We’ve all heard the story: dim-witted Neanderthals couldn’t quite keep up with our intelligent modern human ancestors, leading to their eventual downfall and disappearance from the world we know now. Apparently they needed more brain space for their eyes.
Science or myth The term caveman, sometimes used colloquially to refer to Neanderthal people, originates out of assumptions about the association between early humans and caves, most clearly demonstrated in cave painting or bench models.
What Happened Between the Neaderthals and Us? Svante Pääbo’s genome-sequencing project hopes to point up the differences that enabled humans, unlike the Neanderthals, with whom they interbred, to build complex societies.
A reconstruction of Homo habilis at the Westfälisches Museum für Archäologie, Herne. It is thought that Acheulean technologies first developed in Africa out of the more primitive Oldowan technology as long ago as million years ago, by Homo habilis.