Saturday, March 18, 2006
"A Neandertal (Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) is a kind of human that lived in Europe and Western Asia until around 30,000 years ago. The first Neandertal skeleton was found by quarry workers in 1856 in the Neander Valley in Germany. At first people thought the odd-looking skeleton was that of a diseased person or of a Cossack from the Napoleonic War. It was only later, when similar remains were found in Belgium, that Neandertals became fully accepted as an extinct type of human. Since then, a debate about their relationship to modern humans has raged among paleontologists and geneticists, and inspired many writers of fiction."