Neanderthal By: Alex D, Claire, Dianna, and Shaina Introduction We will teach you dates and places of existence, how and where Neanderthals built shelters, what materials were used to make tools, their development of language and more to be discovered! Dates and Places Neanderthals lived over a 100,000 to 40,000 years ago. 1.5 million years ago, scientists believe that Neanderthals migrated from Africa, Europe, and Asia. The Neanderthals lived during the Ice Age, and the cold weather might of explain how some of them got the disease arthritis.  Appearance Neanderthals had stocky, short bodies, and they had physical strength. They had a large brow and large jaws. Neanderthals also had large skulls, which could be as large as 92-97 cubic inches. The Neanderthals torso was long, and they walked around with their knees bent. They also were 4.5 feet tall.  Housing The Neanderthals were skilled in making shelters. For huts, they would use mammoth bones and tusks, and they would also use animal skins to keep the drafts out. To keep the skins in place, they would use bones. Another way to build a Neanderthal house was by making a hut by draping animal skins by large rocks, making a fort-like structure.  Food Some of the animals the Neanderthals hunted were reindeer, mammoths, cave bears, and hares. When Neanderthals hunted mammoths, they would make them go off a cliff by chasing them with torches, and then, if the mammoths weren’t dead, they would kill them with a knife. Mammoths were useful for them for their fur and meat, but mammoths were difficult to catch.  Daily Life The Neanderthals were gatherers. Neanderthals were also more advanced hunters, toolmakers, and home builders. These skills were important for surviving in cold surroundings. Neanderthals used group hunting strategies to hunt the woolly mammoth and other large animals that lived during the Ice Age. They are probably the first species to make clothing rather then just draping and wrapping animal hides for warmth.  Tools Some tools the Neanderthals used were bones, which were chipped until sharp and were very useful for daggers and other tools.  A type of tool they would use were stones with a sharp tip to take pelts off of animals and to cut meat.  Another one of the many tools they used was a special type of stone, which would be used to start fires.  Fire The Neanderthals were experts with fire. It helped them manage to survive the cold weather, especially when it was winter. Since they knew how to use fire, there was a better chance of them not getting food poisoning because they could cook their food.  A way Neanderthals made fire is by taking two stones made of pyrite and hitting the rocks against each other over twigs, wood, or dry grasses. Sparks would fly off onto the twigs, wood, or dry grasses, and a fire would form.  Religion and Ceremonies The Neanderthals only celebrated a couple of ceremonies. For example, when someone died, they would have a burial ceremony which would consist of the dead person being buried with tools, food, and showered with flowers. Scientists said this might prove Neanderthals might have believed in an afterlife. This indicates it was possible the Neanderthals had some form of religion.  Development of language There was no written language during the Neanderthal’s time. The only reason scientists know about the past is from artifacts.  A way the Neanderthals communicated is by cave drawings.  Neanderthals had some way of communicating, but we are unsure because there was nothing written at the time. Clothing The Neanderthals were the first species to make actual clothing instead of just wrapping animal skins around them. They needed tools to be able to punch holes to be able to tie things together and had to able to have strength from the animals they hunted. Being able to have warm clothing had been important for the Neanderthals because of the cold weather surrounding them.  Painting and Art When it was the Paleolithic era, it was then that people drew on cave walls, roofs, and rocks. Neanderthals would use colored rocks to make paints. They also made paintbrushes with animal hairs. Although they did some arts, Neanderthals were too busy trying to survive to take the time to do art.  Conclusion We hope you learned as much about Neanderthals as we did! As you can see, Neanderthals were expert hunters, splendid with fire, and they were hunters and gatherers. Neanderthals helped us learn about how we evolved today from early humans. Questions 1. What are the four animals the Neanderthals hunted? 2. How did scientists know about Neanderthals? 3. How did they make fire? Answers 1. The animals the Neanderthals hunted were reindeer, mammoth, cave bears, and hares. 2. The only reason scientists know about the past is from artifacts. 3. A way Neanderthals made fire is by taking two stones made of pyrite and hitting them against each other over twigs, wood, or dry grasses so that the sparks ignite the tinder, creating a fire. Endnotes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Early Humans Packet A Day with Neanderthal Man (page 10) Early Humans packet A Day with Neanderthal Man (page 36) Early Humans packet A Day with Neanderthal Man (pages 14- 31) Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Early Humans Packet California Vistas Ancient Civilizations (page 81-83) Ibid. Early Humans Packet California Vistas Ancient Civilizations (page 83) Bibliography California Visits Ancient Civilizations. Macmillan/McGraw Hill: New York, NY, 2007. Facchini, Fiorenzo, A Day with Neanderthals, Books: Connecticut, Twenty-First Century, 2003. Kearns, Marsha.“Neanderthal.” Early Humans. Creative Teaching Press: CA, 1993.