Advertisement

Case Study 18. Neanderthals in the Mirror: Imagining our Relatives

  • John H. Langdon
Chapter

Abstract

Anyone who views hominin fossils has a desire to see them fleshed out. What did extinct species look like? How did they behave? Anthropologists and artists who try to answer these questions for us need quite a bit of license for their imagination, and often the results tell as much about modern humans as they do prehistoric ones. Of the extinct species, Neanderthals have been known and imagined the longest and have experienced the greatest number changes in their image. For the first half of the twentieth century, they were seen as primitive brutes next to civilized Cro-Magnon people. That image improved as perception of human nature took a turn for the worse. A new, humanized understanding of Neanderthals coincided with remarkable discoveries at Shanidar Cave.

Keywords

Neanderthals Shanidar Cave Marcellin Boule Erik Trinkaus Paleopathology 

Additional Reading

  1. Boule M (1923) Fossil men: elements of human paleontology (transl. from 2nd French edition). Oliver and Boyd, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  2. Cowgill LW, Trinkaus E, Zeder MA (2007) Shanidar 10: a middle paleolithic immature distal lower limb from Shanidar Cave, Iraqi Kurdistan. J Hum Evol 53:213–223CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Crubézy E, Trinkaus E (1992) Shanidar 1: a case of hyperostotic disease (DISH) in the middle paleolithic. Am J Phys Anthropol 89:411–420CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Dettwyler KA (1991) Can paleopathology provide evidence for “compassion”? Am J Phys Anthorpol 84:375–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Solecki RS (1971) Shanidar: the first flower people. Knopf, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Straus WL, Cave AJE (1957) Pathology and posture of Neanderthal man. Q Rev Biol 32(4):348–363CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Trinkaus E (1978) Hard times among the Neanderthals. Nat Hist 12:58–63Google Scholar
  8. Trinkaus E (1983a) The Shanidar Neandertals. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Trinkaus E (1983b) Artificial cranial deformation in the Shanidar 1 and Shanidar 5 Neandertals. Curr Anthropol 23:198–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Trinkaus E, Thompson DD (1987) Femoral diaphyseal histomorphometric age determinations for the Shanidar 3, 4, 5, and 6 Neandertals and Neandertal longevity. Am J Phys Anthropol 72:123–129CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Langdon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations