Cavedating

Instead, different groups of these hominids adapted their traits at different points. But "there periodically spread a thick crust of ice over a great part of the disputed land," says Arsuaga.

The evolution of pronounced Neanderthal facial features wasn't a fluke.

As most of these features emphasize a pronounced chewing mechanism, researchers believe they were an adaptive trait.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are among the most important historical texts ever discovered, dating as far back as the third century BCE.

These texts were spread across 11 caves, and for decades archeologists have been searching for more.

Shattered storage jars and lids were found in hollows in the cave walls, and other fragments of wrappings, leather bindings, and string from the same period all indicated that it once held these sacred texts.

But the most recent items found in the cave tell a clear story of the fate of the scrolls: two iron pickaxe heads, dated to the 1950s, presumably belonged to looters, who cracked open the jars and fled with their valuable contents.Important as this discovery is, it might just be the beginning of bigger things.This excavation was the first to be conducted in the northern section of the Judaean Desert, and with Operation Scroll still underway, new Dead Sea Scrolls may turn up in the near future, providing more insights into the cultural and religious history of the area."The important discovery of another scroll cave attests to the fact that a lot of work remains to be done in the Judaean Desert and finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered," says Israel Hasson, Director-General of the IAA."We are in a race against time as antiquities thieves steal heritage assets worldwide for financial gain.Arsuaga explains that these humans likely used their front teeth as a sort of "third hand," grabbing and pulling at large chunks of meat.Over generations, the people who could do this most effectively would survive to reproduce more often."Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea Scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave.Finding this additional scroll cave means we can no longer be certain that the original locations (Caves 1 through 11) attributed to the Dead Sea Scrolls that reached the market via the Bedouins (nomadic people of the area) are accurate." Although no scrolls were found, the cave was littered with other treasures.These people also were able to open their mouths much wider.The condyle, the point on the bottom jaw at the joint with the top, is quite a bit lower than that of earlier humans.

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