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Neanderthal [Hardcover]

Douglas Palmer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Oct 2000
Tied to a Channel 4 documentary series, this is about the rise and fall of one of the most successful species ever to have walked the Earth. It tells how they thrived for nearly 200,000 years (much longer than modern man), and how they adapted to violent extremes of climate - until man arrived.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Channel 4 (20 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752272144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752272146
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 19.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 559,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

If only all books-of-the-television-series were as good as Douglas Palmer's Neanderthal. Channel 4 is rapidly establishing itself as the standard-bearer in this particular genre, with spin-off publications that combine traditional glossy production with intelligent and authoritative writing. Palmer tells the story of the fascinating extinct humans of the title with great clarity and simplicity, while managing to convey much of the depth and subtlety of the academic discipline of palaeoanthropology.

Beginning with a 28-page chapter entitled "How do we know what we know?", the historical and scientific fundamentals are well established before the book embarks on interpretations of the Neanderthal's ice-age world, the physical appearance of these remarkable people, their individual and social behaviours, reproductive characteristics, cultural practices, tool-making skills, relationships in time and space with expanding Cro-Magnon human populations, and the Neanderthals' ultimate decline to extinction. The last chapter brings the subject right up to date with recent genetic research that looks set to revolutionise our understanding of modern humans and our relationships with our evolutionary cousins and ancestors. There isn't a chapter that isn't fascinating and thought provoking. A perfect gift for the serious-minded reader. --Chris Lavers

From the Author

I would like to reply to a reader's review of my book Neanderthal, which criticises it for having a Eurocentric view. The book was commissioned to accompany a TV series of the same name, which specifically looked at the Neanderthals in a Western European context and dealt with the contact between the Neanderthals and the incoming Cro-Magnon modern humans (Homo sapiens) who had originated in Africa around a 100,000 years ago and reached Western Europe around 40,000 years ago. To give the context for this story I gave something of the historical background to the discovery of Neanderthals in Western Europe and their origins. Consequently, the Eurasian story was beyond my remit. My main concern was to present the Neanderthals and the arguments about them in as fair a way as possible. This is an ongoing and very interesting story that I hope to return to at some point in the future. I am sorry if this particular reader was disappointed but I hope my explanation is satisfactory

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Accessable Work 8 Nov 2010
This easily accessable work is the companion book to the Channel 4 series Neanderthal, which aried some years ago, however it does provide a good stand-alone insight into the world of our near cousins.
The text, with a forward by renouned expert Dr Christopher Stringer, is clearly written and it is illustrated richly throughout with pictures from the series
This is a useful refrence work for anybody generally intrested in this subject or in the prehistoric world as a whole!
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far too traditional view of Neaderthal life. 31 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Despite including recent evidence, this work still sticks with the traditional view of our Neanderthal ancestors. This traditional view is based almost entirely on Western Europe, especially Western France as if this was the most important place in the world, and overlooks the evidence for human evolution in the rest of the world. For example, it barely mentions the mammoth-hunter settlements of Eastern Europe and Siberia, where there is evidence of a continuous and developing culture from about 55,000 years ago to 15,000 years ago during which people changed gradually into a more modern appearance. And it hardly mentions the evidence from South-East Asia, where boats must have been used to navigate across open seas at least 70,000 years ago, and probably much earlier. This traditional Eurocentric view of history spoils what would otherwise have been a useful and interesting re-creation of life 35,000 years ago.
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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know yet 30 Mar 2010
I cannot review what I did not receive yet, although it is ordered a month ago!
The payment is done.
Hope to receive it soon.
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