‘Beautiful, evocative, authoritative.’ Professor Brian Cox‘Important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.’ Yuval Noah HarariKindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals. Since their discovery more than 160 years ago, Neanderthals have metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins.Rebecca Wragg Sykes uses her experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research to share our new understanding of Neanderthals, shoving aside clichÃ©s of rag-clad brutes in an icy wasteland. She reveals them to be curious, clever connoisseurs of their world, technologically inventive and ecologically adaptable. Above all, they were successful survivors for more than 300,000 years, during times of massive climatic upheaval.Much of what defines us was also in Neanderthals, and their DNA is still inside us. Planning, co-operation, altruism, craftsmanship, aesthetic sense, imagination, perhaps even a desire for transcendence beyond mortality. Kindred does for Neanderthals what Sapiens did for us, revealing a deeper, more nuanced story where humanity itself is our ancient, shared inheritance.
Our perception of the Neanderthals has undergone a metamorphosis since their discovery 150 years ago, from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins. Spanning scientific curiosity and popular cultural fascination means that there is a wealth of coverage in the media and beyond – but do we get the whole story? The reality of 21st century Neanderthals is complex and fascinating, yet remains virtually unknown and inaccessible outside the scientific literature. In ‘Kindred’, Neanderthal expert Becky Wragg Sykes shoves aside the clichÃ© of the rag-clad brute in an icy wasteland, and reveals the Neanderthal you don’t know, who lived across vast and diverse tracts of Eurasia and survived through hundreds of thousands of years of massive climate change.