|Image credit: Morguefile / richard_b|
Give some apes a package of Lincoln Logs, and watch nothing constructive happen. But if you do the same with humans, including children, things can get built. A certain Neanderthal cave in France took the expression "man cave" to a new level: they spent a great deal of time, effort, and skill developing an inner region of a cave — and use stalagmites as building supplies (maybe a forerunner of Lincoln Logs). When mankind was first created, men and women were extremely intelligent.
Discovery of man-made structures in an underground cavern has shown that Neanderthals could do a lot more than most folks have given them credit for. They appropriated a large, dark chamber, far from the French cave’s entrance, for their own use. They skillfully broke or cut available building materials to a precise size. And they executed an elaborate scheme of carefully crafted, geometric construction. Sealed since the time Middle Paleolithic Neanderthals populated Europe and Asia, Bruniquel Cave’s secrets were unveiled by spelunkers who dug through its calcite-coated, collapsed entrance in 1990, but the true nature of the calcite-covered, fire-marked semicircular walls and stalagmite stacks preserved there have only now been revealed.To read the rest, click on "Building Project in Bruniquel Cave Reveals Neanderthals’ Modern-Human Ability".
Fully Human Neanderthal Behavior
In addition to demonstrating that Neanderthal intellectual abilities were equal to complex tasks, Bruniquel’s stone circles demonstrate that the Neanderthals who built the mysterious rings and mounds must have had a social organization and culture more complex than anthropologists (at least evolutionary ones) have thought possible. Thanks to evolutionary propaganda that painted Neanderthals as less evolved than modern humans, the very word Neanderthal once conjured up images of brow-ridged, grunting brutes. Anthropologists have continued to debate whether Neanderthals had the capacity for abstract, symbolic thought, although mounting evidence has long demonstrated that the Neanderthals behaved in many ways like modern humans. They made complex tools and jewelry, drew with pigments, cooked vegetables, used bitter medicinal herbs, cared for their infirm companions, and buried their dead.
. . . This is not the first time cave discoveries have shown that Neanderthals could organize their space. (See “Neanderthals, Like Other Humans, Heated Water, and Organized Their Homes.”) But it is the first evidence demonstrating that Neanderthals could not only explore deep inside caves—336 meters (about 1,100 feet) from the current entrance, far from any natural light source—but also conquer those deep spaces by filling them with light and their own neatly planned constructions.