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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the Neanderthals from an archaeological perspective. It explains that the Neanderthals literally exploded into a world of scientific controversy in 1856 because of the Pleistocene fauna from the caves of the Neander Valley collected by a local school teacher Johann Fuhlrott. It discusses the three hypotheses have been advanced in order to explain the evolutionary position of the Neanderthals. These include the Neanderthal phase of man hypothesis, the presapient hypothesis, and the pre-Neanderthal hypothesis. It also describes the behaviour, resources and subsistence, speech and language, and symbols and art of the Neanderthals.

Keywords: Neanderthals, Pleistocene fauna, Neander Valley, Johann Fuhlrott, presapient hypothesis, pre-Neanderthal hypothesis, behaviour, speech, language, symbols

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