Neanderthal: Neanderthal Man and the Story of Human Origins

Overview

Neanderthal Man has a legendary status. His stocky, hairy, human-like figure, with heavy brow and receding chin, lumbers clumsily around in our collective imagination. We are apt to apply his name to people for whom we have a low regard. We like to think of ourselves as so very much more sophisticated, intelligent, evolved than Neanderthal folk. But do we know who Neanderthal man really is? Was he our direct ancestor, or was he perhaps a more alien figure, not in the line of modern human descent at all, ...
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Overview

Neanderthal Man has a legendary status. His stocky, hairy, human-like figure, with heavy brow and receding chin, lumbers clumsily around in our collective imagination. We are apt to apply his name to people for whom we have a low regard. We like to think of ourselves as so very much more sophisticated, intelligent, evolved than Neanderthal folk. But do we know who Neanderthal man really is? Was he our direct ancestor, or was he perhaps a more alien figure, not in the line of modern human descent at all, genetically very distinct -- the victim rather than the driving force of the spread of humankind across the globe?

The original Neanderthal bones were unearthed to great scholarly, and soon popular, excitement in the Neander valley in Germany in the mid-nineteenth century. Many anatomists and archaeologists believed that we had discovered modern man's direct ancestor. Though the Neanderthalers appeared to have created no art and there was a big question mark over their powers of speech, some anthropologists continued to regard them as plausible candidates for the ancestry of modern humanity all over the world -- but there have always been dissenters from that view.

Recently, genetic tests on the original bones from Germany have been taken to show that the Neanderthalers were not our descendants at all, having diverged from our line of evolution at least half a million years ago to die out without issue during the last ice age. Yet a new find announced in 1999, of a four-year-old child who lived about five thousand years later on, seems to show signs of interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthal types...

Neanderthal brings together all the research into Homo sapiens neanderthalensis; into his world, his technology, his way of life (and death, even his beliefs), his origins and his relationship with us. In an accessible and fascinating text, fully illustrated in black and white and colour, Paul Jordan takes us on a vivid journey through the history of our most famous cousin in search of the origins of all mankind.

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Editorial Reviews

Internet Bookwatch
In Neanderthal: Neanderthal Man And The Story Of Human Origins, Paul Jordan draws upon his archaeological expertise to bring the reader up to date on our current understandings and interpretations of the Neanderthal species and its relationship to homo sapiens. Recently genetic testing on original bones from Germany show that the Neanderthal are not our direct ancestors, but rather a hominid off-shoot from a common ancestor shared with homo sapiens, having diverged from our line of evolution at least half a million years ago and doomed to die out during the last ice age. Jordan also surveys the evidence of about five thousand years of overlapping co-existence with homo sapiens, and some archaeological signs of interbreeding between modern humans and Neanderthal types. Neanderthal brings together under one cover all the research into the Neanderthal, their world, technology, way of life, death rituals, origins, and relationships to modern man. Ideal for the non-specialist general reader, Neanderthal is enhanced with more than one hundred black and white illustrations and eight pages of color photography.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750919340
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.99 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii
List of Illustrations ix
Introduction--The Man from Newmandale xiii
1 The Discovery of Neanderthal Man 1
2 Neanderthal Man Abroad 15
3 Neanderthal Man in the Twentieth Century 28
4 Neanderthal Types 46
5 The World of the Neanderthalers 65
6 Neanderthal Technology 78
7 The Neanderthal Way of Life 92
8 Before Neanderthal Man 114
9 From Apes to Hominids 130
10 The Human Line 144
11 The Emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens 171
12 Neanderthal Nemesis 190
13 Epilogue 215
Further Reading 229
Index 231
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