Word of Mouth
9:46 am
Mon June 10, 2013

The Neanderthal Mind

Cranial comparison between Modern Man and Neanderthal from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Cranial comparison between Modern Man and Neanderthal from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Credit Matt Celeskey via flickr Creative Commons

To call someone a Neanderthal is to liken one to the heavy browed, ape-like troglodytes we see in history books or movies, but were they more sophisticated?

Sophisticated might be stretching it a bit, but a debate has surfaced in the scientific community about whether Neanderthals had a more complex culture than previous thought, and maybe even the cognitive powers equal to anatomically modern humans of the time.

Journalist Marek Kohn’s has been following the debate, his article “The Neanderthal Mind” appeared in the latest issue of Aeon magazine. He says the story starts with a perforated shell some fifty thousand years ago.

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