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The Very First War

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  • #16
    Originally posted by kato View Post
    Actually homo neanderthalensis seems to not have hunted those migratory herds (bisons and such), but instead relied on localized non-migratory, non-steppe animals such as red deer for prey. It's usually explained through technology, neanderthals hunted with handheld spears still for the most part. Most Neanderthal find sites are suspiciously located such that nearby (low to mid-size) mountain ranges would have likely placed them in or near forests as opposed to the steppe.
    I wasn't referring so much to migratory species although I have no doubt they would have hunted those as and when herds moved through their territory during migrations. Rather I was referencing the fact that Neanderthals appear to have concentrated their hunting efforts on a few species of large prey animal. Migratory or not those species would be forced out of their previous range by ice age events - and the Neanderthals would have no choice but to follow.

    Originally posted by kato View Post
    Numbers are relative. At the time we are talking small groups of 10-20 individuals, extended families, living in any one place, for both species.
    Research I've read also indicates that as time progressed humans, apart from hunting a large range of smaller animals (like rabbits) also appear to lived in larger groupings than was the case with Neanderthals. In fact I recall reading that while the overall size of human groups cohabiting with Neanderthal appears to have steadily increased as time went on while the number of individual members living in Neanderthal groups doesn't seem to have changed much at all from the beginning to the end.

    Given the paucity of evidence its hard to be certain of course but what evidence we do have seems to paint a picture species of Neanderthal as a species that was highly successful in its chosen niche but also subject to the whims of climate events and not as quite flexible and adaptable as our ancestors.
    Last edited by Monash; 25 Jan 21,, 07:34.
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Monash View Post
      Given the paucity of evidence its hard to be certain of course but what evidence we do have seems to paint a picture species of Neanderthal as a species that was highly successful in its chosen niche but also subject to the whims of climate events and not as quite flexible and adaptable as our ancestors.
      I would call them "sedentiary". In the sense of settled into their environment, well-adapted to where to get their tools and their prey, but within that niche unwilling or unable to expand.

      Originally posted by Monash View Post
      while the number of individual members living in Neanderthal groups doesn't seem to have changed much at all from the beginning to the end
      Some analysis i've seen with regard to group size based on grouped findings points towards an average spacing of three years between surviving children born for Neanderthals, in addition to a relatively even distribution between adults and minors - i.e. barely any effective population growth.

      The patrilinear lifestyle (sons staying in their father's group; women travelled to find partners) may have partially contributed to this, along the notion of "each family for itself".

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      • #18
        I just want to add some info of archaelogical evidence of Neanderthal and sapein expansion and contraction in the Middle East from 100 to 50 thousand years ago. Patterns seems to show an initial Neanderthal expansion with concurrent sapien retraction and disappearance. Later Sapeins return into the record and the neanderthals "retreat" into modern europe records only.

        This along with the rapid neanderthal extintion following sapien "invasion" into Europe does suggest a strong pattern of competitive displacement.

        Separately we know sapiens caused the extintcion of other smaller Homo species on islands off Asia.

        Edit, Perhpas its just conflationary to point out that Sapeins seems to have been the primary driver of mass extinctions in the late Plesitocene across the world. Intetestingly most arrived much later as we spread across the planet and the main euro extinctions also occured much later but there were others around the time the neanderthals went extinct.

        I always am skeptical on climate change as primary drivers. The neandethals survived multiple advances in ice during the last glaical period. I think climate is usually not a primary cause of extintion (except severe global events) but it drives population declines, migrations and evolution. Humans have also shown genetic evidence of bottleneck and near extinction so a competitive displacement in the wrong moment can then be the key blow that otherwise would have been survived.
        Last edited by tantalus; 30 Jan 21,, 22:00.

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