lunes, 4 de noviembre de 2013

Resourceful Neanderthals in France

Discoveries at a site in the Middle Rhône Valley reveal behaviorally flexible Neanderthals.

How "smart" were the Neanderthals, really? The question has been at the center of scholarly debate for decades. But the findings of recent research, including archaeological investigations at a site known as Abri du Maras, near Ardèche, southeastern France, have yielded clues that may expand the known repertoir of tools and behaviors that Neanderthals used to survive in the world that existed about 74,000 years ago.  

An international team of scientists from France, the U.S. and Spain recently conducted residue analysis and zooarchaeological analysis on stone tools and other materials, including otherwise perishable materials such as wood fragments, recovered from excavations at the archaeological site of Abri du Maras in France's Middle Rhône Valley. 

What they found was enlightening. 

"Neanderthal behavior is often described in one of two contradictory ways: 1) Neanderthals were behaviorally inflexible and specialized in large game hunting or 2) Neanderthals exhibited a wide range of behaviors and exploited a wide range of resources including plants and small, fast game," state the authors in a publicly available abstract of a study soon to be published in Quaternary Science Reviews. But [...]

Actualización 05-11-13. Los Neandertales del "Abri du Maras" (B&W1)
Los Neandertales del "Abri du Maras": más evidencias de armas de proyectil y variedad de recursos explotados....

Actualización 27-11-13. Indicios y evidencias de complejidad neandertal en Abri du Maras (OIS 4)  (B&W1)

Burning rock: Fire setting at the Stone Age Melsvik chert quarries

Vídeo YouTube por Per Storemyr Archaeology & Conservation el 27/08/2013 añadido a Paleo Vídeos > Prehistoria Universal > L.R.2.5 nº 10.

In the Melsvik Stone Age chert quarries near Alta in Northern Norway there are dozens of extraction marks that are difficult to explain by other ancient techniques than fire setting. Hence within the Melsvik archaeological project, run by the University Museum of Tromsø, experimentation was carried out with fire in order to substantiate that it actually formed an important method of breaking loose small and big pieces of stone. [...] (B&W3)