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Why man became the “master” of the planet

Why did our biological species become the “master” of the planet? Perhaps because he possessed qualities that other hominids did not have. What are these properties, British scientists have recently wondered. The portal Haaretz told about their research.

Interspecific crossing

First of all, the experts found out that there are no purebred Homo sapiens. So, about 2% of the genes of modern man received from Neanderthals. Some people also have Denisovan genes. These are the closest “relatives” of mankind, which, however, are believed to have become extinct.

In addition, some people have traces of crossing with another ancient branch, which has not yet been identified. Scientists call representatives of this archaic species hominins. According to experts, most often we are talking about the inhabitants of Africa, but sometimes also about Europeans. The “separation” with this species happened in “homo sapiens” about half a million years ago. And, most likely, these are not the only species that have been “marked” in our genes.

Researchers are concerned with the following questions:

  • was such interspecies crossing violent,
  • Or did it happen voluntarily?
  • and if so, could ancient people communicate with each other using language, or were gestures enough for them.

Language riddle

The development of language is generally one of the biggest mysteries associated with humanity. For example, according to research, the device of the larynx and inner ear in Neanderthals quite allowed them to speak articulately, and their brain was developed enough to understand speech. Many anthropologists are convinced that language was already actively used in communication, since its absence would greatly complicate various types of joint activities, for example, the manufacture of complex tools. After all, our ancestors already then knew how, for example, to make glue from the resin of trees in order to attach stone tips to wooden spear shafts.

They invented religion

The fact that people created religious cults indicates that they were characterized by abstract thinking, experts say. Thus, during excavations at a Paleolithic site in modern Israel, a wing of a swan with plucked feathers was found. Scientists wondered why this was done. Since if the goal was to get to the meat or bones of the bird, it would be enough to throw the wing into the fire.

Therefore, primitive people needed feathers. Perhaps to use them in some religious rituals.

Religions, apparently, arose a very long time ago, long before the advent of writing. So, in the south-east of Turkey, religious communities already existed 12 thousand years ago, when agriculture was not yet practiced in these parts. Meanwhile, it was previously believed that agriculture and cattle breeding arose earlier than religions. True, what exactly these ancient cults were, we do not know.

brain volume

Another mystery related to the distant past of mankind is the size of our brain. The fact is that the brain of hominids in the course of evolution not only did not increase, but, on the contrary, decreased. So, the brain of a modern person is much smaller in volume than that of the same Neanderthal. And science still can not answer the question why.

Artistic creativity

And yet there is one feature that distinguishes “homo sapiens” from any other species, no matter how close they are to us. It is the ability to create complex works of art. Judging by the rock art, neither the Neanderthals nor the Denisovans have ever seen anything like this.

Who first populated Europe

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