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Neanderthal's Bedroom discovered in Spain

Anthropologists have unearthed the remains of an apparent Neanderthal cave sleeping chamber, complete with a hearth and nearby grass beds that might have once been covered with animal fur. Neanderthals inhabited the cozy Late Pleistocene room, located within Esquilleu Cave in Cantabria (Spain), anywhere between 53,000 to 39,000 years ago.
The Neanderthals appear to have constructed new beds out of grass every so often, using the old bedding material to help fuel the hearth.

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For the past two decades archaeologist João Zilhão of the University of Bristol in England has been studying our closest cousins, the Neanderthals, who occupied Eurasia for more than 200,000 years before mysteriously disappearing some 28,000 years ago. Experts in this field have long debated just how similar Neanderthal cognition was to our own. Occupying centre stage in this controversy are a handful of Neanderthal sites that contain cultural remains indicative of symbol use - including jewellery - a defining element of modern human behaviour. Zilhão and others argue that Neanderthals invented these symbolic traditions on their own, before anatomically modern humans arrived in Europe around 40,000 years ago. Critics, however, believe the items originated with moderns.
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Cavemen were in Kent earlier than experts thought

New findings suggest Dartford may have originally been established by Neanderthals.
It was always known that Neanderthals had arrived back from mainland Europe, but a fresh find of flints has moved the time back.
Neanderthal man lived in Europe for 260,000 years. Scientists had believed the ancestors of modern man arrived in Britain about 65,000 years ago.

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Artefacts hint at earliest Neanderthals in Britain

Archaeologists have found what they say is the earliest evidence of Neanderthals living in Britain.
Two pieces of flint unearthed at motorway works in Dartford, Kent, have now been dated to 110,000 years ago.
The finds push back the presence of Neanderthals in Britain by 40,000 years or more, said Dr Francis Wenban-Smith, from Southampton University.

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Neanderthals walk into frozen Britain 40, 000 years earlier than first thought

A University of Southampton archaeologist and Oxford Archaeology have found evidence that Neanderthals were living in Britain at the start of the last ice age, 40,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Commissioned by Oxford Archaeology, the University's Dr Francis Wenban-Smith discovered two ancient flint hand tools at the M25 / A2 road junction at Dartford in Kent, during an excavation funded by the Highways Agency. Tests on sediment burying the flints show they date from around 100, 000 years ago, proving Neanderthals were living in Britain at this time. The country was previously assumed to have been uninhabited during this period.

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The entrenched positions of how Neanderthals gave way to the arrival of our African ancestors have seemed increasingly untenable for a while.
But many archaeologists still talk of cultural revolutions associated with our kin (and not the others) and many palaeoanthropologists have continued to insist that we are a different species (Homo sapiens) from them (Homo neanderthalensis).

Neanderthals were wrongly thought of as brutes, says Professor Finlayson

This latter view must surely now be removed from text books: the one thing that was in the way of deciding whether Neanderthals and modern humans were the same or different species was our inability to apply the biological species concept to the problem.
This concept, applicable to all sexually-reproducing life forms, simply states that populations that mate freely in the wild and leave viable offspring are of the same species. That must now apply to modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) and Neanderthals (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis).

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Neanderthal genes 'survive in us'

Many people alive today possess some Neanderthal ancestry, according to a landmark scientific study.
The finding has surprised many experts, as previous genetic evidence suggested the Neanderthals made little or no contribution to our inheritance.
The result comes from analysis of the Neanderthal genome - the "instruction manual" describing how these ancient humans were put together.
The genomes of 1% to 4% of people in Eurasia come from Neanderthals.

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What can we learn from Neanderthal DNA?

Contrary to their image as knuckle-dragging brutes, the Neanderthals on television play tennis and attend ****tail parties - and sell auto insurance. In reality, these mysterious fellow hominids died out about 30,000 years ago. Today, an international research team is extracting DNA from Neanderthals who were, literally, cavemen. (Their bones were found in Croatian caves.)

What can we learn from the DNA of extinct humans?

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Neanderthals may have interbred with humans

Archaic humans such as Neanderthals may be gone but they're not forgotten - at least not in the human genome. A genetic analysis of nearly 2,000 people from around the world indicates that such extinct species interbred with the ancestors of modern humans twice, leaving their genes within the DNA of people today.
The discovery, presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on 17 April, adds important new details to the evolutionary history of the human species.

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A team of Polish scientists said Monday they have discovered three Neanderthal teeth in a cave, a find they hope may shed light on how similar to modern humans our ancestors were.
Neanderthal artifacts have been unearthed in Poland before. But the teeth are the first bodily Neanderthal remains found in the country, according to Mikolaj Urbanowski, an archaeologist with Szczecin University and the project's lead researcher.

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