"Wise Man" & Neanderthals Illustration

Early Humans for Kids
Homo Sapiens
"Wise Man" & Neanderthals
500,000 BCE to 30,000 BCE

As time went on, early humans began to change. Their skulls became larger, with a more pronounced forehead, allowing the brain to be much larger.

They were hunters and gatherers, but early man began to create stone tools and bone tools to make needles and fish hooks.  They tanned animal skins to make clothing and boots.

One of the earliest discoveries of early man was found under the ground of a Tal, or small hill, near the village of Neander.  Thus we get the Neandertal man.  You might also see it spelled as Neanderthal.  Either spelling is correct and each is used in noted archeology.  The skeleton discovered was of a male.  Archeologists first thought that Neanderthal was the link between ape and man since the skeleton showed a being that walked with bent knees, a thick neck and head stuck out forward much like an ape.

As scientific techniques improved, it was found that Neanderthal was actually an old man who had disfiguring arthritis, which caused him to be bent into the shape he was.

Later discoveries showed that Neanderthal man was actually taller then modern humans with a larger skull (and larger brain), and very strong (thick bones).  From remains found, scientists have discovered that they lived in caves and had fires in which they cooked their food.  They were good hunters.

Another interesting fact about Neandertal is that they buried their dead.  They also had some sort of ceremony because they painted the bodies of the dead.

Neandertals disappeared around 30,000 BCE.  They probably intermingled with other groups of early man and gradually merged with them.

Dig and Deduce (interactive)

Neanderthals on Trial

Neanderthal Tools

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