On a sunny day 150 years ago, workers digging in a valley near Düsseldorf, Germany, found some strange bones in a cave. They weren't animal bones, but they also differed from those of human skeletons-they were the bones of Neandertals, early hominids. The discovery ushered in the new science of paleoanthropology and began a debate about how Neandertals lived and how much they resembled modern humans-a debate that continues to this day. Glossary. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Suggestions for further reading. Full-color photographs, chart, map, and drawings.
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Who were the Neandertals? Why did they die out? How are modern humans related to them? These questions and others are addressed in La Pierre’s lively and intriguing study. The author begins with the first fossil discoveries and continues by showing how scientists have struggled to determine Neandertals’ connection to Homo sapiens and how they lived. The text includes sharp color photos of skeletal remains, black-and-white portraits of scientists, and artists’ varied interpretations of how Neandertals looked. La Pierre clearly describes the varying viewpoints on their physiology as well as culture. The glossary definitions are often too technical to be useful to beginning anthropologists, but the extensive bibliography gives budding researchers plenty of current articles to examine. A short list of further reading includes appealing fiction as well as nonfiction. Little has been published specifically on Neandertals for a younger audience, and this book will make a great addition to the anthropology section of both public and school libraries.—Denise Schmidt, San Francisco Public Library, CA
This book provides an in-depth introduction to the lives of Neandertals, including how, where, and when they lived. The history and methods of research along with shifting ideas and opinions about Neandertals' place in human history are also explored. Numerous sidebars and illustrations supplement the accessible text. Reading list, websites. Bib., glos., ind.