A Setback for Neandertal Smarts? - ScienceNOW

I, along with many others, love studying Neandertals. When I was studying for my qualifying exams at Berkeley, I had the good fortune of working at the Anthropology Library, a lovely library with a lot of material on Neandertals. As I've always been interested in paleoanthropology—I almost did a degree in it—and as the interpretation of paleohistory is as much (if not profoundly) a game of logical and persuasive narrative, where the smallest detail speaks to a volume of history, decoding the Neandertal, what it was, what it is in the modern imagination, and how it was perceived as a body of people back in the Victorian Age, was overwhelming, and I succumbed. And so instead of reading the works I ought to have, I read rather lots and lots of material on Neandertals.

It's an amazing subject, and perhaps the closest we can see now for similar ethical and logical considerations comes with the appreciation of animal sentience, feeling, consciousness. 


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