Find Reveals Early Humans Who Endured Harsh Cold
Updated: 2 hours 7 minutes ago
LONDON (July 7) -- Scientists have depicted early humans as wimps who couldn't hack it in chilly northern climates, but a newly discovered cache of stone tools is forcing archaeologists to revise their opinions.
Scientists reported at a news conference here today that creatures much like us managed to carve out a living at a spot on the coast of England roughly 900,000 years ago, when the area would have resembled today's southern Scandinavia in climate and landscape. Never before have early humans been shown to live so far north.
The finding, which will be published in Thursday's edition of Nature, is the latest to show that scientists have perpetually underestimated the humans who lived thousands and millions of years ago. Accumulating evidence shows, for example, that Neanderthals were not the stupid brutes of public image but beings capable of symbolic thought.
"We are still stuck in this Victorian image (that) the further you go back in time, the more primitive it has to be," says paleoanthropologist Wil Roebroeks of Leiden University. "The evidence is constantly showing us wrong."