The Last Neanderthal
The Rise, Success, and Mysterious Extinction of Our Closest Human Relatives
Teaser: By Ian Tattersall, Paperback: 208 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 0.56 x 11.51 x 8.78; illustrations: 143 color, Publisher: Westview Press; ISBN: 0813336759; Revised edition (December 1999), List Price: $25.00
Neanderthal. There's 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 years - twice as long as modern humans have been on Earth - did Neanderthals suddenly drop out of sight? That they disappeared astonishingly recently - less than 30,000 years ago, just when Homo sapiens were appearing in Europe - makes the mystery even more tantalizing.
Written by one of the world's leading authorities, The Last Neanderthal paints the first full, and fully illustrated, portrait 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.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Peter N. Nevraumont is publisher of Nevraumont Publishing Company where he has produced books by many prominent scientists, including Donald Johanson, Niles Eldredge, Ian Tattersall, Lynn Margulis, and R. McNeill Alexander.
Prior to that he was a reporter for Women's Wear Daily (now W), an editor at Macmillan Publishing, Managing Editor of the Columbia University Forum, an assistant producer at Universal Pictures, National Director of Advertising and Promotion at Films Incorporated, and Vice President at Ruby Street.
Peter lives in the Wall Street area of New York with his wife, Ann Perrini.