The Real Neanderthal Man

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42,000 Years ago, the only humans in Europe made clothes, educated their young, made tools. But they weren’t the same as us. Now the very latest technology can reveal exactly how they lived, the dangers they faced and the communities they made in the Neander valley in Germany.

We all know the word “Neanderthal” to be an unflattering qualifier for some of our more uncultured and dim-witted fellow humans. But was the real Neanderthal man truly such an intellectual dunce? The Real Neanderthal Man looks at modern scientific findings that reveal quite the opposite.

The Real Neanderthal Man, 9.5 out of 10 based on 17 ratings

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  • Woody

    In the recreations, it would seem that this film take a number of leaps of conjecture. What is further problematic is the mixing of scientific study and conclusion with these sloppy recreations. The biggest example in my mind is the assertion that Neanderthal were led by men and had a patriarchal system – also the assertion that gatherings of nomadic groups provided a time for intermingling. The evidence I’ve read suggests Neanderthals were matriarchal and clans were centered around a woman and her partners. Perhaps the authors are suggesting a time when Neanderthals were already interbreeding with homo sapiens, but I found the presentation to be suspicious. Otherwise, a lovely docu.

    • Beau

      interbreeding? i often thought that if they are a different species of human to us their offspring would be infertile. It like if you breed a donkey to a horse… you get a mule but all mules are infertile. 

      • Thex

        Paabo’s group later found that non sub-Saharan Africans (Europeans and Asians) have between 1 and 4% Neanderthal DNA, so interbreeding did occur.

        Boundaries between species are often quite arbitrary. For example, different species of birds are capable of interbreeding, they just normally don’t.

    • Beau

      interbreeding? i often thought that if they are a different species of human to us their offspring would be infertile. It like if you breed a donkey to a horse… you get a mule but all mules are infertile. 

  • Humanatrisk

    That was very interesting…I was glad to see that some of us have evolved quite well in areas of the world with lush temperate climates. However those living in harsher areas such deserts and higher elevations have not fared as well. I have travelled extensively and have met several folks that I would say were closer to Neanderthal Man than present day humans in both appearance and mannerisms…still…life must go on!

  • Bill Sumner

    A bit like Armstrong and Miller cavemen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8561sf6Bg7s