Although we all might be tempted to think that our species always existed in the form we know it today, we’re pretty far from the truth. The Neanderthals, our ancestors, were widely distributed in ice-age Europe between c. 120,000-35,000 years ago, and their main traits were prominent brow ridges and receding forehead.
But Neanderthals were also far from being peaceful fellows, as they were doing well at hunting and had modern humans as main rivals.
Neanderthals were sitting atop the food chain
Neanderthals were cooperative hunters just like wolves, lions, and even Homo sapiens. Neanderthals had great pleasure in getting involved in conflicts, which is a very humanly trait, whether we like it or not. And there’s no wonder why, as Neanderthals were sharing 99.7 percent of the DNA the human species has today. Furthermore, our ancient ancestors had a very similar demeanor to us as well, considering that they were also making artwork, making fire, burying their dead, and more.
The parry fracture is another sign of warfare, which was a break to the lower arm caused by warding off blows. At least one Neanderthal belonging to the Shanidar Cave in Iraq was pierced by a spear to the chest.
Neanderthals and modern humans battled for supremacy for 100,000 years
Neanderthals also met modern humans and weren’t immediately overrun, which proves again that our ancestors were fierce warriors. For about 100,000 years, Neanderthals managed to resist modern human expansion.
Neanderthals are suspected of having tactical and strategic advantages. They’d occupied the Middle East for thousands of years as they were gaining knowledge of the terrain, the seasons, as well as how to live off the native plants and animals.
Scientists also suspect that during battles, the Neanderthals’ muscular builds made them strong fighters when it comes to close-quarters combat. Our ancestors likely had a superior low-light vision due to their huge eyes, a trait that let them maneuver easily in the dark.