Skip to comments.Author says prehistoric humans were a lot like us [Jean Auel]
Posted on 02/28/2006 10:36:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv
If someone calls you a Neanderthal, maybe you should take it as a compliment. When it comes to defending the reputation of prehistoric humans, you'd be hard pressed to find a better advocate than Jean Auel, the Portland author of the hugely popular Earth's Children series of novels... Auel first introduced readers to Ayla, a 5-year-old Cro-Magnon orphan girl adopted by a clan of Neanderthals, in "The Clan of the Cave Bear," published in 1980. In that and four subsequent books, Auel has honed her reputation for tireless research that allows her to place her characters amid the details of everyday prehistoric life.
(Excerpt) Read more at registerguard.com ...
The Neandertal EnigmaFrayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]
by James Shreeve
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Yeah sure she wasn't there.
"The five books have sold nearly 40 million copies in more than 30 languages, and Auel (pronounced "Owl") let out a secret Monday sure to delight her legion of fans: It's going to take seven, not six, novels to complete Ayla's story."
Given her VERY SLOW rate of producing novels (several have come out years past the promised date), it is NOT good news to those of us who were hoping she would just get the series over with in the final book sometime soon. Some of the books have been excellent (the first two), while some have been her version of a prehistoric soap opera.
I have read some of her books. The first one was okay then she started getting wierd.
Not having read any of her novels, I have a question. Does the author have any particular area of expertise when it comes to the subject of early Man? Is she a scientist like Michael Crichton? I'm just wondering how much to discount her opinion in these matters.
Great series. Have read them all to date.
For a REALLY interesting story, go here:
then, click on the link on the left side of the page for "Bigfoot creatures", then, on the page that opens, click on "The story of Zana", which is the last link on the page. It's a fascinating tale, and includes some pictures of a skull from Abkhazia, from a man claimed to be the result of a mating by a human male and a female bigfoot-like creature. The skull looks very similar to a Neanderthal skull, but the man died sometime in the 20th century.
"and the neanderthal was the most advanced hominid"
What, of all hominids? Are you mad?
I might add that, according to the aforementioned story, the four surviving children of this creature all married humans and produced live, healthy offspring. It is taken as a dictum among zoologists that if two individuals can mate, and produce viable offspring that also may mate successfully, then those two individuals are of the same species, no matter how divergent their appearances may be. This brings up the intriguing possibility that bigfeet may be just humans whose ontogeny reflects a simple genetic recessive preserved by inbreeding.
Cranial capacities of Neanderthals were larger than those of modern humans. Of course Neanderthals were not as technologically advanced as we are, but the argument can be made that they were neurologically advanced than we. There is more to intelligence than tool-making ability.
IMO, the article does a good job of presenting Auel. She has done a lot of research and I'd classify her first two books as 'edutainment.' Archaeology & anthropology are as much (or more) what I would call an 'interpretive art' as they are real science. The first two books (as I recall--read them in the 80's) touch on a lot of things--language development, medicinal herbs, development of weapons, domestication of animals, social structure... Most, if not all, of what we think we know on those subjects, as per prehistoric man, is speculative in nature anyway. Bottom line is that the story is fiction but the details are what I'd call (mostly) 'informed opinion.'
Aside from that, the books beyond the first two, are a waste of time.
Thanks for the 'review'. I don't mind reading this kind of novel as long as it doesn't stray too much from the plausible. BTW, these kinds of stories have a limited "shelf-life" since a few new discoveries can invalidate a major portion of the storyline. IE. if geneticists conclude that interbreeding between Neanderthals & Cro Magnon's was not possible.
Brainsize does not matter.
There are people with very large brains that are stupid, and people with far below average brainsizes that are geniuses.
In fact, although there is a positive correlation between brainsize and intelligence in modern humans, it is a very small one.
Quality is more important than quantity.
I think the neanderthals where civilised enough to hava culture, but to claim they are more 'neurologically advanced' is ridiculous. There is no evidence for it.
Actually, the mtDNA studies are a load of crap, and they don't show any such thing. Also, they don't claim that Neandertal was "an advanced ape of some sort", and they could not possibly show that "there would be no possibility of interbreeding".
Mammoth Hunters was third; Valley of the Horses was second, and agreed, all great reads. :-)
Do you know of any scientist ever speculating what function the "broad bony bridge" would have?
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