparison of the modern human and Neanderthal genomes, point to a common origin of the two species, there could even have been a relationship between them about 100,000 years ago. Let’s find out who he was. Neanderthal Man, Origin, Characteristics, Food.

Homo Neanderthalensis – Origin of Neanderthal Man

Homo neanderthalensis arose about 230,000 years ago during the Lower Paleolithic period and disappear from the fossil record about 33,000-28,000 years agowere able to create and extend the important Mousterian culture, which is considered to be the expression of the Middle Paleolithic. The causes of its extinction are still a matter of debate.

According to the latest hypotheses, the Homo Neanderthalensis comes down of European Homo Erectus, even though that him Homo Heidelbergensis cohabited with these in Europe. Between Homo antecessorwhose fossils have been found in the hills of Atapuerca (Spain), and the H. Neanderthalensis This species existed Homo Heidelbergensis.

The discovery of the complete Neanderthal genome, has served to establish exactly the times in which the different lineages divergedproviding us with data as valuable as knowing that the Humans split from Neanderthals and Denisovans 571,000 years ago. and the Neanderthals and Denisovans 381,000 years ago.

In the Iberian Peninsula there is evidence of its existence for a few 230,000 years to about 28,000 years ago, as recent studies indicate.

Origin of Neanderthal Man | Discoveries

Due to the harsh glacial conditions in Europe during this period, these hominids would have evolved in isolation, progressively accumulating typical Neanderthal characteristics. Neadenrthal man is one of the human races that they inhabited from 650,000 to 150,000 BCduring the lower and middle paleolithic. Considered a paleanthropus, as opposed to cro-magnon or nealthropus.

The discovery of the Neandel Valley gave it its namehowever, prior to this discovery it had appeared in the Iberian Peninsula, specifically in Gibraltar, a fragment of the upper part of a skull, collected in 1848, but not studied until 1864.

Over time, more remains and deposits have been discovered, so we can say that the Neanderthals are the most studied and best known of all the races that inhabited the world during the Paleolithicwith the exception of Cro-Magnon man, also widely studied.

The last stronghold of Neanderthals in Europe was in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, where they lived until about 24,000 years ago. The climate of the area, surrounded by a warmer biodiversity than in the rest of the continent, a flora in which trees and shrubs were not lacking, were part of the success of its survival.

It has been possible to determine, thanks to the fossilized plant remains found in the Gortham Cave, in Gibraltar, that while the rest of Europe was practically frozenin this southern region of the Iberian Peninsula, there were pines, oaks, oaks and deciduous trees, types of plants that indicate that the climate was warm.

It was a semi-forest area to which the Neanderthals were very well adapted.since it was a species that did not like open spaces, which are much more typical of our species.

It may be that its extinction was due to the fact that this area was one of the last redoubts of European forest vegetation.24,000 years ago, the average temperature was 4º or 5º C lower than now and the sea level was much lower, in fact, the caves on the cliffs of Gibraltar in which the Neanderthals took refuge, were 10 km from the coast and overlooked a savannah, today these caves are by the sea.

Neanderthal Men were assimilated by modern humans. Paleontologists believe that his disappearance was due to a host of factors, such as climate hardening and lack of genetic diversitygiven that this last population of Neanderthals was completely isolated and inbreeding was a decisive factor in its disappearance.

Homo Neanderthalensis – Characteristics of Neanderthal Man

It is said that the Neanderthal man if he wanted to compete with us in some sport, he would beat us without a doubt, but Neanderthal man is not our ancestor. They were very sociable beings, they related and communicated with an oral language that we could consider very complex although not yet articulated.

Characteristics of Neanderthal Man | Cranial Features

His brain capacity was similar to that of Homo Sapiens, between 1200 and 1700 cc:

  • Narrow and receding forehead
  • Prominent brow bone
  • large eye sockets
  • The nose was wide and flat
  • Their teeth were wide and stuck out
  • presented retromolar space
  • We can also say that they lacked a chin

In general, as facial features it can be noted that they had a long broad face.

Characteristics of Neanderthal Man | Physical Characteristics

Neanderthal men They had short, wide bodies. Thanks to this characteristic, they better resisted the great cold that it did during the Ice Age.

  • they could talkwith which they communicated with each other
  • Fully upright posture
  • His weight was around 70-80 kilos
  • height between 1.60 and 1.70 depending on the sex
  • Their rib cage it was more wider and shorter that in the Sapiens
  • Relatively short limbs compared to the body
  • Elongated and flat pelvis
  • Short, bowed legs
  • Their Life expectancy was around the 40 years old

According to recent studies it seems that its origin could be in the Iberian Peninsula and that they were descendants of Homo Heidelbergensis.

They did not have abstract thoughts but tombs have been found, which tells us that they could believe in religion.

Characteristics of Neanderthal Man | Language

Neanderthal men had a communication system very “efficient” and “fast” oral. They had a language similar to modern, although in some respects it resembled that of the apes. It is believed that the situation advanced neck and laryngeal arrangement they had hindered an articulate language.

Homo Neanderthalensis – Diet of Neanderthal Man

Neanderthal man ate a nutritious and balanced diet, controlled the firewhich provided a new way of feeding by cooking food. They took herbs and medicinal plants with healing properties.

Skeletal remains have been found such as ribs, shoulder blades and femurs with cut marks characteristic of the practice of cannibalism. It was a mortuary ritual in which the meat was removed from the bone with stone utensils in order to only bury the bone remains. This is known due to the difference in the cut marks on bones of game animals for food and on bones of members of the group to be simply buried.

Food cannibalism occurred in periods of famine appreciable in bone remains, in which the meat, the marrow and even the brain were eaten in order to preserve the soul of the ancestors.

Food of Neanderthal Man | Cannibalism

In Spain, Malaga has the most modern Neanderthal remains known to the world, and the place where they were foundthe Boquete Cave of Zafarrayais the best site in Europe both for the information that these remains have provided, and for the research project that has been carried out in the last 30 years.

Remains have been found of ten individuals, adults, adolescents and children, did not live here, but came periodically to hunt Pyrenean goats. The age of the fossils range between 30,000 and 27,000 years. They are the most modern Neanderthals in the world. The Boquete de Zafarraya Cave is proof that the Neanderthals came to the area before modern man arrived in Europe.

What is not known is the reason they disappeared of the area. We can say that It wasn’t because of the weather conditions.because the Mediterranean era climate, like the one now, and they didn’t stop coming either because the dams disappeared. It is still a mystery to scientists.

This site, adjacent between Malaga and Granada, It has the largest samples of cannibalism rituals in Europe. During the excavations, carried out in two stages, the first from 1981 to 1983 and the second from 1990 to 1994, two femurs and a tibia from a woman and a small mandible from a man were found. all with “irrefutable” traces of cannibalism.

First They chopped up the body, cut the meat, and after eating it, threw the bones into the fire, where they exploded During the investigation, in which 90 experts participated, the bone pieces were reconstructed, giving as evidence marks of cannibalism.

It has been said that the Neanderthals buried their children, and here it has been shown that they were not used as mere food when they died. But it should be noted that today all these types of evidence in favor of cannibalism are in doubt, in view of the new discoveries that were made in Krapina, Croatia.

The cannibalism of Neanderthals has been a topic of debate for many years, the emblematic cases are those of Moula-Guercy, in France and Krapina, in Croatia, there is also El Sidrón, Spain and with the oldest case of Atapuerca, also in Spain. But a new study on Krapina debunks the possibility that the remains may have been cannibalized.

At the Krapina site, found 884 fossil fragments believed to belong to 75 individuals. The fragmentary state, says Orschiedt, has been considered evidence of Neanderthal cannibalism.

Much has been written on this subject, and they have spoken of cannibalism by hunger, simple burials, or ritual cannibalism. Orschiedt has re-examined the material for order, and for a more precise look at bone break patterns and bone cut marks. After the review of the human inventory the results were that certain bony elements such as the facials, the base of the skull, hands and feet, they do not exist or they exist in very little quantity.

the pattern of bone breaking It was not caused by human activity, that is, the Neanderthals had nothing to do with it. Orschiedt was able to discover that the breaking of the bones is due more to sediment pressureand particularly to the falling rocks in the cave, or to the activity of carnivorous animals. In this last case the activity is quite clear and the marks of the teeth are visible in long fragments, and even in one of the skulls.

Any details about the cut marks of supposed stone tools are a problem, since the remains have been covered with rubber…