Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Neanderthal, by Paul Jordan

Paul Jordan, Neanderthal: Neanderthal Man and the Story of Human Origins. Phoenix Mill, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 2000. 239 pages. ISBN 0750919345.

Written in an engaging, almost chatty style, Neanderthal is a good introduction to our understanding of Neanderthal man as of the date of publication (2000). It begins with the first discovery of a Neanderthal site and skeleton, in the Neander Valley in Germany, and goes on to describe many other Neanderthal finds.  Author Jordan shows the reader how Neanderthal man fits into the long evolution of modern man. He describes the environment of Neanderthal man, the state of his technology, and speculates on his way of life. He goes on to place Neanderthal man on the spectrum of evolution, describing hominid development before and after Neanderthal man. Jordan reminds us that Neanderthal man existed for over 100,000 years, whereas we have only been around for about a quarter of that time period!

Neanderthal has well over one hundred black and white illustrations and about two dozen color plates. I would have appreciated some maps to illustrate the many sites in which remains were found. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in early hominid and human development. It looks like it's not available in print right now, but there appears to be a Kindle edition available.

No comments:

Post a Comment