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Author Topic: Who teaches what to whom?  (Read 3215 times)
trehinp
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« on: April 25, 2009, 05:33:39 PM »

Here is a short summary of a newsflash from Science Magazine:

Quote
Did Humans Learn From Hobbits?
A detailed new analysis of stone tools unearthed from the cave of the roughly 1-meter-tall ancient human found in Indonesia sheds light on the "hobbit's" technological capabilities and raises a new mystery: Why did the modern humans who arrived later make tools the same way hobbits did?

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And here is a little more info from Science Magazine on line free subscription (more info requires a full subscription)
Quote
News of the Week
Archaeology:
Did Humans Learn From Hobbits?
Elizabeth Culotta

Science 24 April 2009:
Vol. 324. no. 5926, p. 447
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_447
Thousands of small, sharp-edged flakes of volcanic tuff and chert have been unearthed from the cave of the "hobbit," the roughly 1-meter-tall ancient human found on the island of Flores in Indonesia. But how could a hominid with a brain the size of a large pear craft tools? Now a detailed new analysis sheds light on the hobbit's technological capabilities and raises a new mystery: Why did the modern humans who arrived later on Flores make tools the same way hobbits did?

Beyond this very interesting news, lays the more general question of "invaders" coming to teach to "indigeneous" populations. Most analysis tend to assume for example that Homo Sapiens Sapiens (HSS) came in Europe with more advanced technologies than Neanderthals who were there for about 200K years before them.

It seems however highly probable that Neanderthals must have developped adaptive skills suited to the specific environments that they were facing long before HSS came in that region of the world.

Of course it will be difficult to decide who was the inventor of "high tech" stone tools when such tools were found in layers where both Neanderthals and HSS presence have been detected. But using some ethnological comparisons, with all the caution necessary in such matters, modern anthropologists have demonstrated that the so called "primitive cultures" could teach survival skills and even more advanced ones to so called more advanced cultures.

If the theory exposed in the above quoted paper is to be believed, HSS may have learned some technology from "Hobbits". Why then wouldn't Neandertal culture have influenced HSS culture too?

Yours.

Paul
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Paul Trehin
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