Ebro river as border and disappearance of Neanderthals Cover Image

Reka Ebro kao granica i nestanak neandertalaca
Ebro river as border and disappearance of Neanderthals

Author(s): Tamara Babić (Micković)
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Centar za alternativno društveno i kulturno delovanje
Keywords: Homo neanderthalensis; the Upper Paleolithic package;Neanderthal aculturation;Châtelperronian;Iberian Peninsula

Summary/Abstract: The Iberian Peninsula is a particularly fertile ground for the study of the transition from the middle to the upper Paleolithic, as it offers a basis for comparing industries represented in this period, created by Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. In this region are visible the differences among the Middle Paleolithic and the Upper Paleolithic technologies, and of particular importance is the fact that Neanderthals survived longer here than elsewhere in Europe. Changes in all the communities of hominids in this area are recorded in a certain period of time, so it remains an open question what was cause of it. The question of how to define Châtelperronian: whether as a product development Neanderthal societies or as a result of their contacts with modern man is still controversial, and it is connected with even more complex question of Neanderthal acculturation by AMH. The increase in the fund of knowledge on these issues has led to the gradual shaping of the idea of the river Ebro as the border at which modern man stops for a while, and that separates him from Neanderthals with Middle Paleolithic industries south of the border. It appears justified to speak of the existence of the border of Ebro, but that only further research to determine the number of factors that led to its creation. There is still no clearly defined view among researchers about the meaning of the Ebro as the border in this period of prehistory – so this work is an attempt to summarize the data collected so far on the subject through the situations recorded at different sites of importance, the results obtained from analyzes of the material, the views of researchers who have tried their hands at shedding light on this problem and on that basis try to create a new interpretative framework about extinction of the Neanderthals.As for the reasons for the disappearance of the Neanderthals, no model so far offered does not seem complete. Rather, it is probably that in the whole process figured a number of factors: the biological changes associated with climate changes, all of which related to the seasonality, movement and socio-cultural aspects of Neanderthal society. One of the main mistakes in prehistorical archaeology is that all Neanderthals are viewed as a single, monolithic group without considering variations caused by geography and passing of the time. Climate itself did not kill Neanderthals because they are survivors of few climate changes before they finaly disappeared, but its impact on the entire life cycle as part of an attempt of adaptation in mind encephalization and generally a high degree of specialization to certain conditions contributed to the reduction of the population. Minor specialization of anatomically modern man with a decrease in the brain and total body mass proved to be a better evolutionary strategy.Due to the fact that we still do not have a sufficient amount of data, there is no basis for any final conclusions on a given topic, because in the future may arise additional factors to explain the details of such a scenario. What is the task of archeology and related disciplines is to objectively and without bias reaches find a more complete picture of the disappearance of species of hominids who shared life habitat with us, because only in this way we can ensure a safe survival of our species that is to expect new changes in climate and general natural conditions in the future.

  • Issue Year: 1/2016
  • Issue No: 5
  • Page Range: 117-134
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Serbian