Related article: Preference", Economic Inquiry, 1981, vol. 19, issue 2, pages 297-332
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Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 19:58:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: [Paleopsych] Archeology: The New Neandertal
The New Neandertal
First, the summary from the "Magazine and Journal Reader" feature of the daily
bulletin from the Chronicle of Higher Education, 5.8.17
A glance at the July/August 2005 issue of Archaeology: A different
sort of caveman
New technology, combined with some very old fossils, is changing
established theories about Neanderthals, writes Jean-Jacques Hublin,
director of the department of human evolution at the Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig.
With their heavy brows and robust bones, Neanderthals were originally
viewed as "brutish cave dwellers" much different from today's human
beings, says Mr. Hublin. As more research was performed, though,
scientists began to see more similarities between the ancient species
and Homo sapiens. Through the use of "virtual fossils," a "new"
Neanderthal is emerging that is "both very similar to and very
different from us," he says.
"Virtual fossils" are digitally manipulated projections that allow
researchers to imagine missing pieces from existing fossils. For
example, if one side of a skull is damaged, its opposite Buy Evecare side can be
copied and reversed to create a complete, composite specimen. Using
similar technology to examine Neanderthal teeth, researchers have
learned that Neanderthals Buy Cheap Evecare reached adulthood approximately three years
sooner than Evecare Coupon people do today.
Neanderthals and Homo sapiens seem especially similar when researchers
consider how much the two differ from apes, says Mr. Hublin. DNA
studies of Neanderthals and modern humans, for instance, reveal a
limited genetic variation in both that contrasts strongly with the
high variability common among African apes.
A Neanderthal in a suit and tie would still stand out today, he
writes, but "as the last branching of the human evolutionary tree and
our closest relatives in the recent past, they will remain an object
of popular fascination" and "scientific interest." Perhaps, though,
"how we envision Neandertals may tell us as much about the way we see
ourselves as about them," writes Mr. Hublin.
The article, "The New Neandertal," is available online at
--Jason M. Breslow
Letter From New York: The New Neandertal Volume 58 Number 4,
by Jean-Jacques Hublin
Virtual fossils Buy Evecare Online and real molecules are changing how we view our
Next year will mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery at
Neandertal, a little valley near Duesseldorf in western Germany, of
the first recognized fossil humans. The occasion will be commemorated
with conferences and exhibitions at major German museums. As a warm-up
for this "Neandertal Year," two dozen scholars gathered at New York
University this past January, in a Manhattan suffering near-glacial
conditions, to exchange views on the latest advances in the field.
Our fascination with Neandertals is well founded. They were the first