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Transformations in the Palaeolithic: Searching for the social and cultural role of Neanderthal children

Author(s): Gail Hitchens

Year: 2016

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Summary

Early prehistory presents a particular challenge for investigating children, and consequently previous work has almost exclusively consisted of biological accounts of health and growth. However, as traditional views of Neanderthals are becoming increasingly overturned, it has become clear that the social and cultural role of children could be crucial in furthering our understanding of Neanderthal society, and in turn the interactions and differences with modern humans. Through investigating treatment at death (both burial and the previously unexplored role of disarticulated remains) and treatment in life (such as material evidence of cultural learning), the emerging picture contrasts sharply with the traditional view of a particularly harsh and difficult upbringing. Evidence may even suggest that Neanderthal children were central to symbolic and cultural practices at this time, and may have had an important role to play in the major transformations taking place in Europe 40-50,000 years ago.


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Transformations in the Palaeolithic: Searching for the social and cultural role of Neanderthal children. Gail Hitchens. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403754)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America