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mikaelnorqvist OP t1_j50c94j wrote

According to ancient bones discovered at a German archaeological site, prehistoric fashion or bear skinning by ancient people dates back at least 320,000 years.

The patterns discovered on the phalanx and metatarsal paw bones of a cave bear (Ursus spelaeus or U. deningeri) are among the earliest examples of this kind of evidence and show one strategy our prehistoric ancestors employed to survive the harsh winters that prevailed in the region at the time.


JACCO2008 t1_j52loeo wrote

I didn't even know humans existed in our current form that long ago.


bittoxic00 t1_j52vjys wrote

It wasn’t us, article said it was Homo heidelbergensis which split off into homo sapian and Neanderthal. They were smart though and sometimes I wonder if the smartest ‘human’ that ever lived lived 250k years ago


Blenderx06 t1_j53c0ez wrote

What specifically makes you think they were maybe the smartest? Curious.


RedditIsPropaganda2 t1_j53fvon wrote

They had big brains relative to their size, but that doesn't really mean they were smarter


DConstructed t1_j53lfxj wrote

I read a hypothesis that said since they didn’t have a way of recording things they had to have excellent memories.

If you are a hunter, gatherer you have to be able to remember successful hunting grounds of the past and how to return to them. Some could be quite far away.

Could be true. Who knows.


ComfortablyAbnormal t1_j53sub1 wrote

I mean, for most of history, the vast majority of people were illiterate and worked on memory as well.


DConstructed t1_j53t7yp wrote

True. And once they had spoken language passed down lore.

I believe the implication in the article was that they more or less needed maps in their heads. I don’t know how that compares to other forms of memory.


GrandBed t1_j544soy wrote

They could have also had maps galore written on animal skins, papyrus or a hundred other types of parchment. It’s just not anything that would have survived today.

That’s why we should all build large megalithic structures, so in 100,000 years we aren’t viewed as being as dumb as we might be.


DoctorSalt t1_j54hn39 wrote

"wow, they needed all the megalithic structures for something we just use our brains for. They must've been dumb"


notblackblackguy t1_j55bnh7 wrote

Saw a study recently that showed London cab drivers have enlarged hippocampus due to memorising the streets of London


Torodaddy t1_j56av3m wrote

aren't you born with whatever sized brain you have?


notblackblackguy t1_j56g9hu wrote


Torodaddy t1_j576ca1 wrote

the study is biased, they should of used for control brains of taxi drivers that were just starting out versus veteran drivers. All the study is saying is taxi drivers have larger hippocampus you can't use this to say it grew. It's like saying basketball players grew tall because they play basketball


DConstructed t1_j56fbbn wrote

That’s really interesting. Do you have a link?


Lil_Cato t1_j53vuvv wrote

I can remember how to drive to at least 100 different restaurants without a map


NeObi-WanKenoLetItBe t1_j53yvj6 wrote

Oh yeah? I can walk into another room 10 feet away and not know why the hell I went there.


Onedaynobully t1_j54gibl wrote

Well, I can think of something I'd like to do on my phone, open the app for that and then forget what I was doing


bmalek t1_j54j8v2 wrote

ADHD crowd represent!


Volunteer-Magic t1_j566spo wrote

The what crowd? Sorry, I was thinking of a tv show I haven’t seen in 5 years


JBredditaccount t1_j54lzuq wrote

At least you make it to the room. I walk halfway to somewhere and then forget where I was planning to stand around wondering why I was there.


automatvapen t1_j54c3o7 wrote

There was a study on London cab drivers and their ability to remember every street and addresses in their daily work. Their brain masses had increased and where bigger than your average joe. Can't remember the name of the study, but it does show that brain matter increases when you need to remember a lot of stuff.


newtoon t1_j54j12u wrote

implying that my brain is shrinking that all I remember today is how to type my question / location in Google.


CptHammer_ t1_j54x8co wrote

>they didn’t have a way of recording things

They did though. Not only the same method as any other animals, but they also had at least pictographic writing and tally marking.

A recent discovery shows what we're considered random tally marking of cave art, was probably moon cycles counting from the animals natural reproductive cycle, next to pictures of those animals. Possibly an indication of when and where to hunt for them, aka the good months and near these drawings.

The tally marks line up with animals that still exist. This gives us a lot of insight into the extinct animals pictured.

Keep in mind, if this information is useful to us today, how much more useful it was then. This is also the minimum amount of recording and communication, there likely was more.


GrandBed t1_j544ikp wrote

We would have to define smarter.

People 5,000 years ago were identical to people today, yet “we” still a few thousand years until people were writing of burning bushes that could talk.

“We” don’t need our brain’s abilities as much as we did 100,000-10,000 years ago when civilizations were being built such as Göbekli Tepe.

Since we don’t need to know/remember as much information as a person ten thousand years ago for survival. We don’t need to be “smart” to order food to our homes via our phones. Modern society in most cases just doesn’t let us die for something stupid, like starvation, or curable diseases. So we could have plenty of smarter people in the past, certainly within our “Modern Human” group of the past 30,000+ years.

It’s interesting to imagine that a recent ancestor such as the ones responsible for this article, who had larger Brian’s, could have been smarter, just not connected with enough other smart people to leave any significant remnants that survived to recent history to be studied.


InGenAche t1_j54fe8o wrote

I would argue that modern man has to remember far more than our ancient ancestors.

Consider our education; even disadvantaged nations have compulsory education until 12 or 16 where even the most basic of subjects would seem incredibly complex to prehistoric man, maths, reading and writing.

And even if the vast majority of what we know is comparatively mundane compared to the tools for survival they required, it doesn't detract from the fact of its complexity.

I'm no expert, but even their art was only as complex as our grade schoolers which to me is indicative of an ability to form and communicate abstract ideas.


6XJPCmTMB7gm3rMhUKE5 t1_j54mpk3 wrote

> People 5,000 years ago were identical to people today, yet “we” still a few thousand years until people were writing of burning bushes that could talk.

That very myth is probably more than 4000 years old.


RedditIsPropaganda2 t1_j54xwdy wrote

I kind of think you're just describing how modern humans lived for the majority of their existence


bittoxic00 t1_j53lehp wrote

Of the over 100 billion humans who’ve walked the earth plus our close relatives I just think it’s hard to imagine our recent history has the best and the brightest, statistically


Blenderx06 t1_j53n8fs wrote

It's really fascinating to look at these intelligent relatives who are long gone with hardly a trace they ever existed. Puts modern humanity in perspective. We are just as expendable in the scheme of things.


OldManChino t1_j54gy60 wrote

Edit* I'm an idiot who believed a factoid, no need to school me anymore, my lesson has been fully learned

There's more people alive now than has died previously. I'm no statistician, but those numbers alone surely mean the smartest has to be now no? Can someone smarter than me chime in on this?


bittoxic00 t1_j55id0e wrote

I think they’ve theorized over 100 billion modern humans have existed on earth, so 8%ish of all humans ever are alive today, 92% have passed. So 9/10 chance the human with the greatest capacity for intelligence and or strength never lived in modern times. The best bodybuilder with modern training and medicine has likely existed but the person with the most potential has likely passed. I think the same with intelligence, there might have been someone in Ancient Greece with the most potential


Nestor4000 t1_j55avb9 wrote

“There's more people alive now than has died previously. I'm no statistician“

You don’t say?


entotheenth t1_j53hplf wrote

He actually came up with both calculus and relativity but nobody believed him.


Photon_Farmer t1_j53i0r9 wrote

He made the mistake of writing it all down in a Palm Pilot, which no one can use anymore.


Cyanopicacooki t1_j543m7a wrote

I was clearing on office last year and found a 20ish year old palm pilot - I put it in the charging cradle, and 3 hours later I had - and stil have -a fully functioning, touch screen palm pilot. Which I could use. And it would be about as much use as an axe made by Homo Heidelbergensis - work maybe once or twice then disintegrate.


Somnisixsmith t1_j566jdn wrote

While those living 250k years ago would have looked very very similar to us physically, the evidence suggests we did not become as smart as we are today until about 70k years ago. My understanding is that this claim is based on the fact that the earliest evidence we have of things like art, musical instruments, fish nets, etc. don’t appear in the archeological record until 70k years ago.

My personal theory on this is that humans became significantly more intelligent around 74k years ago as a result of extreme selective pressures due to the cataclysmic eruption of the super volcano known as Mount Toba (in Sumatra I believe). We know for a fact this eruption occurred and that it sent the world into a 1000 year ice-age (think nuclear winter minus the radiation for a decade followed by a thousand years of significant global cooling). During this period the human population fell to only a few thousand or less. That this population bottleneck occurred is a result of the eruption is a fairly well known hypothesis supported by some genetic evidence.

The part of this that I came up with on my own (my personal theory - though I’m probably not the first to connect the dots) is that during this period of genetic bottlenecking only the smartest managed to survive. The extreme environment those people must have lived through would have challenged them far beyond anything they had faced before. Most did not make it. Whole clans/tribes died out in those first years after the eruption. Only the cleverest (and perhaps most cooperative/social) managed to survive and procreate. With a massively reduced population, any genetic variation that could provide additional survival advantages would be selected for, and that selected process would have an exaggerated effect due to the low population numbers.

This theory would help explain why we start seeing archeological evidence of modern human intelligence (again, via art, nets, etc.) around 70k years ago. Perhaps it also explains why we almost seem “too smart” or seemingly smarter than necessary today.


showerfapper t1_j56htb1 wrote

A decade spent in a cave eating bugs and bone marrow, followed by 990 years of cold hard living, would certainly select out the most socially cooperative of our species.


Gingorthedestroyer t1_j55azsj wrote

Mitochondrial DNA “Eve” is 200,000 years. So there were Homo sapiens 200k years ago. Look how far we came from the dark ages in 500 years. Make me wonder what the first 100k years looked like.


bittoxic00 t1_j55g9gy wrote

Didn’t they disprove mitochondrial eve? Genuinely curious


Gingorthedestroyer t1_j55mkjc wrote

Wikipedia seems to think it’s legit. Haven’t seen anything to the contrary in my searches.


long_dickofthelaw t1_j52y0dz wrote

Ehhh I wouldn't call these humans in our current form. Behavioral modernity for humans is generally accepted to begin about 160,000–60,000 years ago. Nailing down exactly when Homo Sapien as a species emerged is a lot more difficult.


JACCO2008 t1_j530xjf wrote

That's more the timeline I was thinking. It would be interesting to try to have a conversation with one of the humans who made the jewelry. See if they're anything in common at all.


LeagueOfLegendsAcc t1_j53e737 wrote

Honestly I don't think there's any reason to think they would be much different behaviorally, we know at least 3 species of human have mated in the past. They also existed well into the time period of modern humans so I would bet we mated with them too but it may not be easy to tell in the genomic record. They probably wouldn't mate unless they were similar in many ways, but mainly behaviorally. Classifications that distinguish between different species of human are mainly physical differences, this leads me to believe that ancient human species were much more alike than we would be led to believe by our current colloquial definitions of species.


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FortunateInsanity t1_j53mesq wrote

Nothing about fashion in the article. Fashion is art. Using bear hides for warmth in the winter is a practical survival method. The article can be summed up by saying “evidence points to Neanderthals hunting bears for their pelts.”


danceswithshelves t1_j550n3f wrote

Yeah the wording of this title is deceptive. Had nothing to do with fashion and I want my five minutes back lol.


The_Human_Bullet t1_j52yjrc wrote

So early humans wore bear pelts to stay warm?

Colour me surprised?


RegisterOk9743 t1_j530vcr wrote

Killing a bear with just sticks and rocks is pretty impressive though.


The_Human_Bullet t1_j532asa wrote

Oh yeah, but I always assumed early humans were badass? They didn't have time to waste pondering the nonsense we do.


henchman171 t1_j534c56 wrote

The things you can achieve if you avoid social media apps


sleeplessGoon t1_j53mx49 wrote

I’m 2 weeks Twitter clean & I just killed my first grizzly!


NeObi-WanKenoLetItBe t1_j54005g wrote

They were badass. Even in nomadic lifestyles, because they combined their efforts, they had a ton of free time on their hands. Some American Indian tribes from just a couple hundred years ago could pack up and move to follow their game within 30 minutes or less. Or else it was free.


uhyeahreally t1_j5391qq wrote

Can be avoided, just wait for the bear to die. Bears die by themselves if you wait.


matteam-101 t1_j53fczw wrote

Don't the bears hibernate, in a den or cave? Just the time to cut their throats and fabricate Bearskin robes by Brooks Brothers.


Lagiacrus111 t1_j534w87 wrote

Humans were in the arctic 320,000 years ago?


LeagueOfLegendsAcc t1_j53f0eq wrote

Homo Heidelbergensis, not homo sapiens. We evolved in Africa and migrated out to populate the world. To pick a random ancestor the human/chimpanzee last common ancestor (CHLCA) is theorized to possibly be graecopithecus, whose fossils were found in southern Europe. So at some point between CHLCA and homo sapiens our ancestors migrated into Africa and stayed there. The implication is that other human species could have left Africa sooner, or never came in the first place.


bmilohill t1_j53ftdd wrote

The revelation here isn't what they were doing, but further evidence regarding when they were doing it.


LimpCroissant t1_j54rwam wrote

Summary: Scientists found that ancient human's wentuged the paw bones of cave bears with cutting implements. Because of this, they surmise that they must have been using the bear pelts to stay warm, as there is not enough meat on a bear paw to bother carefully skinning it.

My perspective: That was a terribly written article that said practically nothing in a whole lot of words. Oh and Wentuged for President! Hopefully this same AI is the one that ends up coming for the human race eventually.


hmz-x t1_j567p4w wrote

Gouge → Wentuged

Is that it?


LimpCroissant t1_j569pf3 wrote

Yup, that's it. Somebody else figured it out though, I cant take credit.


poppadoppacoppa t1_j53jgf5 wrote

Oh my god, did you see what grunts was wearing yesterday? That was so paleolithically fetch!


FunnyGlove t1_j53dvu6 wrote

Isn’t this Wilma and Betty from the flint stones? Are we saying the Flintstones are historically accurate now?


NatiAti513 t1_j53dxz7 wrote

Sooo..... prehistoric Thots?