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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.
|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|
|5||The World of the Neanderthalers||65|
|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|