23 Oct 2019

Melanesians such as the Solomon Islanders, have an interesting history - even during WWII. However, when it comes to genetics, Melanesians appear to have genetic material, actually beneficial DNA, directly sourced from Denisovans (and therefore also from Neanderthals) according to a new study in the journal Science, (Oct 2019). Go to ... and apparently, these genes are not found in many other human populations (as far as is known to date). Once again we can see it is the Out of Africa theory that is causing problems in interpretation as it is assumed modern humans hybridised with older human groups (such as the Denisovans) when in fact archaeology is quite implicit in that Neanderthals/Denisovans disappeared around 40,000 years ago and modern humans always appear in strata following them. The assumption is that modern humans appeared on the scene prior to the disappearance of Neanderthals and Denisovans (but this view is not supported, as yet, by archaeology). The Out of Africa theory is like CAGW - heavily politicised. Looks like it will trundle on in spite of evidence that appears to be to the contrary.

At ... more evidence that Neanderthals were not too different from their successors in the Late Palaeolithic. A flint flake, looking very much like a cutting tool, has evidence of birch tar. Birch tar was used to bind stone to wood - but it may also have been used on hand held flints in order to protect the skin from the sharpness of the flint (and continued application of pressure on a flint flake would cause spits and cuts to the skin, however leathery the hand of the user). The tool was dredged up from the bottom of the North Sea.