Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More on Neandertal mobility

John Hawks has an excellent commentary on the "Neandertal mobility" article that just came out today. He makes the important point that it's hardly surprising that Neandertals were mobile. What else would you expect, when they had to catch their woolly mammoth stew for dinner, so to speak? But the idea is still controversial --- in some quarters. The other point Hawks makes is, that it would hardly be surprising that they might have traveled over distances, to make use of resources they didn't have in their "home base". Which strikes me as quite reasonable. But it is apparently not reasonable to some workers who believe, or want to believe, that Neandertals just didn't have the "brain power" to do this. And yes, there are people who believe things like this.

But it's studies like these that confirm --- for me, at least --- that I'm on the right track in portraying the Neandertals in my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals the way I do. Because in most ways, there is almost no difference between the way the Neandertals in my epic behave, and the way everybody else behaves. They are different in some of their abilities(and not the ones the average reader might expect), but then, I'm not writing paleoanthropology, I'm writing science fiction, and my work, while rooted in actual historical events, is primarily a kind of "what if" work of the imagination. So I really don' think this discovery about "Neandertal mobility" is really a huge revelation. At least not for me. My work is based on the premise that Neandertals were not all that different --- other than (somewhat) anatomically different --- than "modern" humans are. And I am perfectly well aware that there are plenty of people who disagree with this assessment.

This particular study, and Hawks's comments on it, simply confirm the suspicions I have had all along. And that's one of the reasons I'm writing the things I'm writing.
Anne G

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