June 14th, 2012
05:07 PM ET

Neanderthals could have been Europe's first cave artists

The first modern humans in Europe perhaps did more than hunt and gather.  They may have been artistically inclined, according to a new study.

Scientists involved in the research, to be released Friday in the journal Science, found cave art that dates back thousands of years earlier than previously thought.  The team of researchers said the findings imply the paintings were created either by the first anatomically modern humans in Europe or, perhaps, by Neanderthals.

"This currently is Europe's oldest dated art by at least 4,000 years," said archaeologist and lead author of the study Alistair Pike in a press conference to reporters.

The creation of art by humans is considered an important marker for the evolution of modern cognition and symbolic behavior, and may be associated with the development of language, scientists say.

"Modern humans and Neanderthals are defined on the basis of the morphology of the skeleton and on the basis of genes. There is nothing in the genes or in the morphology of the skeleton to say whether a Neanderthal skeleton implies an advanced cognition or not," said Joao Zilhao, co-author on the study.

Initially, the team of archaeologists set out to improve the chronology of rock art when they stumbled upon this new finding.

While surveying 50 cave paintings across 11 caves in northwestern Spain, archaeologists sampled thin crusts of mineral deposits of calcium carbonate (roughly the size of a grain of rice) that had grown over the ancient paintings in these limestone caves.

Then, using a technique called uranium-thorium dating, which is less destructive than the more popular radiocarbon dating, the team was able to obtain the minimum age of the cave paintings.

"The calcium carbonate incorporates tiny amounts of radioactive uranium, which decays to (thorium) and it's the measurement of this buildup of thorium that can tell us how long since those crusts formed," said Pike.

According to the researchers, one particular cave painting of a red disk is at least 40,800 years old, whereas an ancient hand stencil is at least 37,300 years old and a club-shaped symbol appears to be more than 35,600 years old.

"We know that modern humans arrived in Europe between 42,000 and 41,000 years ago.  We know then that the calcite crust formed on top of an existing red disc symbol at 40,800," said Pike.

Pike and his colleagues claim their findings are the only ones that predate modern humans in Europe.   The data detailing the antiquity of the cave artwork provides supporting evidence to support their claim, that Neanderthals could have possessed a higher order artistic trait but more sampling and research is needed before they can make a definitive conclusion.

Related: Rover bound for intriguing crater on Mars

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soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. deano

    Did they find a wooden bong,too? You know how those creative types are.......

    June 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  2. Mohit

    I don't know about cave artists, but "Neanderthal cave paintings were the 'Gossip Girl' of the age". http://insightplusideas.blogspot.com/2012/04/consumer-behavior-changes-due-to.html

    June 16, 2012 at 4:38 am |
  3. John P. Tarver

    Species occur rapidly following a mass extinction, the opposite of Evolution.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  4. John P. Tarver

    Neanderthal is DNA removed as an ancestor of man, or a possable breeding partner. No wonder USA K-12 education is 78th in the Industrialized World. The mythology that passes for science these days is the same old racist populism, but now we know it is not true.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  5. M Houston

    29K-40+K years. That's the total time frame referenced in this piece.
    It's amazing to me that "people" (of whatever brand) have been going
    in and out of those caves over such a long span. Seems to me some
    geological "interruptions" to the ground should have occurred over
    that span of time. Are there any studies that show anything about that?

    June 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  6. engineer long time

    They're just ICONS for prehistoric APPs...........

    June 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  7. Alex

    Horse drawing look better than many found in Medieval art.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Alex

      Where is the edit button? (looks)

      June 15, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  8. Rick

    think its kinda cool that in the last pic there is a pic of a zebra...when was last know recording of zebras in europe?

    June 15, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  9. John Smith

    Thank God we FINALLY solved this mystery! Now, can we please get on with curing Cancer, AIDS, and the economic world problems of the day! Thank You..

    June 15, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • engineer long time

      John...They thought you were working on those issues.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  10. APO_AE_09173

    I am always saddened by the scientific community's lack of respect for the intellectual capacity of ancient peoples. We do not have the corner of intelligence or innovation. I am a huge fan of archaeology–just not the interpretation of the sites.

    The wall "art" was probably created out of boredom during a long winter or a bad storm,

    June 15, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  11. Dark Creature

    I was there,those were my hand prints,I created them in 1909

    June 15, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  12. mary

    The real problem that I see is science is finding out the design, the make up of many things, BUT science has not proven there was no intelligence behind the design..
    In fact the absurdity of science is that they can look at something complex and say it "just happened"..
    Except scientists are supposed to be the "smart" ones.. So many people accept their theories.. Even though, they are wrong and have to revise findings constantly..
    Now it seems many of the prehistoric animals they named, but be altered.. Since many were the same animal, at different stages in their lives..
    Science is great..It keeps discovering what already exists..
    But that doesn't disprove the existence of God.. The problem with God is science hasn't proven HIM yet.. So until they do, for them the jury is still out..

    June 15, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • New Gawker

      Intelligent design? Where do you start to "prove" some all powerful being designed the universe? Stop trying to push God in the world of science. Keep it to yourself and your kids.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:06 am |
      • fimeilleur

        I disaggree with your last sentence... save the children from this supersticious nonsense.

        June 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • atroy

      Thanks for your brilliant insight.....LOL.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • CNNuthin

      @Mary, why are you waiting for science to disprove God? Shouldn't you be trying to prove that he exists?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Gom Jabbar

      LOL – why is it that every time a new discovery or find is announced in relation to early humans and evolutionary science, folks like this pop up like mushrooms to jabber about God (or at least their mythological version thereof)? How is your diatribe even relevant to this story?

      What is very interesting about this information is that PERHAPS it might, in time, help shed more light on the capabilities of Neandertals vis-a-vis their Anatomically Modern Human relatives. Pretty cool stuff there, if these dates hold up. . .

      June 15, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • plsShutUp

      You can't prove a negative. We can't prove a god doesn't exist so it's up to you to prove it does. But I wouldn't expect a proponent of "intelligent" (LOL) design to understand scientific theory and proof.

      June 17, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  13. pat

    If you want to see origins of Human kind, go to Asia.
    See the youtube site http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQZFS9Hij0M

    Archaeologist are looking at wrong places to find human origins.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  14. Jack

    They have a witness that was alive at the time of painting to verify this. Joan Rivers

    June 15, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Leprakawn

      Jack, did you forget about George Burns?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  15. Paramad

    The idea if the origin of god was one of the hotly debated topics of the council of Nicaea when all the different "christian " groups were brought together to decide on what to believe. Some thought god always was, some thought he came into being some believed there were two gods one bad one good (Cathars).
    So when the origin of woman and man is debated god's creation of the universe etc. is allegorical but but when it comes to other inconsistancies we are held to a strict interpretation.
    What is great about this article is the possibility that we are looking at examples of the awakening of woman and man's spark of creativity forty thousand years ago our appreciation of life and nature not just brutish existence. It shows we still have potential to do beautiful things but will we ?

    June 15, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  16. LouAZ

    “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it the appearance of being right.” ~Thomas Paine

    June 15, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  17. Sam

    Prometheus!!!

    June 15, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Sn0wB0arder

      i might go see that at the imax 3d matinee today.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  18. Common Sense

    Neanderthal evolved into the first modern humans not africans

    June 15, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • John

      That's not correct.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • CS

      Wrong.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Neanderthals were hardly neanderthals by 40,000 years ago. They'd have bred with Sapiens for a few ten thousand years and lost most of their uniqueness. 80K yr-old Neanderthal had over 70 genetic differences from us. 40k yr old Spanish Neanderthal would have had but a few of these traits. It's definitely human art, thought to be enabled by the genetic increase in cranial space and the protein production that led to more tactile skin, gifts from their Sapien lovers who were navigating arond the Sahara into Southern Europe.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Noocrat

      Neanderthals were our cousins, not our ancestors. Any neanderthal genes we might have comes from interbreeding. Much like a red wolf stemming from a grey wolf and a coyote.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • plsShutUp

      FAIL. We are genetically disimilar. The line is Cro Magnon. Ancient man moved from Africa to Europe and developed into Neanderthals then a second wave moved north as well (Cro Magnon), competing for resources. They were not better hunters per se, but faster, smarter and better adapted to the warming climate. Read a book or whatever.

      June 17, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  19. Cmorcat

    So now we know the date of the begeinning of the eveolution of the "Starving Artists". Their style hasn't changed much since.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • tribecagal

      Good one LOL

      June 15, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  20. JCB

    These Neanderthals were painting hand imprints on cave walls 35 or 40,000 years ago. More modern man was putting George Bush's head on a spike at Kings Landing 900 or 1000 years ago. John McCain put Sarah Palin on his ticket for vice-president in 8 or 9 years ago. Is this evolution?

    June 15, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • nFiniti

      Yeah, but to say Kings landing 1000 years ago and comparing it, a fictional place, to real archeological history of Earth is silly to say the least...

      June 15, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • JCB

      By the way, did anyone notice that (in the accompanying picture at the beginning of the article) the hand on the left appears to be covering up a buffalo's genitals. Could this be an early example of censorship.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  21. John

    "You see, when God created the sun and the moon, whenever that was, that is when the universe, as we know it, began."

    Except the sun and earth were created 10 BILLION years after the universe. In fact, the sun wasn't even in the first batch of stars. And the moon was created a long time after the earth, possibly from the earth itself. Even if God has no "time," why wouldn't he at least get the order right? And why would he mention the sun and moon but not the most important creation of all - the universe itself - with which came space and time?

    June 15, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  22. tacc2

    I wonder if it would be possible to tell if those hand prints were made by modern humans or neanderthals based on the hand structure.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • bugg

      Oh my....can it be??? An intelligent comment??? :)

      June 15, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  23. Ron

    If the paintings are 40,800 years old, and modern human were here 42,000 years ago, how do these paintings predate their arrival? After all, humans can easily migrate several thousand miles in a single year.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • John

      I'm not sure the reasoning of these particular scholars, but the article notes that humans arrived in EUROPE around 42,000-41,000 years ago, not these caves. And humans arrived in Europe from Africa by way of the Middle East, not over the Mediterranean, so it's unlikely that they would have made it to Spain that quickly. True that humans can migrate several thousand miles in a year in modern times, but our earliest human ancestors didn't migrate that way. They lived in small bands of hunter-gatherers - as food/environmental sources were depleted or pressured, a small group would moved a short distance away (a couple of miles usually) from their hunting and gathering grounds. Think about it ... in a world where your survival depends on knowing every plant, every kind of game, where the good water and shelter sources were, moving several thousands of miles away to a new environment and climate would be a death sentence. That's why people kept coming back to these same caves for thousands of years.

      Also, these caves have been being studied for quite some time, so maybe the scholars have other fossil or archeological evidence that is obviously from modern humans that only begins later. However, we already knew that modern humans came into contact with neanderthals who were already present in that part of the world.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:04 am |
      • Sn0wB0arder

        that seems to be a well reasoned response.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Hmph

      How can this be? The Earth is only 6,000 years old? Bwahahahahha.....ha....ha......yeah.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • atroy

      I think the concept of time alludes you. If humans arrived 42,000 years ago and they or the neanderthals created the painting 40,800 years ago, then the arrival of the humans "predates" the creation of the painting by 1200 years.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  24. Fofa

    No! No! No! I want to believe in Adam and Eve! LoL!

    June 15, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • JustSaying

      Surely God created the universe including the collective history and consciousness of a billion people on November 24, 1859 (the publication date of the Origin of Species). Peoples tribulation reconciling any apparent conflicts between that book and the Bible were his little joke – like putting peanut butter on a dog's nose.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • thermal rider

        No, the entire universe, including human memories of the non-existent previous history was created 8 seconds ago. Uh. 10. 12. 14......

        This fits all facts, including any you might come up with in the meantime. It is, however, unprovable. Luckily it is also un-disprovable. Thus it is a better hypothesis than the one in the Bible, which contradicts huge numbers of known facts, and is likewise unprovable, but clearly disprovable (and disproven.)

        June 15, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • CNNuthin

      Who says those aren't Adam and Eve's hand prints? And those red dots are actually apples....errr Fruits of Knowledge.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  25. Before Time

    Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle...

    June 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • inewt

      nephew

      June 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
      • plsShutUp

        LOL!

        June 17, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  26. Dr. Shaw

    These cave drawings point the way to the home world of our giant, pale white, well-built, humanoid alien creators. We should go there.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • cira22

      Just a suggestion Dr shaw, If we do decide to go there...and lets say some large corporation decides to fund the trip, bring a large number of mercs or military personnel. Just saying. You never know......

      June 15, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  27. Kona

    Clearly, some of us haven't evolved. :(

    June 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  28. MrSmeeDFN

    Looks like someone just spray painted over their hands on a wall...a bunch of party goers now turned Neanderthal....now that's science!

    June 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • tacc2

      Actually, you're not too far off. The ancient artists would hold their hands to the cave wall and then blow paint over it. Sort of like spray paint.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:47 am |
      • Hmph

        Blow paint? They didn't have paint. And if they had paint I doubt they were blowing it. Huffing it maybe.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • Scottyholden

        Correct tacc2. Now that's actually science!

        Mr. Smee, thanks for comin out bud.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  29. ricardo1968

    I find it strange that dates of similar paintings in the same cave span 5000 years. That's an awfully long time to hold onto a ritual. I think it's more plausible that the dating methods aren't great.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • mike

      Actually they tended to stay in the same areas and use the same locations over and over. This 5000 year gap would easily be within reach for the amount of time they were around.

      June 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • LuisWu

      Probably a really nice cave, used by several generations and/or subsequent cultures. It was probably still in use only a few thousand years ago. Perfect living space for primitive people.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      you never painted around your hand as a kid?

      June 15, 2012 at 10:13 am |
      • Oko

        Fun with Neanderthals:TOP TEN Reasons for the disappearance of Neanderthals:10. Moved to anhetor planet when modern humans began hogging the woolly mammoths 9. Started wearing black and became nocturnal 8. Locked themselves in the bathroom after people made fun of their barrel chest and short legs 7. Got lost trying to find their car at the mall parking lot 6. Built condos inside glaciers (it's cramped but they save a bundle on A/C and landscaping) 5. Moved to an undersea city in the Bermuda Triangle (occasionnally they send out for pizza but no one can find the address) 4. Modern humans ate them 3. They evolved into birds (the fossil record is spotty at best) 2. Interbred with humans and became Generation X 1. Been in hiding since that Ice Age Ponzi Scheme

        September 10, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • ricardo1968

      I still think that the paintings would be very different somehow across a 5000 year gap. I'm sure things changed more slowly back then, but think of all the cultures that came and went in the last 5000 years and how completely different they are from one another. Modern Italy is nothing like ancient Rome, and that's only 2000 years difference.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:42 am |
      • plsShutUp

        you'd be surprised

        June 17, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  30. Ray

    Amazing. It's a sad commentary that this art is far better than what is passed off as 'art' these days.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Newton's butler.

      Agreed. Real Art is when you effectively illustrate an idea in its best possible way, with the tools you have at the time. In this case the idea was the hunt.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Xtian

      Just wanted to let you guys know that it is deetniifly NOT water. If you look at the label it says Anhydrous meaning void of water. Although I think it a good idea to dilute it with a bit of distilled water for viscosity, the other .5% remains a mystery.

      September 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Ali

      please note, my dob did not enter correctly its 12-10-1975 my bad!! I'm deepsrate for these . these would be the perfect sisters and brothers bonding event!!!!thanx again!!

      September 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  31. SPW

    Well there isn't a whole lot they could think of doing back then, I'd probably waste my time drawing as well.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  32. Zippo

    I am a descendant from Neanderthals. Do you Cro Magnons have any questions?

    June 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Newton's butler.

      Yes I do. It is true that we hunted your ancestors was considered a fun sport at the time, and have we evolved since then?

      June 15, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • Australopithecus

        Yes, yes that is true. I would use the term evolving loosely however.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • plsShutUp

      Can you smell the ignorance in this thread with that giant nose? How do you sprint with those stumpy legs? Are you jealous of my frontal cortex?

      June 17, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  33. Roger

    In reply to Sharky: No politics, but religion is fine. Talk about "enlightened".

    June 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Les

      Definition of ENLIGHTENED
      1: freed from ignorance and misinformation
      2: based on full comprehension of the problems involved

      Nothing to do with religion. Everything to do about ignorance. A quality that seems to be abundant on these forums.

      June 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  34. Necrofun

    All that remains of the first neanderthal palm-reading cave.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  35. cuk

    steven mithan speculates that neaderthals may have had musical language. life for neaderthals may have been a brutal, paleolithic musical.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Zippo

      Cro magnon bigot

      June 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
      • plsShutUp

        wicked burn!

        June 17, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Australopithecus

      How the neanderthals died out:
      "Hello! My name is Lucy Price, and I would like to share with you, the most amazing cave art...."

      June 15, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  36. Necrofun

    If only the artist had signed and dated the damn thing...

    June 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  37. Zippo

    THE NEANDERTHALS ARE STILL WITH US.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  38. paul

    the universe ia approximately 13.8 billion years old, atheists and religion i think can accept that issue, the bible tells how man arrived on the earth, but it ndoes not a give a year or time as we know it, people tend to confuse length man has been on the earth with what king david said compareing mans time with gods time , "ten thousand years is but a day in thy sight" scientists believe that they can explain how the genes or molecules that form DNA arrived upon the earth, but they can not explain who ,what or how all these organisms or particles assembled them selves in to so many different species, a good line of B.S. keeps the pay checks comeing in. all that theory and space stuff is intrigeing and interesting, but what real value has it created that we can use, other than jobs , which is important,

    June 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • JohnC

      " all that theory and space stuff is intrigeing and interesting, but what real value has it created that we can use, other than jobs , which is important" Wow! Let's see. we know Kepler's law so we can launch satellites and know where they will go so we can have weather and communication. We study the sun and can predict pretty accurately solar flairs so we can protect the power grid and prepare for satellite interruptions. We can study asteroids to prepare for what to do if one heads for earth (hopefully). Then of course there is plain old human curiosity which gives happiness to many when the learn more. I'm sure others can add countless other benefits.

      June 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • cuk

      scientists are held to the yoke of empiricism and objectivity. it is not the job of the scientist to reference unsubstantiated iron age origin myths.

      June 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        bronze aged...

        June 18, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • thade76

      . "all that theory and space stuff is intrigeing and interesting, but what real value has it created that we can use, other than jobs , which is important" Absolutely the most ignorant and worst statement I have ever read on a forum.
      You my friend should go back to your bronze age cave from wenst you came.

      June 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • grist

      Well, how about antibiotics? That has helped us.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • JM

      Earth's going to be eaten by the sun in a few billion years, son. And be rendered inhospitable for life a _lot_ sooner. We need to learn how to escape this dying planet, or we die with it. You can't procrastinate a task like this. Just because it's not going to happen in your lifetime doesn't mean it's not your problem. Now....go back to cussing out liberals for driving up the deficit because they think "it's not their problem to pay it back" like I'm sure you normally do.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      i am amazed at how often fools want to claim the scientists dont actually know anything and are apparently just liars trying to scam money.
      if it wasnt for scientists son you wouldnt be posting on this forum.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • johnqpublic

      once you fool the populace into believing it is all about the money, you can convince them to condemn nearly anything.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Australopithecus

      Well that was a minute thirty seconds of my life I'll never get back. Nice try though. I was going to say something mean, but it's Friday and I'm in a good mood. Cheers!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  39. cpc65

    Pic 1: That was their first album cover.

    June 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Australopithecus

      Truly, where the saying "Pics or it didn't happen" came from.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  40. Necrofun

    As punishment for marking up the walls, the neanderthal children weren't allowed to throw rocks at the sabre-toothed cats for 5 days.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Akshay

      amor November 7, 2009 hi there! ganda ng blog mo simple pero super sweet! i guess konti lang yung tao na marnoung talaga magmahal. na after mawala yung love nag end na dun. good for you di ka ganun. ayun.. share ko ito sa facebook ha? para may iba pa makabasa at mainspire. thank you so much.. God bless you!

      September 13, 2012 at 1:15 am |
  41. truefactsonlyrhetoricallyspeacking!

    It took them only 5000 years to make move on to the second imprint. True artistic genius involved here, folks!

    June 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  42. louis

    How do they know that neanderthals did this? maybe modern humans arrived earlier than previously thought.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • choo

      They were just introducing the hypothesis. "Modern Humans", however, have 3-5% neanderthal DNA (except those who never left Africa.)

      June 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • mike

      I would assume by carbon dating (37000 years old for the one image) they know man as we know him wasn't here then or no evidence of him has been found

      June 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  43. Necrofun

    This particular "cave art" was created by splashing dinosaur blood at the cave man's hand as he leaned against the cave wall, waiting for the invention of either fire or the wheel.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  44. MrHanson

    Sigh. Old evolutionary icons never die.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Evolution as a means to species has been nonsense as science for 40 years.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Ernie

      Tiffany Sheafer Posted on Wow. Very very cool. Jesus is so amazing and you guys are so cool for liinsnetg and taking the time to be in touch. Peace and grace and lots of fun to you..!

      September 13, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  45. Necrofun

    Looks like a long time ago people used to have 3 hands.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • ManCaveExpert

      I'll bet when this little dude's dad got home, after 3 days of hunting & gathering, he got his ass beat for writing on the walls! ;-)

      June 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
      • Necrofun

        His mom was pretty cool about it, until she came across the hand with the obscene gesture.

        June 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      And all three were apparently left hands. Wow, all cave people were left handed.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Australopithecus

      This all made me laugh! Thanks!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  46. Necrofun

    Check out the weird one with six fingers.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  47. Johnny America

    More proof that Europeans are naturally more advanced.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Fofa

      Yeah because they can draw inside caves just like any other creature found before them!

      June 15, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Newton's butler.

      More proof that the original Europeans were eliminated by Africans who got lighter skin over time.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  48. Paul

    "There is nothing in the genes or in the morphology of the skeleton to say whether a Neanderthal skeleton implies an advanved cognition or not" said Joao Zihao. I thought the shape of the skulls implied larger prefrontal lobes in modern humans. Something that would imply advanced cognition. Can anyone shed light on this, please? Just wanting to know.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • choo

      Actually the frontal lobes were the same if not larger than ours.. Their parietal lobes were smaller. Their brains were, overall, larger. The smaller parietal lobes could indicate they were worse than humans at sensory processing. Frontal lobes don't confer intelligence per se. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex deals with planning and emotional regulation. The dorsolateral has a little to do with intelligence, and the dorsomedial is more about will, self and motivation. IQ would be more associated with temporal and parietal lobes – Einstein's brain was exceptional in the parietal lobe.

      June 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
      • LouAZ

        I had a Ventromedial once, but the transmission started acting funny so I sold it.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:35 am |
      • Australopithecus

        I have big lobes, I knew I was exceptional!

        June 15, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  49. mike

    lol good one

    June 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  50. September

    Some people don't even believe they themselves exist and have no appreciation for anything at all.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Australopithecus

      Yeah, I opened that box, the cat is indeed alive because I said it was....

      June 15, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  51. Rhonda

    Were Neanderthals white with blonde hair and blue/green eyes?

    June 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Dave

      Probably not. True blonde hair is actually really rare. More than likely they had brown, black, and possibly red hair.

      June 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Corey

      Fresh.
      They were hairy – that is for sure.
      YOu have to appreciate their ability to improve their surroundings and record their histories.
      Guess we are all the same in some ways.

      June 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm |

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