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Re: Neanderthal and PIE

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Friday, October 17, 2008, 10:33
Quoting Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>:

> Den 15. okt. 2008 kl. 18.05 skreiv Jörg Rhiemeier: > > > > Most anthropologists are of the opinion that the Neanderthals > > simply went extinct and did not contribute to the modern human > > gene pool. If they were, as evcidenced by their artifcats, > > qualitatively less creative than our species, unable to invent > > new things or to create and appreciate fine art and music and > > all that, and possessing only a comparatively rudimentary > > language, this alone should have constituted a species barrier. > > No matter whether interbreeding was biologically possible or > > not, hardly any Cro-Magnon human would even have considered > > mating with a Neanderthal! > > I don't quite agree with you on that. After all, another thing that's > typical of modern humans is the great variety in tastes, which is, I > think, linked to the imaginative ability. I wouldn't deny the > possibility that some might have been attracted to the big brutes.
Neanderthals may have been brutes, but they weren't particularly big. Average adult male height was around 166cm, slightly less than for Cro Magnon. Being of heavier build, they presumably weighed more than Cro Magnon on average, but hardly any great difference there either. There'll have been plenty overlap in either measurement. Whether Neanderthals and moderns could and did interbreed is disputed among palaeoanthropologists. Prof. John Hawks, whose blog is recommended reading for anyone interested in human evolution, thinks they probably did, but that Neanderthal genes were mostly weeded out of the gene pool by subsequent selection. -- Andreas Johansson