Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Not only were Neandertals colorful, they traveled, too

It seems that Neandertals not only used pigments to add color to things, they apparently were quite capable of traveling long distances if they needed supplies they couldn't get locally. Or maybe they had trade networks. Their travels seem to have been quite extensive, at least according to a map you can link to on, by the way, is an online journal, and also a forum for discussion of "prehistoric" topics. And a very good site for this; I'm happy to put in a plug for them, for those interested.

But the significance of this finding is, that it was thought Neandertals never traveled very far. Most of the time, most of them probably didn't. But let's say there were a bunch of little groups of them, spread(or sprawled, if you prefer) over a fairly great distance. Group A might have had access to the best flint anywhere, the better to make stone tools with. While Group Z might have had, for example, access to high-grade ochre pigments. By a process of various groups trading among each other, such items might well have traveled from one end of the "Neandertal territory" to the other. Certainly, this worked for some groups of "modern" humans, well into "modern" times. I don't see any reason why it might not have worked for Neandertals, too.
Anne G

No comments: