Posted by: Rob Lester | April 29, 2010

Was Tom Hanks a Neanderthal?

In the early 1900’s over 2,000 ancient tools were discovered in West Sussex, England.  They were thought to be fakes, however, and most were thrown into a well.  Recent excavation from elsewhere has indicated that the few remaining tools are genuine Neanderthal tools.  The advanced technology of the tools are demanding a re-evaluation of the cartoon image of the Neanderthal as a grunting caveman according to University College of London’s Matthew Pope.  The article in the Daily Mail which reported the findings said: “[The] items found….suggest they were talented users of crafted tools and were in complete command of the landscape they inhabited.  They made….razor-sharp hunting spears….weaponry…probably used flintstone blades to strip and fashion animal skin for clothing….Males were just over 5 foot [tall] and despite the ape-like way they are often portrayed in cartoons, they stood fully erect….[and] had a bigger brain than Homo sapiens.”  Remember the recent movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks?  He survived on a remote island for five years after an airplane crash.  What if he had died there and anthropologists found his cave home.  What would they determine from an axe made from an ice skate blade or the crude markings on the wall. Was the volleyball (Wilson) with a face painted in his own blood some kind of savage idol? Would they have assumed that this stranded FedEx executive was a crude and primitive subhuman?

“Neandertool Man—British dig finds dozy apemen were not as thick as we like to think” by Paul Harris in  Daily Mail 6/24/08

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