Tag Archives | Neanderthal

Were Neanderthals Original Cave Painting Artists?

Danny Vendramini (CC)

In his novel Entangled, Graham Hancock spun a tale suggesting that Neanderthals were way more creative than the violent homo sapiens who wiped them out. New research suggests that Hancock may have been right, reported by James Noble Wilford in the New York Times:

Stone Age artists were painting red disks, handprints, clublike symbols and geometric patterns on European cave walls long before previously thought, in some cases more than 40,000 years ago, scientists reported on Thursday, after completing more reliable dating tests that raised a possibility that Neanderthals were the artists.

A more likely situation, the researchers said, is that the art — 50 samples from 11 caves in northwestern Spain — was created by anatomically modern humans fairly soon after their arrival in Europe.

The findings seem to put an exclamation point to a run of recent discoveries: direct evidence from fossils that Homo sapiens populations were living in England 41,500 to 44,200 years ago and in Italy 43,000 to 45,000 years ago, and that they were making flutes in German caves about 42,000 years ago.

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Russia Sets Up University Institute To Study Yeti Sightings

WampaKevin Makice writes on Wired:
As geeks, we are encouraged to suspend our disbelief while simultaneously challenging everything we see and hear. In the words of Agent Mulder, we want to believe, but our geek roots are firmly planted in the scientific method. That tension is possibly being resolved on one front. The Russians are establishing a scientific institute on the study of yetis, hairy ape-like creatures rumored to inhabit the Himalayas. Officials in coal-mining region of Kemerovo Oblast announced plans today to open a Yeti Institute at the Kemerovo State University, a 38-year-old higher education entity in western Siberia. KSU boasts 31,000 students and is best known for reviving regional languages, like Shor. Yeti researcher Igor Burtsev reportedly claimed that 30 Russian scientists are currently studying yetis, or Abominable Snowmen, and the Institute could allow them to better collaborate.
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