Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Never scoff at the Neanderthals"

I recently received the following email:

Hi Michael,
We just posted an article, “10 Ancient Civilizations That Were Incredibly Advanced” ( http://onlinedoctoratedegree.org/10-ancient-civilizations-that-were-incredibly-advanced ) . I thought I'd bring it to your attention in case you think your readers would find it interesting.
Either way, thanks for your time!
Debbie Owen

The subject line on the email was "Calixtlahuaca Archaeological Project," so my first thought was that Calixtlahuaca had made the big time -- entry in the same list as Egypt, the Maya, Rome, and other "incredibly advanced" civilizations. But no, Calixtlahuaca was NOT on the list (neither were the Aztecs, and certainly not the Matlatzinca).

HOWEVER, Number 5 (below the Romans and above the Vikings) is "Neanderthals." The entry starts, "Never scoff at the Neanderthals."

If anyone wants to make the case that the term "civilization" should be discarded by archaeologists, this list provides good ammunition for that claim. I wouldn't THINK of scoffing at the Neanderthals, especially if they were standing in front of me.

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