By: Don Penven

The Term Cro-Magnon is Now Referred to as

Anatomically Modern Human

The first discovery
Recorded history tells us that a team of workmen from the French village of Les Eyzies discovered what was later identified as 5 skeletons including 3 adult males, an adult female and 1 child. The graves contained stone tools, ivory pendants, shells and carvings made from reindeer antlers. The find was made in a rock shelter (not a cave) called Cro-Magnon. The name stuck, but history doesn’t reveal specifically how the term “Caveman” came into being.

Neanderthal vs. Cro-Magnon
At first glance, researchers of that day believed that the remains were those of Neanderthal man—first discovered in the Neander Valley of Germany. The first Neanderthal’s appeared in Europe as early as 600,000–350,000 years ago. Current research indicates that Neanderthals virtually disappeared from the fossil record some 30,000 to 35,000 years ago. Popular theory was that Neanderthals interbred or were wiped out by the cro-magnons. Now some paleontologists believe that the two species never cohabitated with each other, and that Neanderthals simply died out like many human sub-species had before them—long before cro-magnons appeared on the scene.

Cro-Magnon Skull

The Cro-Magnon Skull


Neanderthal skull

The Neanderthal Skull

The most distinguishing differences between cro-magnons and Neanderthals begin with the shape of the skull. Neanderthal has a smaller braincase and a low, sloping forehead. The cro-magnon skull closely resembles modern humans. Another outstanding feature is that Neanderthals had much longer arms with fingertips nearly touching the knees.
The cro-magnon skeletons were eventually subjected to radio-carbon dating methods that revealed their age to be about 30,000 years old. Subsequent finds and carbon dating gave paleontologists the premise to state that cro-magnons populated Europe for the period of 35,000 to 10,000 years ago.

Anatomically Modern Human
The point of all this is simply cro-magnons were tall and muscular and certainly more robust than modern humans—thus the term cro-magnon is now falling into disuse. According to Yahoo Answers, “Cro-Magnon’s are not sufficiently different enough from modern humans to warrant a separate designation. Scientists today use ‘Anatomically Modern Human’ (AMH) or ‘Early Modern Human’ (EMH) to designate the Upper Paleolithic human beings who looked a lot like us, but did not have the complete suite of modern human behaviors.”

The World’s First Artisis

Neanderthal Skeleton

These AMH are given credit for becoming the world’s first artists. Their intricately carved ivory and antler figurines and dramatic cave paintings offer silent testimony to the advanced thinking and creativity of our ancestors. Added to this is a toolkit of stone axes, cutting and scraping tools, spear points and arrow heads.
One example for perpetuating the use of the term “Caveman” is a series of humorous TV commercials regarding one’s ability to fill out an insurance application; and just as recently we see published research from nutritionists regarding the paleolithic (paleo diet) or caveman diet.

Paleolithic Means…
The term Paleolithic is derived from two Greek words: paleo (old or ancient) and lithic (stone). Freely translated this becomes Stone Age.

Agriculture and Beer
What is known through many years of research and the analysis of animal bones and pollen samples from caveman habitats is that these AMHs—hunter-gatherers—subsisted on a diet of meat (including fish), wild grasses. fruits (mostly berries) and certain plants.
The Stone Age. Paleo Diet is a modern version of a diet plan based on theories of what cavemen ate. The beginnings of agriculture began around 10,000 years ago, which resulted in significant changes in the daily diet. Our Stone Age ancestors began to cultivate grains like wheat, rye and barley. This also led to the discovery of fermentation of grains that resulted in alcoholic beverages like beer.
Over time, human-kind became less muscular and robust until the present-day fact that about 1/3 of the human population is overweight.

The Price We Pay for Convenience
Is this the price we pay as a result of plant cultivation? No… other factors also enter into the obesity equation. The industrial revolution led to the manufacture of “processed” foods packaged in “tin cans.” Preservatives were introduced into our daily diets and processed, prepackaged foods were laced with sugar and high amounts of salt. In other words, I diets went to hell.
Nutritionists, over time, looked at where we are now with our current diets and where we were during the late Stone Age and decided our ancestors had a very good idea.
Paleontology is a very interesting subject of study and new discoveries are made often. A recent finding is that researchers analyzed dental plaque from cro-magnon teeth and discovered that our ancestors added certain bad-tasting (bitter) plants to their diet. Had they discovered some health benefit from this kind of vegetation? Perhaps they did!

If you would like to pursue your quest for more information regarding the cro-magnon people, please take a moment to read through the articles on this blog. The contents are listed in the navigation window to the right If you want more specifics about the modern-day version of the Caveman, Paleo Diet. then Follow This Link <===

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