Thursday, October 25, 2012

Neanderthal Sapience?

Some paleontologists now doubt that Neanderthals deliberately buried their dead, as has long been assumed. It’s suggested instead that the supposed burial sites are places where bones were deposited by natural forces:

Neanderthal Burials

I’d be a little sorry if this new hypothesis turned out to be true. THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR is one of my favorite novels. I’ve always liked the theory that Neanderthals were a subspecies of humanity almost as mentally advanced as we are but in a different way. The concept of more than one kind of human species coexisting on the planet at the same time intrigues me. The whole “we are not alone” idea (or, anyway, haven’t always been alone) has exciting possibilities. That’s probably why I want Bigfoot to exist, too. Not so farfetched—the Pacific Northwest includes a lot of undeveloped territory, and I’ve heard that a now well-studied primate, the mountain gorilla, was assumed to be extinct not that many decades ago.

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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