Dimitra Papagianni trained as a Palaeolithic and stone tool specialist at Cambridge and wrote her PhD on the Neanderthal sites of northwestern Greece, the region where she was born. For her post-doc, she worked across southeastern Europe, looking at Neanderthal behaviour, and the question of the appearance of modern humans and disappearance of the Neanderthals. She has taught for the undergraduate, Masters and continuing education programs at Southampton, Cambridge, Oxford and Bath. When teaching general courses, her students often asked her to recommend an up-to-date, accessible book that provided a good overview of the Neanderthals' rise and fall. Unable to recommend one, she set out with her husband, Michael A. Morse, to write one. The two now reside with their three children in Westchester, New York.