View Full Version : Suggested reading on Neanderthals?

2010-May-23, 12:47 PM
Does anyone have some suggested book titles on neanderthals? I can't help but notice that they are popping up the news lately and they are rather interesting. The suggested titles should be introductory/basic as opposed to journals and such as I am reading for fun and have no particular background in this.


2010-May-23, 01:50 PM
James Shreeve, The Neandertal Enigma--a library book I regretfully didn't finish, but not because it was bad; recommended.

Paul Jordan, Neanderthal: Neanderthal Man and the Story of Human Origins--this book is well-written and engaging, but note that the author is deeply skeptical of the Neandertals' cognitive abilities and contribution to the human line, IIRC.

2010-May-23, 02:19 PM
What I found very enjoyable is the distinguished Swedish paleantologist's novel on the Neanderthals, called "The Dance of the Tiger". He uses the novel as a vechicle for this theories on the encounters between homo sapiens and Neanderthal. Good read...

2010-May-24, 08:05 AM
It was my distinct pleasure to read the Hugo Award-winning novel Hominids (http://www.amazon.com/Hominids-Neanderthal-Parallax-Robert-Sawyer/dp/0765345005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274687828&sr=8-1), by Rober J. Sawyer, about six months ago. Yes, it's an SF novel, but the SF is very toned down, and both the sapiens and neanderthal interests are tuned way up.

In fact, I found his portrayal of the neanderthal culture to be incredibly perspective. Whether acurate or not, I don't know for certain, but I did read he did a lot of research into anthropological findings before beginning his novel, and the major differences between sapiens and neanderthals appear to be well reflected in his work.

Sawyer followed this with Humans (http://www.amazon.com/Humans-Neanderthal-Parallax-Robert-Sawyer/dp/0765346753/ref=pd_sim_b_1), an apparent sequal aka "Volume Two of The Neanderthal Parallax," as well as Hybrids (http://www.amazon.com/Hybrids-Neanderthal-Parallax-Robert-Sawyer/dp/076534906X/ref=pd_sim_b_2).

I didn't know the other two were out until looking up information to respond to this thread, so... guess what I just ordered!!!

2010-May-24, 07:54 PM
Not a book, but I really enjoyed reading this SciAm artiicle:

Once We Were Not Alone.
January 2000; Scientific American Magazine; by Tattersall; 7 Page(s)
"Homo sapiens has had the earth to itself for the past 25,000 years or so, free and clear of competition from other members of the hominid family. This period has evidently been long enough for us to have developed a profound feeling that being alone in the world is an entirely natural and appropriate state of affairs.
"So natural and appropriate, indeed, that during the 1950s and 1960s a school of thought emerged that, in essence, claimed that only one species of hominid could have existed at a time because there was simply no ecological space on the planet for more than one culture-bearing species. The "single-species hypothesis" was never very convincing, even in terms of the rather sparse hominid fossil record of 35 years ago. But the implicit scenario of the slow, single-minded transformation of the bent and benighted ancestral hominid into the graceful and gifted modern H. sapiens proved powerfully seductive-as fables of frogs becoming princes always are."
http://www.cb9.scienceinstruction.org/Once%20we%20were%20not%20alone%20orginal%20from%20 SA.pdf

Bob Clark