The Dehumanization Of Neandertals

1106 Words5 Pages
Neandertals have been depicted as individuals with inadequate minds, lacking abstract thought, and have therefore been portrayed as a lower caliber species when compared to Upper Paleolithic Homo sapiens. Some North American and British pre-historians have inferred that Neandertals were incapable of language, hunting, creating tools, ethnicity, or religion (Hayden, 1993: 114). “In some cases, the trend to dehumanize Neandertals has gone to such extremes that it constitutes a betrayal of data, common sense and good theorizing (Hayden, 1993: 114).” Recent studies, however, demonstrate that Neandertals were actually similar to the Upper Paleolithic peoples in their genetic capacity for cultural behavior and that symbolic behavior was vital…show more content…
Historians have found that tools manufactured by Middle and Upper Paleolithic species were similar and sometimes identical (Hayden, 1993:116). Similar materials used to create the same tools were found in various archaeological sites, generally being made up of local lithic materials. Along with the false claims regarding tool technology with Neandertals are those pertaining to blades and bone tools. “There is excellent evidence for foresight, planning, skilled craftsmanship and more than adequate mental abilities for the manufacture of blades, bone tools and most tool types characteristic of the Upper Paleolithic by Neandertals (B. Hayden, 1993). A probable reason for the scarcity of technological evidence from the Middle Paleolithic compared to the Upper Paleolithic is that the Neandertals simply had no need for manufacturing more. The required tools needed to survive were the extent of the Neandertal productions. The Upper Paleolithic found more satisfaction from having elaborate or numerous sets of equipment, while Neandertals seemed to have commonly needed only what was fundamentally…show more content…
Fundamentally, both species have similar capabilities as to what they could physically and mentally accomplish. The Neandertals may have just been more basic in idea, and the progression of time and thought has brought society to where it stands today. Technology stayed consistent through the Middle and Upper Paleolithic time periods. Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to fully evaluate the relationship between Anatomically Modern humans and Neandertals. The research, however, has brought great knowledge of their habitats and lifestyles. Furthermore, this research has clarified that Neandertals were not incapacitated by mental deficiencies, but were rather a rudimentary form of the human species. This therefore disputes pre-historian claims that Neandertals were so incapable of technology, rituals, art, and communication. The significance of this research is that while Neandertals are not direct ancestors of modern humans, their genetics were actually more similar than originally perceived. Although a full knowledge of Neandertals has not yet been achieved, the continuing research allows us to understand how they could be similar while not having been in our direct
Open Document