Does evidence from Krapina, Croatia refutes ‘bow wave’ theory?
The popular view of the Neanderthals as dimwits has been in trouble for years, as evidence for Neanderthal symbolic behaviour has continued to accumulate. Up until now, however, it is not been possible to unequivocally rule out the influence of modern humans, who reached Europe around 46,000 years ago. The Châtelperronian culture for example, long put forward as evidence of Neanderthal behavioural modernity, has now been shown not to have begun until after the arrival of modern humans. It is assumed that the Neanderthals simply borrowed the trappings of modernity from their new neighbours.
Implications of LD 50-1 jawbone and Spoor H. habilis study for ‘variable single species’ theory
In October 2013, Lordkipanidze and his colleagues reported the discovery of an adult skull from Dmanisi, Georgia. The fifth skull to be discovered at the site, it was complete and undeformed; it is the only known fully-preserved adult hominin skull from the early Pleistocene. They also put forward the radical suggestion that the various species often proposed for early African Homo (Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster and Homo erectus) were all actually variants of the same species, and that early Homo was a single lineage which evolved over time without differentiating into multiple species. This conclusion is based on a claim that shape variation between the five Dmanisi skulls is roughly the same as that seen among the various early Homo skulls from East Africa, even though the former represents a single species and the latter are generally thought to represent several (Lordkipanidze, et al., 2013).
A partial lower jawbone and a number of teeth have been recovered from a surface outcrop of fossil-bearing sedimentary rock in the Ledi-Geraru research area, in the Afar region of Ethiopia. This region has long been associated with the fossils of early hominins. The jawbone has been assigned to Homo (species indeterminate) (Villmoare, et al., 2015). The age of the jawbone is constrained by stratigraphic and palaeomagnetic considerations to between 2.80 and 2.75 million years old (DiMaggio, et al., 2015). This means that LD 350-1 is at least 400,000 years older than the earliest previously-known fossil assigned to Homo. The findings are published as two articles in the journal Science.