‘Hunting dogs made Neanderthals extinct’


This video says about itself:

Neanderthal: Episode 1 – Evolution History Documentary

16 August 2014

Discovery Channel presents Neanderthal, a two-part, two-hour production documenting the experiences of a small clan of Neanderthals living in the Dordogne region of France at one of the most important junctures in human evolution.

Neanderthal is the story of the rise and demise of one the most successful human species ever to have walked the earth. A species that thrived – until modern man came along. Produced as a compelling drama following the lives of one group of Neanderthals, the special draws on cutting-edge scientific research that challenges the stereotype of the brutish savage.

The Observer: “Easily the year’s most exciting TV science programme… handled with such panache it’s impossible not to be drawn into the tribe’s strange, grim existence.”

This video is the sequel.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Humans eradicated Neanderthal rivals thanks to early dogs bred from wolves

Humans bred wolves to help them hunt in Europe 40,000 years ago

Ben Tufft

Sunday 01 March 2015

Humans were able to eradicate their Neanderthal rivals in Europe thanks to early dogs bred from wolves, according to a prominent American anthropologist.

Dogs were used by humans to gain a competitive edge in hunting that led to the extinction of Neanderthals on the continent 40,000 years ago, Professor Pat Shipman of Pennsylvania State University claims.

“We formed an alliance with the wolf and that would have been the end for the Neanderthal,” Prof Shipman told The Observer.

Her theory challenges the conventional academic wisdom that wolves were only domesticated a mere 10,000 years ago, coinciding with the rise of agriculture.

The professor believes that wolves were bred by humans as early as 70,000 years ago, when humans first came to Europe from Africa – leading to the domestic dogs we know today.

The theory would solve the mystery of why the dominant Neanderthals in Europe died out a few thousand years after the arrival of humans on the continent, despite having lived in the region for more than 200,000 years.

Prof Shipman argues that the alliance with the wolf, along with superior weapons and hunting skills, enabled humans to outwit their Neanderthal rivals and become the dominant species.

“Early wolf-dogs would have tracked and harassed animals like elk and bison and would have hounded them until they tired. Then humans would have killed them with spears or bows and arrows,” Prof Shipman said.

“This meant the dogs did not need to approach these large cornered animals to finish them off – often the most dangerous part of a hunt – while humans didn’t have to expend energy in tracking and wearing down prey.

“Dogs would have done that. Then we shared the meat. It was a win-win situation,” she added.

A study published last year found that modern humans and Neanderthals lived alongside each other in Europe for 4,000 years, exchanging culture and genes.

In Asia humans and Neanderthals could have lived side by side for up to 20,000 years, as anatomically modern humans colonised the continent long before reaching Europe.

The last Neanderthals in Europe are thought to have died out in modern-day Belgium, where they lived in caves as their numbers dwindled.

Most scientists believe that Neanderthals quickly died out after the arrival of Homo sapiens to Europe, owing to competition for resources and possibly violent conflict.

Archaeological research in Leiden inner city


This video is called History of the Faculty of Archaeology in Leiden.

Leiden in the Netherlands is quite old. Early in the Middle Ages, there was a burgrave’s castle and a village along the Rhine river. In 1266, it became a city.

During the first months of 2015, there will be digging in the inner city of Leiden, to put underground waste containers in the holes. These underground waste containers replace waste bags which are vulnerable to damage by herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls nesting in the city.

The digging for the containers is an opportunity for archaelogists. In 26 of the inner city holes, archaeologists will look for new discoveries in Leiden medieval history.

A map of places where there will be archaeological research is here.

Archaeology in Confucius’ hometown in China


This video says about itself:

New Discoveries in Chinese Archaeology

19 May 2009

Features some of the most prolific archeological sites in China, including the burial complex of the First Emperor of China and Sanxingdui.

From the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands:

The following IIAS Lunch Lecture is by Yi WANG. She will talk about the archaeological survey project named “Landscape, Ruins, and Memory: Archaeological Survey in the Wen-Si Region” (2010).

From Landscape to Spectacle: Archaeology in Confucius‘ Hometown

Date & time
20 January 2015, 12.30 – 14.00 hrs

Venue
IIAS, Conference Room, Rapenburg 59, Leiden

The lecture

Qufu city (35°36’ N, 117°02’ E, Shandong province, China), located on the hills area traversed by the Wen and Si rivers, is well known in China as Confucius’ (551~479 BC) hometown, and the purported birthplace of the legendary Yellow Emperor. The lineage of Duke Zhou, who was regarded as the cultural model by Confucius, established Qufu as the capital city of Lu State (11th c. ~ 256 BC). Peaks on this hilly terrain, which used to be treated as indigenous sacred sites during the Bronze Age, later were included as the eastern part into the imperial landscape, e.g. 91 kilometers north to the city, located the Mount Tai, which became one of the major destinations for imperial pilgrimage when the Emperor Qin unified the country (221 BC), then was created as the East Great Mountain in Tang dynasty.

Archaeological sites of Neolithic time and Bronze Age have been found now and then in this area during the past century. Archaeological surveys and excavations focused on the site of capital city of Lu State (11th ~3rd c. BC), in which Confucius used to live, had been operated in 1970s, mapped out the spatial structures and urban settlements of this Bronze age city. In 2010, an intensive archaeological survey project named as Landscape, Ruins, and Memory: Archaeological Survey in the Wen-Si Region was initiated with the aim of locating and recording the distribution of Neolithic, Bronze Age and imperial period archaeological sites in the region and of attempting to understand the dynamic transformations in the historical landscape of this region, particularly how was the ruins of the city and its sacred sites incorporated into the cultural spectacle revolved around its memory. This lecture is going to introduce some initial findings and outcome of the first four years work of this project.

Dr Yi WANG is affiliated fellow of IIAS, and assistant professor at the Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China.