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   Undertoad  Sunday Apr 28 12:58 PM

4/28/2002: Neanderthal injury



The skull fragments pictured on the right were found in 1979. When newly-examined using computer modeling, they determined that the guy whose skull it was -- 36,000 years ago -- had suffered a skull fracture from getting whacked by a fellow neanderthal!

Sounds like they're jumping to conclusions, but the New Scientist article says they did CAT scans and compared the fracture to modern injuries to rule out the idea that it was an accident.

Hard to imagine how they worked it out. The article says this is only the second piece of evidence of neanderthals being violent towards one another. They also believe that the act was performed by someone in the same social group, not a warring tribe. How they could work that out is beyond me...

Totally amazing that they can at least try to figure out how societies operated tens of thousands of years ago. And a little sad that such violence has not been completely bred out of us or educated out of us yet.

On the other hand, it's possible that this kind of violence actually WAS bred out of us over time, as successful tribes developed social norms that allowed the groups to succeed.

(BTW: there was no image yesterday cos I was outta town.)



ndetroit  Sunday Apr 28 04:00 PM

As a further point of interest, one article that I read on this said that the wound had healed over time, suggesting that the attack victim had been nursed back to health by friends/tribemates.

Violence existed and has lasted for 36,000 years, but so has compassion, I guess.



russotto  Monday Apr 29 09:31 AM

Re: 4/28/2002: Neanderthal injury

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad


Totally amazing that they can at least try to figure out how societies operated tens of thousands of years ago. And a little sad that such violence has not been completely bred out of us or educated out of us yet.
It hasn't been bred out of us because its pro-survival, at least under some circumstances.


hairdog  Tuesday Apr 30 02:16 PM

Further testing showed that the injury was caused by Colonel Mustard striking him with a candlestick in the library.



jeni  Tuesday Apr 30 03:18 PM

Quote:
Further testing showed that the injury was caused by Colonel Mustard striking him with a candlestick in the library.
haha.


dave  Tuesday Apr 30 03:20 PM

I'm gonna go home and have sex with my wife!



Yelof  Thursday May 2 06:23 AM

Perhaps this is evidence of a genocide? I have always found it a bit suspicious that our Neanderthal cousins disappeared at about the same time as us Africans turned up, I mean our species seems to have a bit of built in aggression to those considered them rather then us and you can imagine how much that might have mattered between species. On the other hand we have no reason to suppose that Neanderthals where any more angelic than us, so the injury probably is "self inflicted".



juju2112  Thursday May 2 12:49 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Yelof
Perhaps this is evidence of a genocide? I have always found it a bit suspicious that our Neanderthal cousins disappeared at about the same time as us Africans turned up,
I think most anthropologists are notably silent on this point. Since there's no evidence either way, it's all speculation. It's probably fair to assume that both species did interact in <i>some</i> way. But no one really knows how it went.


juju2112  Thursday May 2 12:59 PM

It should also be said that <i>other species are violent, too!</i>

There's this weird thing in our culture... we feel compelled to depict ourselves as murdering savages, and all other creatures as saintly creatures who are "in tune with nature". This simply isn't so.

For example, I was reading just yesterday that if worker bees find that a female bee other than the queen has had children, they'll eat them! Since children of the queen are more genetically similar to the worker bees than the child in question, it's in their genetic best interest.

I'm sure there are lots of other examples, too. Like someone said above, violence is sometimes pro-survival. We fight for what's in our own best interest.



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