viernes, marzo 31, 2006

Capacidad mental del Neandertal

Relacionado con la noticia reseñada en la entrada anterior se puede leer un abtract (citado al final de esta entrada) de la PaleoAnthropology Society en el que Petr Neruda, del Atropos Institute, Moravian Museum, habla sobre la capacidad mental del neandertal, contradiciendo a las suposiciones de Manuel Martín-Loeches con pruebas arqueológicas.

En él se dice que en la cueva Kulna, en la República Checa, se encuentran evidencias de un comportamiento creativo de parte de los neandertales.

La variedad de los materiales de caza allí encontrados indican que los neandertales se valían de un modelo oportunista de caza y de fabricación en piedra. Aprovechaban todos los ambientes ecológicos que podían, tanto de las colinas circundantes como las áreas boscosas.

Se infiere también que eran más sedentarios. Tenían una gran diversidad de herramientas, y la producción se había vuelto más estandarizada en los niveles más altos de ocupación.

En base al análisis del material descubierto allí el autor dice que se puede decir que la capacidad mental de los neandertales le permitió aplicar diferentes estrategias de comportamiento comparables a los Homo sapiens.


PaleoAnthropology Society Meetings 2006
25 April 2006

Economic Behavior and Mental Capacity of Neanderthals
Petr Neruda, Anthropos Institute,
Moravian Museum

This study presents archaeological evidence from the Middle Paleolithic stratigraphic sequence in Kůlna Cave (Czech Republic) to argue for the creative behavior of Neanderthals. The basis of this argument lies in the analysis of the operational sequence and raw material procurement.

The Middle Paleolithic stratigraphic sequence in Kůlna Cave includes both Taubachian and Micoquian traditions. Taubachian layer 11 is characterized by diverse non-Levallois discoid methods of blank production without clear preference to a particular kind of support. Single side scrapers, notches, denticulates, and archaic points dominate the assemblage and bifacial tools are rare. Raw material variability indicates a rather opportunistic model of stone procurement and animal hunting. Users of these tools took advantage of both the open hilly ecosystem of the “Drahany Plateau” and the forested areas.
Micoquian layers 7c, 7a, and 6a contrast to Taubachian layers. The Neanderthal way of life was more sedentary and there is also evidence of a logistical model of collecting strategy. There was a diversification of tool types. However, the technology of their production became more standardized; the discoid method shows fewer variants and the blade method of core reduction is comparable to the Upper Paleolithic method. The variability of raw material exhibits a similar “specialization” in specific types of stone. Unfortunately, we do not have the direct dates for the youngest layer, 6a, to assign it to the Early Upper Paleolithic occupation. From the typological and technological point of view, we assume that there was a direct development of the Szeletian from the Micoquian. Currently, we do not have enough evidence to argue that this transition is associated with the Aurignacian materials produced by modern humans.

The results indicate that mental capacity of Neanderthals allowed them to apply different behavioral strategies. Information about the operational sequence and the logistics of raw material procurement suggests that Neanderthal behavior was comparable to the behavior of anatomically modern humans.

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