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Neandertals show ancient signs of caring

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2:48pm, September 12, 2001

A nearly toothless jawbone found last year in France, which represents an early form of the Neandertals, speaks volumes about the ancient roots of providing life-saving care for the injured and infirm, according to a new report.

The partial jaw, dated at between about 169,000 and 191,000 years old, contains extensive bone damage and loss. It belonged to an adult who survived for at least 6 months while being virtually unable to chew food, concludes archaeologist Serge Lebel of the University of Quebec in Montreal and his colleagues.

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