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The Neanderthal's Necklace: In Search of the First Thinkers Hardcover – 17 Apr 2003


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Review

"...He certainly knows his stuff...necessary evolutionary and environmental background to this complex story, all well told for the general reader..." (New Scientist, 11 January 2003)

"...a splendid read...this book will be much admired and valued by academics and those who want an informative account of the human past..." (Fortean Times, May 2003)

"...this is good reference work that will benefit students and researchers..." (Focus, September 2003)

"...his book proves a valuable counter to accounts relegating this group to a peripheral role..." (Times Higher Education Supplement, 6 February 2004)

"...I praise Arsuaga for his commitment to all aspects of human and social sciences and for this synthesis that is relevant to the aspirations of every extant culture." (Endevour, March 2004)

"a very good and up–to–date introduction to the evolution of consciousness." (Journal of The Royal Anthropological Institute, September 2004)

"...He certainly knows his stuff...necessary evolutionary and environmental background to this complex story, all well told for the general reader..." (New Scientist, 11 January 2003)

"...a splendid read...this book will be much admired and valued by academics and those who want an informative account of the human past..." (Fortean Times, May 2003)

"...this is good reference work that will benefit students and researchers..." (Focus, September 2003)

"...his book proves a valuable counter to accounts relegating this group to a peripheral role..."Â (Times Higher Education Supplement, 6 February 2004)

"...I praise Arsuaga for his commitment to all aspects of human and social sciences and for this synthesis that is relevant to the aspirations of every extant culture." (Endevour, March 2004)

"a very good and up–to–date introduction to the evolution of consciousness." (Journal of The Royal Anthropological Institute, September 2004)

From the Inside Flap

Has there ever been a life form on earth that was as conscious of its own existence as ours? Quite possibly.

The Neanderthals occupied the earth for around 100,000 years and co–existed with our ancestors for at least 10,000 years. Their intelligence was probably very close to our own. They were able to manufacture stone tools like the Cro–Magnons, our ancestors, and they used language, hunted, socialised and practised funerary rituals. Additionally, they were physically better adapted than our ancestors for a cold climate.

Yet the Neanderthals died out while our ancestors survived. Juan Luis Arsuaga suggests that our ancestors’ ability to use symbols combined with their dexterity with tools, such as sewing implements, may have helped them to survive.

This is a story of the sweeping landscapes of a young Earth, of mountains and lakes and of the Ice Age. Within this vista, a drama is being played out between two species. Both are intelligent, conscious and part of reasonably sophisticated communities – only one will survive.

This is a book about our origins and where we came from.

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