discussion: neandertals

discussion: neandertals


The view of Neandertals has changed radically as evidence has been gathered through the years. Our discussion article provides insight into how Neandertals, our closest relatives, lived and thought.


  1. First review the material in Chapter 5 of your textbook (Lavenda & Schultz 2015) so that you have a good understanding of how Neandertals evolved and what the archaeological and paleontological evidence is.
  2. Read this article, a copy of which is posted in this week’s module:

Wong, Kate

2015 Neandertal Minds. Scientific American February:36-43.


Answer the following questions as thoroughly as you can. Be sure to cite evidence/references where necessary. Label your responses according to the number of the question.

  1. Compare the information presented in the textbook (Chapter 5) to the information presented in this article for physical/biological characteristics and for cultural characteristics. What are the differences? What are the similarities? Provide at least two explicit examples of each.
  2. Transport yourself back in time to when and where Neandertals lived. What was life like for them? What types of activities do you see them doing? Provide vivid details and write at least a few paragraphs for this answer. (Use both your textbook and the discussion article as sources.)
  3. How has the stereotype of the Neandertals as dumb brutes affected scientific interpretations of their capabilities? Discuss at least 3 different effects.