Some time back Dave Petzel made an excellent post concering the last days of Neanderthal man. If I remember correctly one of the questions raised was, "Did Neanderthal go out with a bang or a wimper? I've always been interested in Neanderthal and just what might have happened to thier kind. There are many theorys out there, interbreeding, killed off by H. sapiens sapiens (Cro-Magnon), loss of habitat, etc., take your pick there are even more ideas out there.
Renowned Biologist, Dr. Valerius Geist, proposed a very interesting theory about Neanderthal hunting tactics. Basing his theory on anatomical clues such as strength, body type and even Neanderthal's finger development he suggested that they used grappling as a means to bring down large game. Basically one fellow or lady would distract a large animal giving one or several more a chance to jump the animal and hold on while another killed it with a short stabbing spear. According to Dr. Geist, Neanderthal's rough knapped stone spear heads would be perfact for slipping between the ribs of a large animal when thrust on a short spear. Certainly a rough way to make a living! Dr. Geist based his research partially on injuries sustained by Rodeo Cowboys and Rodeo Clowns which compare favorably to those seen in Neanderthal fossils.
Now there is also speculation that technology may be a factor in their demise. Long range (stand off) atlatl propelled throwing spears. Bone carvings that appear to be celestial calendars used to track game movements, even better clothing have been suggested as ways H. sapiens sapiens out competed Neanderthal.
Something happend for sure as Neanderthal is to date the longest lived "Human" inhabitant of the planet at over 200,000 years. If you believe scientists our kind has only been around for about 40,000 to 60,000 or so...
What do you think Neanderthal did on its last walk in the woods? How do you think he/she went out?
Could we be creating the same circumstances for ourselves by utilizing technology in all of its abundance to further our lives?
Question by Beekeeper. Uploaded on May 13, 2009