Barometer: Nice Neanderthals

  • @_seanogrady
It may be a popular term of abuse, but "Neanderthal" derives, of course, from the type of primitive hominid whose remains were first discovered in the Neander valley, Germany, in 1856. Ever since, we've thought that the Neanderthals were unrelated to us humans. But just look at this reconstruction of Neanderthal domesticity provided by the Natural History Museum. Flintstones-like, the scene has much resonance for Homo sapiens, with its quarrelling juveniles and Mr Neanderthal's garment of choice, a tasselled suede jacket.

Unprepossessing they may seem, but Mr and Mrs Neanderthal obviously had more sex appeal then we have given them credit for. Archaeologists have just discovered a "missing link" that suggests that when Cro-Magnon early men met the Neanderthals in what is now Spain, they did not, as previously thought, just wipe them out, but instead got down to making whoopee and hybrid babies. So just remember: there's a little bit of Neanderthal in all of us.