Science Book Group

Tuesday, November 23, 7:00–8:30 p.m. via Zoom

Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes is our next read. We will discuss the first half on November 23 and the second half on December 14.

Cover of Kindred: Neanderthal Live, Love, Death and Art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes

Kindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals. “In this deeply researched portrait of the Neanderthals, paleolithic archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes smashes stereotypes. … Neanderthals were, she writes, “not dullard losers on a withered branch of the family tree, but enormously adaptable and even successful ancient relatives”.

Based on fossil finds and artefacts from thousands of archaeological sites ranging from north Wales to the borders of China and the fringes of Arabia’s deserts, hers are vivid, immersive depictions of Neanderthals from diverse periods and places. One imagines hunting with them, chewing on horse eyeballs, hammering stones into blades. And one pictures Neanderthals encountering our Homo sapiens ancestors, with whom they crossed paths and mated multiple times over a period of more than 100,000 years, as DNA evidence shows.

Nature v584, 342-343 (2020) www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02420-3

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