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Finlayson, Clive, 1955-
The humans who went extinct : why Neanderthals died out and we survived / Clive Finlayson
Alternate Title Why Neanderthals died out and we survived
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  GN285 .F54 2009    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Neanderthals
Human evolution
Social evolution
Physical Description xii, 273 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 221-259) and index
Contents Prologue : when climate changed the course of history -- The road to extinction is paved with good intentions -- Once we were not alone -- Failed experiments -- Stick to what you know best -- Being in the right place at the right time -- If only . . . -- Africa in Europe : a Mediterranean serengeti -- One small step for man . . . -- Forever opportunists -- The pawn turned player -- Epilogue : children of chance
Review "We have all heard the account of how our clever ancestors spread From Africa and ousted the primitive Neanderthals, driving them to extinction. But was that really how it happened?" "'History is typically the story of victors over vanquished and prehistory is no different', says Clive Finlayson. He presents an altogether more humbling view: there is nothing to suggest that our ancestors were inherently smarter than the Neanderthals. We should think of the two as different kinds of human." "The topic of early human history is highly contentious. Finlayson presents an account that places the various human populations firmly within an ecological context. Drawing on evidence not only from fossils and genes, but also from the many clues about lifestyle from plant and animal remains, he underlines the interweaving of climate, ecology, geography, and lifestyle in the fortunes of populations. What emerges is no simple linear rise to conquest and dominance by one superior species. Instead, we find a complex tale of shifting patterns of settlement and migration, of new skills learnt and lost, as groups of humans of initially quite similar abilities sought out a living in changing mosaics of vegetation and wildlife. Chance, climate, and geography favoured a sturdy group of our ancestors who had honed their skills in the harsh, persistent Asian steppes."--BOOK JACKET

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