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Neanderthals and humans close in intelligence, say researchers

May 01, 2014

Neanderthals and humans close in intelligence, say researchers

A new review of the archeological record finds that Neanderthals and humans were evenly matched in terms of intelligence.

The name for humanity’s closest extinct ancestor shouldn’t be an insult to modern man, according to recent archaeological evidence. A new review published in Plos One claims that Neanderthals were just as advanced in brainpower, technology, and culture as their early human contemporaries.

According to the study’s lead author, Paola Villa of the University of Colorado Museum in Boulder, previous stereotypes of Neanderthals as primitive and brutish arose from inaccurate comparisons made between the ancient hominids and human groups from later time periods. When Villa and his colleague, Wil Roebroeks of Leiden University in the Netherlands, examined records of Neanderthal and human sites from the same point in time, they found that the two species left equally impressive evidence for a range of intelligent behaviors.

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