Friday, March 02, 2012

Neandertals were Seaworthy

PhysOrg has a story that follows up on the evidence of Neandertal settlements on the Greek islands. It has now been suggested that the Neandertals were using sea craft to navigate to and from those islands. Bob Yirka writes:
Neanderthals, considered either a sub-species of modern humans or a separate species altogether, lived from approximately 300,000 years ago to somewhere near 24,000 years ago, when they inexplicably disappeared, leaving behind traces of their DNA in some Middle Eastern people and artifacts strewn all across the southern part of Europe and extending into western Asia. Some of those artifacts, stone tools that are uniquely associated with them, have been found on islands in the Mediterranean Sea, suggesting, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, by George Ferentinos and colleagues, that Neanderthals had figured out how to travel by boat. And if they did, it appears they did so before modern humans.
This is not a surprise. Neandertals were every bit as intelligent as we are.

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