We must re-evaluate the image of Neanderthal Man

In the books of Palethnology and human Paleontology, that I have read in many decades, every author, on whichever argument, has felt the necessity to denigrate Neanderthal Man, opposing him to the modern Homo sapiens, considered only father of the humanity of today; but considered unjustly such.Today we know that Neanderthal Man had straight head and a posture perfectly erect, and finally never had that "animalish" aspect that erroneously it has been wanted to attribute to him beginning from the second half of the nineteenth century.
Today we know that Neanderthal Man held his head straight and had an erect posture, and did not have that " animalish" aspect 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 " The prehistoric man". where Neanderthal Man was more times represented with the " animalish" aspect imagined in the nineteenth century, that is ugly. Those images since then are constantly published by many authors and this unpleasant routine continues to spread among the new young authors a scientific error.
But there is more, today in order to denigrate the Neanderthal Man is invoked even the genetics, sustaining that he is extinguished because, differently from us moderns, lacking of a gene that would have made him to increase the intelligence.
There is some author that, in order to confirm the beauty of Homo sapiens, inspiring himself to the images by Burian, has said that the Neanderthal Man was "ugly".
It seems that many authors do not know, or they want to ignore, that the Neanderthal Man had a spiritual life like his predecessors, well documented from artistic finds (lithic sculpture, engravings on bone, teeth and shells pierced for pendants or necklaces), and it seems that they want to exclude him also from a correct evolutionistic analysis.
It is unjustifiable to continue to support the intelligence of Homo sapiens sapiens through his inventions (metal smelting, space probes, computers), when Homo sapiens Neanderthalensis is no more since many millennia.
It is important to remember that when Neanderthal Man is extinct, shortly thereafter also the Man of Cro-Magnon is extinct, and that Pietro Gaietto has more times observed and documented that these men had a material and a spiritual culture of a similar qualitative level.

Licia Filingeri (Editor)

Genova, 2009, January



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