Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Law & Order: B.C.

Finally, some answers!

Human Stabbed a Neanderthal, Evidence Suggests

Spear replicas

Steven Churchill of Duke University is holding a replica of a Neanderthal-type spear (left hand) and a spear thrower and dart (right hand) that would have been similar to weapons used by early modern humans tens of thousands of years ago. Credit: Duke Photo by Les Todd.

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Spear replicas

Steven Churchill of Duke University is holding a replica of a Neanderthal-type spear (left hand) and a spear thrower and dart (right hand) that would have been similar to weapons used by early modern humans tens of thousands of years ago. Credit: Duke Photo by Les Todd.

Newly analyzed remains suggest that a modern human killed a Neanderthal man in what is now Iraq between 50,000 and 75,000 years ago . . . The probable weapon of choice: A thrown spear.

You might think that 75,000 years would be enough time for Science to let it go, but apparently those archaeologists (?) can really hold a grudge. Unfortunately for them, their evidence is pretty flimsy.

By studying “a lethal wound on the remains of a Neanderthal skeleton,” scientists determined that “. . . the best explanation for this injury is a projectile weapon, and given who had those [humans] and who didn't [Neanderthals], that implies at least one act of inter-species aggression."

To further bolster their case, scientists performed a series of “stab simulations” (good times) on pigs, who “make a pretty good model for Neanderthal thoraces” (who knew!). The cut marks made in the pig ribs were similar to the cut marks in the Neanderthal.

Finally, by comparing the Neanderthal wound to medical records of injuries from the American Civil War (objection, relevance?), the researchers figured the Neanderthal likely died within weeks of his injury, perhaps due to associated lung damage from a stabbing or piercing wound.

The conclusion: “Since modern humans had developed projectile hunting weapons and Neanderthals hadn't, the researchers deduced the probable suspect — a modern human.”

Um, not if Jody has anything to say about it.

Defense rests, bitches.

1 Comments:

Blogger Liberal Banana said...

Hilarious!

July 23, 2009 at 11:40:00 AM EDT  

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