PALEOLITHIC ART MAGAZINE




EDITORIAL


We need to reassess the image of Neanderthal Man.

In Palethnology and Human Paleontology books , which I have read in many decades, every author, on any subject, has felt the need to denigrate Neanderthal Man, opposing to him the modern Homo sapiens. Homo Sapiens was injustly considered the only father of the current humanity.
Today we know that Neanderthal Man held his head straight and had an erect posture, and did not have that aspect "animal" who wrongly, beginning from the second half of the ninenteenth century, authors wanted to attribute to him.
In 1960, the great illustrator Zdenek Burian (1905 Koprivnice -Prague 1981) published the book "Prehistoric Man" (1900), where Neanderthal Man was repeatedly depicted as an "animal", as imagined in ninenteenth century, ugly. These images since then are constantly published by many authors; this bad habit and lie in science continues to spread among new young authors. But there's more: today, to denigrate Neanderthal Man , scientists have even resorted to genetics, and they argue that he has lapsed because did not have a gene that helped him to increase his intelligence, unlike us modern.
There is any author who said, taking inspiration from the images by Burian, that Neanderthal Man was "ugly" to enhance the beauty of Homo sapiens.
It seems that many authors do not know, or want to ignore, that Neanderthal Man had a spiritual life, like his predecessors, well documented by artistic (lithic sculpture, engravings on bone, teeth and shells pierced for pendants or necklaces). More, authors also excluded him from a proper evolutionary analysis.
We cannot continue to support the intelligence of Homo sapiens through inventions (casting, space vehicles, computer), when homo sapiens Neanderthalensis is no longer there from many millennia.
It is important to remember that when Neanderthal Man died, was extinguished shortly afterwards Cro-Magnon Man, and that these men, as has repeatedly observed and documented by Pietro Gaietto, had a material and a spiritual culture of a similar prominence of quality.




Licia Filingeri (Editor)

Genova, 2009, January

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