News of the WeekArchaeology

Reanalysis of French Cave Could Deal Setback to Neandertal Smarts

Science  22 Oct 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6003, pp. 439
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6003.439-a

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Once regarded as brutish and dumb compared to modern humans, Neandertals are now often credited with "modern behaviors" such as crafting sophisticated tools and symbolic personal ornaments. But new radiocarbon dating at a celebrated site in France could mar this flattering view of Neandertal capabilities. The study, published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that jewelry and tools once attributed to Neandertals may be the work of modern humans.