The Last Neanderthal
The Rise, Success, and Mysterious Extinction of Our Closest
Laden with color photographs of remarkable fossil remains and artifacts,
this gorgeous book brings to life our elusive and profoundly compelling
Reconstructed Neanderthal skeleton.
Neanderthal. Theres not a noun as evocative in the entire lexicon
of science, but apart from vague imputations of primitive brutishness
how many of us can really specify what that term evokes or should evoke?
No early human relative has triggered more scientific debate or more strongly
captured our imagination than Neanderthal Man. Why, after brilliantly
surviving several severe Ice Age glaciations to thrive for 400,000 yearstwice
as long as modern humans have been on Earthdid Neanderthals suddenly
drop out of sight? That they disappeared astonishingly recentlyless
than 30,000 years ago, just when Homo sapiens were appearing in
Europemakes the mystery even more tantalizing.
Written by one of the worlds leading authorities,
The Last Neanderthal paints the first fulland fully
illustratedportrait of the most familiar and haunting of human relatives,
the Neanderthals. Assembled for this book is an unparalleled collection
of fossil and archaeological materials. This breadth and quality of visual
documentation of Neanderthals is not available from any other source.
Weaving together the archaeological and fossil evidence with the lessons
of evolutionary theory, Tattersall draws on the latest knowledge about
how Neanderthals evolved and lived to solve the riddle of how they died.
His vivid account brings the Neanderthal back to life for us.
Giant Cave Bear (Ursus spelaeus)
140 color plates
8-5/8 x 11-1/2 inches; 209 x 294 mm
Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
Ian Tattersall, Curator of the Department of Anthropology at the
American Museum of Natural History in New York and adjunct professor at
Columbia, is a revered authority on Neanderthals and is the author of
The Fossil Trail, The Human Odyssey, co-editor of Encyclopedia
of Human Evolution and Prehistory, and co-author (with Niles Eldredge)
of The Myths of Human Evolution.
In a richly illustrated and wide ranging survey, [Tattersall]
concludes that we can use Neanderthals as a mirror to ponder our own position
in evolutionary history. Such reflection is assisted not only by excellent
color plates, which present the skulls as art objects, but also by a succinct
account of how evolution works and can be applied to the five million
years of the hominid fossil record.
Neanderthal skull from Amud, Israel.
Anyone interested in the study of human origins will
be interested in this book. It is loaded with scientific information and
is written in a wonderfully easy-to-read style....This book is definitely
one for a permanent library.
—The Science Teacher
Tattersall excels as he conveys the essentials of the technical
literature to the public...Abundant full-page photos of specimens and
archaeological digs cement Tattersalls clarity on the topic, making
this an immeasurable aid to students and armchair anthropologists alike.
[Tattersall] does an excellent job of discussing what
is known and cautiously speculated from fossil evidence. The Last
Neanderthal will be irresistible to anyone interested in science
—Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale
This intense, illustrated consideration of the origins and extinction
of early Man uses recent discoveries to explain why Neanderthals continue
to be so perplexing a scientific mystery. This includes plenty of background
history to probe both the foundations for past and present theories and
the likely applications of new scientific research and discoveries.
—Midwest Book Review