ARC1DOH Essay: What does the Archaeological Record Reveal about the Behavioural Repertoire of the Neanderthals?by Caroline Seawright
Year 1 Essay for Dawn of Humanity at LaTrobe University, Oct 2009.
The Neanderthals were a robust, short and stocky people who lived between 300/250-35 k.y.a. mainly in Europe, the Middle East and central Asia who are source of great contention. Although they buried some of their dead, performed targeted hunting in groups, foraged, and made and adapted tools specific and indigenous to the locality, their humanity is under question. They traded raw materials with other Neanderthal groups, and with Homo sapiens though a large network, created artefacts with decoration, and used ochre pigment for paint. One particular group even performed artificial cranial modification for beauty. Neanderthals even show an ability to learn from others and their dwelling places were very similar to those of modern hunter gatherers. Artefacts and fossils from the archaeological record prove one thing about these hominins: although they were a different species, in terms of behaviour, the Neanderthals were truly human.
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