A Neanderthal Christmas

Homo sapiens neanderthalensis

I spent Stressmas alone, delightfully free of the travel-and-consume imperative that grips my fellow lunatics in the West. Most memorably, i walked the Victoria streets for a couple of hours listening to two fascinating podcasts, courtesy of CBC Radio‘s Ideas program, called Homo (sapiens) neanderthalenis. From which I gleaned the following:

There have been perhaps 20 different species of human over the 400 million or so years since our ancestors learned to walk upright, but none has captured the imagination like the Neanderthals — the textbook ‘cave man.’ They ranged over much of Eurasia (from Portugal to Israel, Germany to the Mediterranean). The oldest find to date is perhaps 350,000 years old, though most specimens are less than 120,000. The fascinating thing about them is that they disappeared rather abruptly, some 25-30,000 years ago — precisely the time that modern man was moving into Eurasia from our African homelands. Continue reading “A Neanderthal Christmas”