A study by scientists at the University of Nevada pesents evidence that Neanderthal may have sailed the Mediterranean Sea. Tools in deposits that could date back 170,000 years were discovered on Crete. There is the possibility, however, that early hominins arrived on Mediterranean islands as a result of having been swept to them while hanging on to logs. Notwithstanding, per the article:
"They had to have had boats of some sort; unlikely they swam," said Alan Simmons, lead author of a study about the find in this week's Science. "Many of the islands had no land-bridges, thus they must have had the cognitive ability to both build boats and know how to navigate them." ....On Crete, for example, tools such as quartz hand-axes, picks and cleavers are associated with deposits that may date to 170,000 years ago...."Additionally," he continued, "findings from the Indonesian Wallacea islands suggest the presence of hominins as early as 1.1 million years ago on Flores Island."
The study has been published in this week's edition of the journal, Science.
What I find interesting is, time after time, the more we learn about our ancestors, it becomes apparent that modern humans have never given the proper respect to our predecessors regarding their intelligence and cunning abilities until just very recently. Perhaps this is so because modern science, until just recently, has given us the opportunity to discover these findings. But I can't help but wonder if we've also held a biased arrogance toward our common ancestor apes which has kept us from appreciating the full intellectual scope of Neanderthals, et al.
I share your feelings. I think a lot of us have jumped to the conclusion that Neanderthal et. al. lacked intellectual potential because of their primitive appearance. Because of their brain cavities I doubt that they had the intellectual potential that we have but I by no means think they were as low functioning as most of us have stereotyped them to be.
The chauvinistic understanding or assumption that we civilized people are superior to the barbarians, our failure to recognize that socially we are retrogressive and not equal to them. They were more humane and cooperative in sharing and caring which made them superior in their mental and social health and understanding, above all they did not have any religion to divide them and fool them. Their whole concern was survival and interact without any hostility and violence which are the product of the modern civilization of competition and consumerism and worse of all individualism,ego, mutual distrust and intolerance, rigid attitude to adjust with our fellow human beings, infected with prejudices like race, state, country name it devil or Satan the product of the modern brain like religion, called personal freedom.
I think you're greatly overstating ... well, everything really.
The article and photos fascinate me. What an interesting history. Thanks.