Well, let’s start at the top. Neanderthals had bigger brains than you do. Quite a lot bigger brains, actually.
Were these brains better than yours, though? Were Neanderthals, er, brainier?
Scientists have made impressions of the inside of Neanderthal skulls so we can see what shape their brains were. Unfortunately this doesn’t actually prove anything very much, but that’s not stopped people coming up with theories.
There are theories which say Neanderthals were too stupid to hunt; theories which say Neanderthals were too stupid to make shelters; theories which say Neanderthals were too stupid to wear clothes; theories which say Neanderthals were too stupid to make jokes; theories which say Neanderthals were too stupid to talk.
In the end, for the purposes of writing SONG HUNTER, I decided to assume that Neanderthals would have been at least as clever as any currently existing non-human animal.
And, you know, that’s pretty smart.
Take wolves, for instance. There are wolves in India which send some members of their pack forward along a gorge to hide. Then the others will chivvy prey animals towards them so they can be ambushed.
Just think how much organisation that requires. Good grief, humans have enough trouble arranging a night to meet up at the pub.
So what do I think of the idea that Neanderthals were too stupid to hunt, and relied entirely on carrion for their food?
Not a lot, quite honestly.
NEWSFLASH: Song Hunter is to be one of eight books available as part of the official World Book Day Young Adult app.
I;m afraid I don't know exactly what this means, yet, but it has to be good!