Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tools Test Debunks 'Dumb Neanderthals' Theory

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) --Homo sapiens'long-extinct cousins, the Neanderthals, weren't the slow-witted losers in the evolutionary race they've been made out to be, new research suggests.

The finding comes after scientists used Stone Age methods to recreate and use the respective flint tools favored by each species.

"In contradiction to a 60-year assumption in archaeology, we've managed to show that Neanderthal stone tool technologies are no less efficient [in a number of respects] thanHomo sapiens'stone tool technologies. This suggests that Neanderthals did not go extinct because of inferior intellect or technology," said study author Metin I. Eren, a graduate student in archaeology at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and in anthropology at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas.

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