Saturday, April 26, 2014

Some Facts about Neanderthals

I did tons of research for writing DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE. I used it in the book, of course, but I’d like to share some of it with you. Everyone is interested in Neanderthals, right?

Here are some notes for the first five chapters with source references:

Chapter 1
On current evidence, the Neanderthals lived between about 230,000 and 30,000 years ago--a huge span of time by any reckoning.
In Search of the Neanderthals Christopher Stringer and Clive Gamble, p. 7

In ancient times women ruled, because they had the magic masks, or the magic flutes, but men spied on them and stole their magic away.
Indians William Brandon, p. 20

Chapter 2
The high incidence of degenerative joint disease in Neanderthals is perhaps not surprising given what we know of the hard lives they led and the wear and tear this would have produced on their bodies. But the prevalence of serious injuries is more surprising, and indicates just how dangerous life was, even for those who did manage to reach ‘old age’ in Neanderthal societies.
In Search of the Neanderthals Christopher Stringer and Clive p. 95

Chapter 3
A remarkable feature that occurred in the older part of the shelter1 fill was a man-made rock pavement that rested on the surface of Zone 3clay and was overlain by travertine, clay, and limestone grit (Zone 4). … Several small patches of cobblestone pavement apparently were found at a level below the main rock floor pavement, and [Glen] Evans thought these might be evidence of human activity in Zone 3.
Taken from, a site of the University of Texas at Austin
1Kincaid shelter in Texas Hill country
2Late Pleistocence, 126,000 to 11,500 years ago

Chapter 4
New evidence has emerged that Neanderthals co-existed with anatomically modern humans for at least 1,000 years in central France. …Neanderthals lived in the cave between roughly 40,000 and 38,000 years ago…. Homo sapiens …inhabited caves for about 1,000 to 1,500 years…. At that point, Homo sapiens moved out and the Neanderthals returned, staying for a period that went from about 36,5000 years ago to 35,000 years ago.
From, ABC news article September 1, 2005

Chapter 5
Neanderthals seemed to suffer a high frequency of fractures…. These fractures are often healed and show little or no sign of infection, suggesting that injured individuals were cared for during times of incapacitation.
T.D. Berger and E. Trinkaus (1995). "Patterns of trauma among Neadertals". Journal of Archaeological Science 22: 841 - 852. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
Found at

illustration from


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Fascination stuff!

Morgan Mandel said...

Didn't I see some Neanderthals in a commercial?

Anyway, you do have a vivid imagination to even consider writing about Neanderthals.

Kaye George said...

Sorry I'm seeing these comments so late! Thanks for reading, Marilyn. Morgan, those commercials were horrible! I'm glad they've quit.