Thursday, May 11, 2023

The Puzzle of Neanderthal Aesthetics

 From the BBC:

Getting into the minds of ancient people, never mind those of a different kind of human altogether, is one of the great challenges of archaeology. Ever since the first Neanderthal remains were identified in the 19th Century, how they lived and what they thought has been a fundamental and evocative question motivating those who study them. Yet despite immense leaps in archaeology over the past 160 years, the answer remains complicated and sometimes problematic, partly because of our own preconceptions.

Neanderthals have always represented a philosophical foil to Homo sapiens – that is, to us. Initially they were the only other sort of human that we knew had existed on Earth, and even as other ancient hominin species have been discovered, they retained a special place as "the other", a kind of mirror with which to compare ourselves. (Read more.)


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