The Neanderthals rediscovered : how modern science is rewriting their history

by Dimitra Papagianni

Book, 2013



Call number

GN285 .P37


Publisher Unknown


In recent years, the common perception of the Neanderthals has been transformed, thanks to new discoveries and paradigm-shattering scientific innovations. It turns out that the Neanderthals' behavior was surprisingly modern: they buried the dead, cared for the sick, hunted large animals in their prime, harvested seafood, and communicated with spoken language. Meanwhile, advances in DNA technologies are compelling us to reassess the Neanderthals' place in our own past.For hundreds of thousands of years, Neanderthals evolved in Europe parallel to Homo sapiens evolving in Africa, and, when both species made their first forays into Asia, the Neanderthals may even have had the upper hand. In this important volume, Dimitra Papagianni and Michael A. Morse compile the first full chronological narrative of the Neanderthals' dramatic existence--from their evolution in Europe to their expansion to Siberia, their subsequent extinction, and ultimately their revival in popular novels, cartoons, cult movies, and television commercials.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member DinadansFriend
The title is descriptive, and the prose is workmanlike. The current news is a welcome summing up of the last yen years in this field, which can be quite contentious. Morse and Papagiani seem balanced in their approach, and the flurry of newspaper items in the 2000's was confusing on occasion. They
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present a limited number of conclusions, and lay to rest some tropes in the anthropology as well as entertainment worlds. I found it a useful summary of the present state of play.
The maps are a little weak, without some useful levels of detail.
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LibraryThing member unclebob53703
An excellent summary of the current state of our knowledge of Neanderthals, which is evolving rapidly. At the price I paid for it ($12) I feel I can afford to keep up with subsequent editions--this is the second. Written for the layman and generously illustrated.
LibraryThing member pomo58
The Neanderthals Rediscovered provides an excellent and up-to-date (as much as possible) overview of Neanderthals. This is one of the few works to concentrate on them as something more than a footnote to evolutionary development. That said, there is still plenty of context so even the lay reader
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can understand the role of the Neanderthals within the larger scientific narrative.

I would recommend this book for both those within the field(s) as well as those simply interested, such as myself. The resources cited can be used to answer some questions or, for those more knowledgeable, serve as a springboard into further research. The writing is engaging and the organization is easy to understand and follow.

A copy was provided from the publisher through Goodreads First Reads.
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LibraryThing member Stbalbach
This is a brief overview of Neanderthals written by a Palaeolithic and stone tool specialist at Cambridge who wrote her PhD on the Neanderthal. It retells the whole story. You can see how they came about and evolved. Apparently the hand axe is the oldest human tool dating to 1.6 mya and used by
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multiple human species without much innovation. Neanderthals used their teeth a lot probably in chewing or stripping hides for clothing since they had no needles and thread. Compared to them, modern humans would look like children, just as dogs are adult-puppy versions of wolves, the end result of self-domestication. Neanderthals had speech and were probably quite intelligent, at least in a practical way, symbolic thinking not fully developed. There was tremendous violence most skeletons show blunt force injuries, possibly in encounters with animals, or one another. And they ate one another, at times, but then so do some humans. These were tough people, given a time machine and walking into the dark old-growth forests of Europe, I would be seriously concerned about the natives, but the population density was so thin you may never encounter them. What killed them off remains a mystery, according to this telling. There is an interesting section on Neanderthals in popular culture and an overview of the fiction my favorite being Quest for Fire.
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