You guys, I don’t know where to start. I love everything about this article. I love seafood. And you already know my feelings on Neanderthals.
Neanderthal. Sea. Food.
For starters, the researcher’s name is Prof. João Zilhão. How great is that?
That’s because these huge deposits of Neanderthal-collected seashells were found in Portugal:
The team say the dearth of other huge shell deposits in Europe could be down to a lack of preservation: shellfish could not be transported far from the coast, and hence many such deposits in northern Europe would have been destroyed as polar ice caps advanced, while elsewhere they may have been submerged as the sea rose to today’s levels.
The stretch of Portuguese coast where the new find was made is perhaps the only location locally where such deposits could have been preserved, they say. South Africa, by contrast, experienced an uplift of the land, meaning many such deposits have been preserved.Ibid
Yet another example of how much we don’t know because the vicissitudes of time did not see fit to preserve it.
According to a Neanderthal researcher who was not involved in the study,
“We have increasingly recognised the sophistication of Neanderthal behaviour, but one thing that continued to mark out the behavioural evolution of modern humans in Africa was the appearance of systematic collection of marine resources, and this marked a difference between the two populations.”Dr. Matthew Pope
But not any more. And, best of all, this quote:
“I feel myself uncomfortable with the comparison between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, because the bottom line is Neanderthals were Homo sapiens too. Not only was there extensive interbreeding, and such interbreeding was the norm and not the exception, but also in every single aspect of cognition and behaviour for which we have archaeological evidence, Neanderthals pass the sapiens test with outstanding marks.”Prof. João Zilhão