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The Neanderthals Rediscovered

How Modern Science is Rewriting Their Story

Dimitra Papagianni

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Winner of the 2015 Society for American Archaeology Book Award, this is a fascinating study of the Neanderthals, informed by the latest scientific developments and discoveries

Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


The Neanderthals’ story has been transformed thanks to new discoveries and paradigm-shattering scientific innovations. We can now trace their evolution in Europe and spread across Asia, study their DNA and piece together how they lived and died.

Far from today’s stereotypes, the Neanderthals’ behaviour was surprisingly modern: they buried the dead, cared for the sick, hunted large animals, used red pigment and spoke.

If Neanderthals were so advanced, why did they die out and Homo sapiens survive? By looking at the full Neanderthal story, we can better address the biggest mystery of all: what it means to be human.

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' [Written] with confidence and verve … strikes an excellent balance between broad popular appeal and satisfyingly rich content'
Society for American Archaeology

' Fresh, well-informed and highly recommended … The inspired pairing of a Palaeolithic expert and a historian of science makes for compelling reading'
Paul Pettitt, Professor of Archaeology, Durham University

'A nuanced and sympathetic perspective on these fascinating people’ '
Brian Fagan, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, University of California, Santa Barbara

'Has the fresh charm of treating human evolution as a curious story that leads to the Neanderthals, rather than as a moral tale that rises ever upward and inevitably to us godlike moderns'

'A beautifully synthesized portrait of a powerful people … the first complete chronological narrative of the species from emergence to extinction … a gem'

'Excellent and absorbing'
Current World Archaeology

'If you thought you knew about the Neanderthals, think again. Prepare to have your prejudices shattered and your understanding of humanity challenged'
Clive Gamble, Professor of Archaeology, University of Southampton

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Revised and updated edition

Size: 19.8 x 13.0 cm

Extent: 208 pp

Illustrations: 77

Publication date: 2 September 2015

ISBN: 9780500292044

About the Author

Michael A. Morse has a PhD in the history of science with a specialty in the history of British archaeology. He has written on a variety of subjects including the history of research into the ancient Celts, the rules of baseball and the Neanderthals.

Dimitra Papagianni trained as a Palaeolithic and stone tool specialist at Cambridge and wrote her PhD on the Neanderthal sites of northwestern Greece, the region where she was born. She has taught for the undergraduate, Masters and continuing education programs at Southampton, Cambridge, Oxford and Bath.

List of Contributors

Michael A. Morse

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