Why Can't Cavemen Just Get Along?

Paleontologists have known for a while now that anatomically modern humans and our more attractive cousins, the Neanderthals, lived side by side for 100,000 years. Then between 45,000 and 30,000 years ago the Neanderthal population began to diminish and finally disappeared altogether. Our Modern human ancestors drove them to extinction according to one of the more popular theories addressing this. Was this due to indirect competition or outright warfare?

New evidence adds weight to the genocide explanation. Fossils of anatomically modern humans have been found with necklaces of Neanderthal teeth and a carefully carved Neanderthal jaw bone. Was this collecting scalps or, even more eerily, an early Jeffry Dahmer's body part collection? Whatever the details, it is significant as the first direct evidence of contact between the two species.

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Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on May 22, 2009 at 10:06am
It's probably all the above. With that kind of time frame, I think we both got along & had our difference. Extinction due to genocide, I don't know but I can't put it pass our specie to do somethin' like that.
Comment by CJoe on May 22, 2009 at 12:39pm
If you ever watch the movie, Rabbit Proof Fence, you'll see what the English did to the Aborigines in Australia. I would say they're a more Neanderthal-type people. The English were trying to breed them out because they either wanted to civilize them or get them "up with the times", if you will.

I dunno about the groups you're talking about, but it really just seems like our modern humans are threatened by anything that suggests they have animal roots. I think the Aborigines got a lot of attention after Darwin started talking about Evolution and they couldn't deal with the reality that they may have come from a primate.

I don't get what's so offensive about the idea we "came from monkeys", but... whatev'.


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