*Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art*

By Rebecca Wragg Sykes, an excellent book, a very responsible treatment of what we do and do not know about Neanderthals, with a bit on Denisovans as well.  It is a book full of sentences such as: “Micro-morphology has also provided proof that, far from being slovenly, Neanderthals were regularly disposing of their rubbish.”  It seems they enjoyed mussels and also grubs, among many other foodstuffs.  The hearth was the center of the home and they had fairly advanced systems for butchery.  They used leather and deployed pigments.

I enjoyed this segment:

Parisians, Londoners or Berliners today with ostensibly European heritage have very little connection even to Mesolithic people just 10,000 years ago.  The vast majority of their DNA comes from a massive influx of Western Asian peoples during the Neolithic.  This means that many of the first H. sapiens populations are more extinct than the neanderthals; not a great sign of evolutionary dominance.

Recommended, you can order here.


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