Radiocarbon dating of an archaeological site in France has some researchers claiming that Neanderthals weren’t as smart as we thought.But the evidence can more easily be interpreted as both confirming Neanderthal intelligence The site in question is the Grotte du Renne at Arcy-sur-Cure, a famous home of human remains and artifacts, including bones from and objects thought to have been made by Neanderthals as well as bones and objects from non-Neanderthals.A natural product from this constant interaction is radioactive carbon, or carbon-14.Right now (believe it or not) your body has a natural amount of carbon-14 in it as do animals and plants.The original excavation attributed the lowest levels (in the sediment) of artifacts to Neanderthals and the highest to non-Neanderthals, with the age of the youngest artifacts approximately 28,000 years old and the oldest artifacts around 45,000 years old.Of special interest since that time, however, has been the identity of the middle layers of artifacts.It’s difficult to fathom a positive benefit from detonating nuclear bombs into the air (in fact, just the thought of it makes us want to climb down into the steel bunker we’ve built beneath our building — just kidding).Strangely enough, forensic scientists have found one.
The application of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for radiocarbon dating in the late 1970s was also a major achievement.
This is because plants and oceans soak up radiocarbon.
It eventually funnels its way into the food chain, absorbing into plant and animal tissues, and eventually to humans.
Elsewhere, similar objects have been found with Neanderthal skeletons.
The evidence thus pointed to Neanderthals’ intelligence and humanity. New York University archaeologist Randall White and a team of researchers including radiometric dating expert Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford conducted a new radiocarbon dating analysis of the location.