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Shanidar, the first flower people by Ralph S…
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Shanidar, the first flower people

by Ralph S Solecki

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It was Ralph Solecki's excavation of Shanidar Cave that first made us understand that Neanderthals were much more like humans than like the shambling, stumbling cave men that they had been portrayed ever since the first skeleton was discovered in the 1800's. Coincidentally, this book, I believe, was also the foundation for Margaret Aul's book, "Clan of the Cave Bear," since she uses Solecki's descriptions of two burials for two of the graves in her book.

I'm not sure how easy it would be to find a copy of this book anymore, since I bought it when it first came out in 1971. That I still own it must say something about how it affected me.

Because of it, I haven't been surprised at the recent information that has been revealed since the decryption of the Neanderthal genome, and the many discoveries that have come from new excavations. That they wore ornamentation, cared for their less-abled family members (better than many of us humans do), or that they are part of our own ancestry (perhaps the best part?) has been a reason to rejoice that our world family tree has had such people on it. ( )
  bfgar | Nov 17, 2010 |
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