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Peopling of the World: Europe

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What did one Neanderthal say to the other Neanderthal?
The Aesthetic Ambivalence of the Neanderthals
The Origins of Mediterranean Cave Art
The Muslim Expansion into Europe
Celts in the British Isles
European Language Development

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Europe is a very unique and diverse continent, where many questions on the origins of language and art can be answered.  The members of this group took on such topics as the origins of art and architecture in the Mediterranean region of Europe, the architecture and language of the Celtics, and the art and language of Neandertals.

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Neanderthal family

The social interaction between Homo neanderthalensis is not very well known. The section on Neanderthal speech will attempt to help us understand who the Neanderthals were and how they lived.

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The Muslim expansion into Spain was the beginning of a conflict between the East and West that has echoed on until today.  Using genetic and Linguistic evidence it can been seen that the people of spain still show influences from this period of foreign rule by Muslim leaders.

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Decorated rock at entrance to Newgrange

The Celts are a people shrouded with mystery that continue to fascinate archaeologists today, in part due to the lack of first hand information (the Celts had no writing), as well as the beauty of their art, and the impact on todays European population.

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Were Neanderthals symbolic creatures? Could they enjoy the aesthetic value of carvings and jewelry enjoyed by modern humans? Several sites in France offer evidence to the affirmative, which will be explored in depth to determine whether or not these artifacts were intentionally altered.

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Ever since its first discovery years ago, cave art has been analyzed, both scientifically and socially. Cave art tends to provide its researchers an abundant amount of information regarding our most ancient ancestors. The notion of pre-historic cave art might also suggest our relatedness to the primitive Neanderthal. Studies by Arizona State University's own Paul Robert Fish (1979) suggest that, "The principle source for inference and hypothesis about human behavior for much of the span of prehistory lies in stone tools and related debitage." Certainly these stone tools were the very ones used to carve and mark the elaborate as well as the simple, unelaborate drawings on cave walls by these ancient peoples.

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The Indo-European language family is comprised of the various languages spoken throughout Eurasia and descends from the very controversial Proto-Indo-European language family.