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The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
#1

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
Now they determine that they could throw spears after all.


https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46988459

Neanderthals 'could kill at a distance'

Neanderthals may once have been considered to be our inferior, brutish cousins, but a new study is the latest to suggest they were smarter than we thought - especially when it came to hunting.
The research found that the now extinct species were creating weaponry advanced enough to kill at a distance.
Scientists believe they crafted spears that could strike from up to 20m away.


So another supposed advantage of Homo Sapiens vanishes!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#2

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
Even when I took Anth101 back in the 90s, views about Neanderthal intelligence were being revised.

We humans have an annoying habit of thinking anyone who can't speak our language is stupid. No doubt that will be further eroded. Neanders made art, tools, and had their own culture. We are not special.
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#3

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
I always thought it somewhat odd that the Schoningen Spears were dated to before 300,000 ypb and were attributed to Homo Heidelbergensis, supposedly an ancestor of Neanderthal but those spears were clearly meant to be thrown.  But the later HNS hunters were supposed to have been limited to the far more dangerous thrusting spear only and paleoanthropologists were insistent that spears (javelins) were unknown in Europe until HSS came gloriously on the scene.

That never made sense.  Why would a hunter only carry one type of weapon?  A javelin or a bow for distance, a thrusting spear for close up work and a knife or hatchet would seem to be a reasonable toolkit for any hunter.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#4

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
Homo Sap. is a treacherous beast. Just look around. It's how we got where we are in the food chain. I hold no hope for better behavior, tbh. Once we lose treachery, we fall off the top of the food chain. It's a sad commentary, methinks, but it's the animal in us.
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#5

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
How low down on the Totem Pole of human intelligence are the creatards?
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#6

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
Basically barely above garden slugs.

[Image: image_398855.jpg]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#7

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 04:11 AM)Minimalist Wrote: I always thought it somewhat odd that the Schoningen Spears were dated to before 300,000 ypb and were attributed to Homo Heidelbergensis, supposedly an ancestor of Neanderthal but those spears were clearly meant to be thrown.  But the later HNS hunters were supposed to have been limited to the far more dangerous thrusting spear only and paleoanthropologists were insistent that spears (javelins) were unknown in Europe until HSS came gloriously on the scene.

That never made sense.  Why would a hunter only carry one type of weapon?  A javelin or a bow for distance, a thrusting spear for close up work and a knife or hatchet would seem to be a reasonable toolkit for any hunter.

Without specifically disagreeing, could you give a link for H Neandertals using throwing spears?
Joe Dimaggio hit safely in 56 MLB games. I never hit one. That means we averaged 28 games.. I didn't know I was that good!
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#8

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
Theory is the HNS spears were too heavy to throw. The people I've seen trying it were not HNS. But, for fun, imagine that there was never a time when a HNS threw a spear in the desperate hope that it would score dinner.

Beware of binary history.
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#9

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 11:44 AM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: Theory is the HNS spears were too heavy to throw. The people I've seen trying it were not HNS. But, for fun, imagine that there was never a time when a HNS threw a spear in the desperate hope that it would score dinner.

Beware of binary history.

The spears I've seen thought to be HNS are to heavy to throw with enough force to kill most of their prey. You don't throw a heavy spear into a mammoth have to thrust it. But lighter spear throwers can penetrate further in and tear up the insides as the prey runs and you follow the blood trail. And you don't thrust a spear at a deer. You can't get close enough.

I'd like to see a source of this claim.
Joe Dimaggio hit safely in 56 MLB games. I never hit one. That means we averaged 28 games.. I didn't know I was that good!
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#10

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
YOU don't throw a heavy spear. YOU aren't built like a HNS.
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#11

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 12:14 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: YOU don't throw a heavy spear. YOU aren't built like a HNS.

I've seen some people who are, and they can't. There was a show on cable and the heavy spear-throwers got about a few inches into something like a mammoth. Hardly would have made it bleed. But the spearthrower types got the flint in 6-8". That would have caused the prey a real problem cutting blood vessels.
Joe Dimaggio hit safely in 56 MLB games. I never hit one. That means we averaged 28 games.. I didn't know I was that good!
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#12

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
And I've seen people who are, and they can. The problem with TV shows is they have no reason to be accurate or honest.
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#13

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 12:33 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: And I've seen people who are, and they can. The problem with TV shows is they have no reason to be accurate or honest.

But the real question is how throwable the heavy spears of the HNS were vs the lighter ones launched by HSS?  Anticipating your question, I saved a site that is interesting.  It does not decide the matter, but gives a good discussion.

From several sites, thrown spears averaged 17 meters/second.  That's about 38 miles per hour.  Spear-throwers were measured at impact to a projectile speed of over 150 km/h.  That's about 93 miles per hour.  38 vs 93...

Projectile speed has a lot to do with penetration.  And penetration is what kills.  Sharp points on the inside of a prey really rips it up.  I've followed enough bow-shot deer...
Joe Dimaggio hit safely in 56 MLB games. I never hit one. That means we averaged 28 games.. I didn't know I was that good!
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#14

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
I didn't think spear-throwers were in use/had been invented while Neaderthals were alive.
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#15

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 03:34 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I didn't think spear-throwers were in use/had been invented while Neaderthals were alive.
What we recognize as atlatls weren't, certainly. But consider that the HNS were a lot stronger than the HSS. Every "demonstration" comparing the two styles of spears necessarily involve an HSS throwing both. That's why the test I mentioned above was done.
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#16

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
Are you telling us we're related to the g.o.-rillas ?
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#17

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 03:34 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I didn't think spear-throwers were in use/had been invented while Neaderthals were alive.

That's kind of the "point" as it were. They didn't invent/use them.
Joe Dimaggio hit safely in 56 MLB games. I never hit one. That means we averaged 28 games.. I didn't know I was that good!
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#18

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 03:45 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: Are you telling us we're related to the g.o.-rillas ?

Yes. But chimps are slightly closer.
Joe Dimaggio hit safely in 56 MLB games. I never hit one. That means we averaged 28 games.. I didn't know I was that good!
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#19

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
We're having a couple of different conversations here.
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#20

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 03:49 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(01-16-2020, 03:34 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I didn't think spear-throwers were in use/had been invented while Neaderthals were alive.

That's kind of the "point" as it were.  They didn't invent/use them.

Yes, I understand. I was speaking my opinion based upon my knowledge, and inviting correction if it is needed.
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#21

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 03:38 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(01-16-2020, 03:34 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I didn't think spear-throwers were in use/had been invented while Neaderthals were alive.
What we recognize as atlatls weren't, certainly. But consider that the HNS were a lot stronger than the HSS. Every "demonstration" comparing the two styles of spears necessarily involve an HSS throwing both. That's why the test I mentioned above was done.

Several possible differences. You had to be closer to prey with a spear. You had to be stronger (the HNS wreen't THAT much stronger than HSS), you had to penetrate the prey and throw spears are not as deeply-penetrating as axalatl-thrown ones, and you had to be more accurate (which some tests suggests thrown spears are not because of higher-arcing trajectories). The Axlatl was a superior weapon, was quieter, and faster to hit prey.
Joe Dimaggio hit safely in 56 MLB games. I never hit one. That means we averaged 28 games.. I didn't know I was that good!
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#22

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
The Axlatl is a reptile. The atlatl was a tool.

The difference between HNS spears and HSS spears was in the mass. The diameter of the HNS spears was about twice that of the HSS. Humans can't test how well an HNS spear could be thrown. They can test how far one could be thrown as I mentioned above. I haven't seen anyone propose that an HNS couldn't throw a spear as far an HSS using data collected from observing a HNS throw one of their spears.
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#23

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
(01-16-2020, 08:08 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(01-16-2020, 04:11 AM)Minimalist Wrote: I always thought it somewhat odd that the Schoningen Spears were dated to before 300,000 ypb and were attributed to Homo Heidelbergensis, supposedly an ancestor of Neanderthal but those spears were clearly meant to be thrown.  But the later HNS hunters were supposed to have been limited to the far more dangerous thrusting spear only and paleoanthropologists were insistent that spears (javelins) were unknown in Europe until HSS came gloriously on the scene.

That never made sense.  Why would a hunter only carry one type of weapon?  A javelin or a bow for distance, a thrusting spear for close up work and a knife or hatchet would seem to be a reasonable toolkit for any hunter.

Without specifically disagreeing, could you give a link for H Neandertals using throwing spears?

You mean, aside from the link in the OP?
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#24

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
I just pictured an HNS stopping short and cursing. "If I had been three feet closer I could have stuck him. Damn these OSHA rules against throwing spears!"
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#25

The Rehabilitation of Neanderthal Continues Apace!
Quote:Theory is the HNS spears were too heavy to throw.

The Schoningen Spears were a unique find.  Generally organic materials like wood are not well preserved for 300,000+ years.  So what G/S is referring to are the spear points which are found at kill sites or embedded in animal bones.  From the size of the point they extrapolate the size of the shaft.  We are thus limited to what we find.  And what we find is what they no longer needed or wanted.  If you shove a thrusting spear into an animal's rib cage and the point breaks off they would still withdraw the shaft and simply fashion another point for it.  Rocks were not in short supply.  So, when a scientist finds an animal carcass with a big stone point in its ribs he makes the logical conclusion that a large spear was used to kill the animal.  But he did not necessarily consider how things got to that stage.

Ambush hunting of big animals is inherently dangerous.  Injuries would have been common among the hunters and these HNS clans were small groups which could not have sustained too many casualties without a serious impact on the group.  First of all, the hunting party would have needed to butcher the kill and carry it back to the camp.  Having an injured hunter would lessen the carrying capacity of the group.  Not only would he be out of action but if one or two people were needed to carry him back the whole point of the hunt may well have been wasted.

HNS was not stupid.  They survived for hundreds of thousands of years in an environment that would have killed most of us in a month or less.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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