NPR

Why Won't The Old Caveman Stereotypes For Neanderthals Die?

New evidence suggests Neanderthals made cave art — and they may also have created religious rituals. It's time to let go of Neanderthal-human "border policing," says anthropologist
Picture shows what scientists say are Neanderthal cave-paintings inside the Andalusian cave of Ardales, on March 1, 2018. The cave-paintings, found in three caves in Spain, were created between 43,000 and 65,000 years ago, at least 20,000 years before modern humans are believed to have arrived in Europe. Source: AFP/Getty Images

Barbara J. King is an anthropology professor emerita at the College of William and Mary. She often writes about the cognition, emotion and welfare of animals and about biological anthropology, human evolution and gender issues. Barbara's new book is Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat. You can keep up with her on Twitter @bjkingape.


At the end of last month, a team of research scientists announced that walls in three caves in Spain were adorned with art created by our evolutionary cousins the Neanderthals about 65,000 years ago.

That news, published, rang out worldwide as exciting, even revolutionary.

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