Arsuaga, J.L. The Neanderthal's Necklace, in the University Library at XY 9.9 ARS
Image courtesy of
Arsuaga, J.L. The Neanderthal's Necklace, 2003
|Photo: Bookshop window by|
Garry Knight. Reproduced under
a Creative Commons license
The Neanderthal’s Necklace provides a mix of science, speculation and intuition, while endeavouring to describe and locate the origins of our common humanity. So, skip forward to the late summer glow of this University’s Lakehouse room, and I could feel like a well prepared student, rather than an interloper, as the workshop moved on to consider how the science and history of human origins has been appropriated at various points by particular vested interests, and how this remains the case today. Oliver Hochadel talked of the way in which Arsuaga and colleagues have gone well beyond the science, to project and communicate the extraordinary hominid finds at Atapuerca as the Spanish foundations of European society.
|Photo: Neanderthal skulls by Leted|
Reproduced under a Creative Commons license
The seminar itself concluded with a debate about when we became human, and of course this depends on one’s assumptions about what the definition or paradigm of humanity is, and whether this is congruent or not with consciousness. But anyone as fascinated as I am by this topic will find the Neanderthal’s Necklace a stimulating and moving introduction.