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Neanderthals Discovered Essay

1287 words - 6 pages

Book Review: The Neanderthals Rediscovered
The book that I decided to read and write about was, The Neanderthals Rediscovered by Dimitra Papagianni and Michael A. Morse. The publishers of this book are Thames & Hudson published in October 7th, 2013.These two authors are well versed in both of their fields. Papagianni holds a PhD in archeology from the University of Cambridge, and also was a British Academy Post-doctoral Fellow at the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins at the University of Southampton. She has also wrote several books such as Middle Palaeolithic Occupation and Technology in Northwestern Greece. Morse has a PhD in the history of science from the University of ...view middle of the document...

The main point of this chapter is how Neanderthals came to be in this world and their relationship to us. Also new questions arose about the tool making process of the Neanderthals because they improved from large hand axe to pocket sized stone tools with sharp edges. “The biggest mystery about this new kind of cutting tool is why it appeared almost simultaneously in Europe and southern Africa” (20). The second chapter is called The First Europeans. This chapter talks about how the Neanderthals were the first hominins to enter Europe. “The Neanderthals were the only species – out of around twenty identified in out lineage – that we are reasonably certain evolved there” (24). Another point they made in this chapter that was very interesting was the fact that there were signs of cannibalism amongst the Neanderthals. At the sight of Gran Dolina, they found cut marks on the bones and human remains fused in food debris. “In other words, Gran Dolina seems to have been a food processing site, and the humans present were eaten by other humans” (39). It may seem unusual to some people but in retrospect it is not because cannibalism is a well-known part of our behavior as modern humans. The third chapter is called Defeating the Cold. This chapter talks about how the species Homo heidelbergenis gave rise to the Neanderthals in Europe. Homo heidelbergenis were very similar to the Neanderthal because of the fact that Neanderthals evolved from Homo heidelbergenis. A way they were similar was that they had similar tool technology, “The first arrivals used hand axes, in contrast to the simple pebble-and-flake tools of Homo antecessor” (51). This goes to show that Neanderthals may have evolved from Homo heidelbergenis. Overall, I think the main points of chapters one, two, and three are pretty clear.
In the fourth chapter, which is called Meet the Neanderthals. This chapter mainly talks about the first Neanderthals and the Levallois technique of tool making. The first Neanderthals were very big and strong for their size. Their brain is the one thing that is very astonishing, “They did this a few different times using different assumptions and came up with an average result of around 1,430 ml (48oz)” (77). Eventually the Neanderthal brains got bigger. They also talked about how they had a high skull and a very strong brow ridge. The Levallois tool making technique was a very good technique that helped the Neanderthals throughout their time. “With Levallois tools the Neanderthals would have improved their chance of securing food, especially from migrating animals... increasing their opportunity for finding sexual partners” (89). The fifth chapter is called An End to Isolation....

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