Homo Neanderthalensis

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Homo Neanderthalensis:
Understanding Its Species and Importance in Human Evolution Homo neanderthalensis, more commonly known as Neandertals, are the closest extinct relative of the genus species Homo sapiens. Homo neanderthalensis lived approximately 30,000 to 125,000 years ago, populating regions of Europe and southwestern Asia. In 1856, near Dusseldorf, Germany, the very first Homo neanderthalensis remains were found in a cave in the Neander Valley, pronounced Neander Tal in old German), thus resulting in the name Neandertal. The genus Homo neanderthalensis quickly became extinct subsequent to the rise of Homo sapiens, leading to the unceasing argument that Neandertals were in fact an inferior species in the human evolution timeline (Haviland,
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In Havilland, Walrath, Prins, & McBride (2013), they discuss the concept of deliberate burial of the deceased amongst the Neandertals. In the Kebara Cave in Israel, 60,000 year old remains of a Neandertal male were found deliberately buried in a pit at the back of the cave. The body was placed in the pit on his back with his arms folded over his chest and his skull removed, with the jaw left in its place. The intentional position of the body and the removal of the skull suggests that there was some type of symbolic elements involved with the burial practice. Additionally, archaeological research has found evidence of funeral ceremonies held for the burial of a Neandertal individual (Haviland et al., 2013). Soil samples of the area around the body shows evidence that the individual had been buried with flowers placed below the body & in a wreath near the head. Furthermore, the flowers placed with the individual were those that were used for their medicinal properties at the time. Much like the funeral ceremonies conducted by modern humans, the practice of placing flowers with the deceased was an important part of Neandertal culture. In addition, a study conducted by Zilhao et al. (2010) found that marine shells held a symbolic use by Neandertals. Sites in Ilberia show evidence that European Neandertals would pierce holes into the marine shells and would then string rope through them. Coloured beads would then be threaded onto the string, and the marine shells would be worn ornamentally, much like a necklace, suggesting that the tradition of wearing jewelry as a body decoration was quite important amongst the Neandertal culture (Zilhao et al. 2010). Furthermore, rock art, also known as cave art, was first created by the Neandertals. The earliest evidence of rock art was found in a cave in Australia, dating back to approximately 45,000 years ago (Haviland et

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