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Did Neanderthals Play Tic-Tac-Toe?

Did Neanderthals Play Tic-Tac-Toe?


When we think of Neanderthals, we often picture long-haired, shaggy-looking prehistoric people with the intelligence of a buffalo.

But new artwork found in a Gibraltar cave suggests otherwise, and it looks very much like a game we're all familiar with. New Scientist reports no one can say for sure if the artwork was just "Idle doodle ... Stone Age tic-tac-toe, or the first evidence of Neanderthal art."

Regardless of what it is, it's making the Internet chatter because it would mean Neanderthals, our ancient ancestors, possibly weren't as primitive as we all thought.



"Scientists say it could be the most compelling evidence yet for Neanderthal art,"BBC reports.

BBC explains that's because art is abstract thought, which "was long considered to be the exclusive preserve of our own species. ... [and] the geometric pattern identified in Gibraltar ... was uncovered beneath undisturbed sediments that have also yielded Neanderthal tools."

So, artwork AND tools? Score one for the Neanderthals, zero for all those scientists who ever doubted them.

And like all fine art, even if it is the upwards of 39,000 years old, it already has its critics.

"It just looks like a bunch of lines, I don't know if I'd call it artwork."
​"Well, they're Neanderthals for gosh sakes!"

Nobody can catch a break these days. Scientific American says scientists have been excavating the cave since the late 1980s. The discovery was published in the journal PNAS.

And if this is evidence that Neanderthals were smarter than we all thought, it wouldn't be the first. Other studies have sought to prove they were actually just as smart as modern humans, but that would be a whole other story.

Join the discussion

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rh1216 September 02 2014 at 11:35 AM

Michelle with out makeup

Flag Reply +53 rate up
21 replies
frankiegallo33 September 02 2014 at 12:24 PM

All right now knock it off !!!!!
That is not Michelle !!!!!!
The person in the picture has a smaller nose, better teeth,smaller lips, nicer hair, and is quite better looking than Michelle.

Flag Reply +42 rate up
10 replies
one.giant.step.for.mankind September 02 2014 at 4:11 PM

Why is AOL showing a picture
of some random black guy
and talking about Neanderthals?
Isn't that racist?

Flag Reply +35 rate up
4 replies
wj406xd September 02 2014 at 11:29 AM

The front page Picture looks just like the protester's in Furguson !

Flag Reply +33 rate up
5 replies
BroPower September 02 2014 at 5:15 PM

I look at that picture
and can't help but think,
39,000 years go by
and still no evolution...!
Could be any black
walking the hood today!
Agreed?

Flag Reply +32 rate up
4 replies
ameliabelladonna September 02 2014 at 11:42 AM

I wish the Neanderthals were still here and the rioters and looters in Ferguson were extinct....

Flag Reply +31 rate up
4 replies
zrsz1 September 02 2014 at 11:33 AM

i thought they played looting, burning, rioting, killing, robbing, stealing, raping, and basketball

Flag Reply +30 rate up
6 replies
frankiegallo33 September 02 2014 at 12:19 PM

Mooochelle in the morning.

Flag Reply +25 rate up
2 replies
bushbinlion frankiegallo33 September 02 2014 at 1:09 PM

You seem quite infatuated with the First Lady.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
shamrock2u frankiegallo33 September 02 2014 at 3:28 PM

No, that's mooochelle after her weekly shower.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
barryaclarke September 02 2014 at 11:44 AM

The headline states, "Neanderthals might have been a lot smarter than we previously thought." All one has to do is go to Ferguson, MO after sunset to check it out for yourself. You‘ll find that it’s very much to the contrary………..

Flag Reply +20 rate up
4 replies
mgt0331 September 02 2014 at 11:13 AM

Barry, Is that you?

Flag Reply +19 rate up
5 replies
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