Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Unto us a child is born.

Neanderthal hips were a bit different from ours, but giving birth wouldn’t have been easy for a Neanderthal woman.

 A baby born at the time of Song Hunter, 40,000 years ago, would have opened its eyes to a cold and frosty world. This baby would have lost its body heat very quickly indeed, so someone would have had to dry its body and wrap it up snugly straight away.

This infant Neanderthal would have been completely helpless: it would have had to be kept safe from predators, and fed and cleaned regularly, day and night.

 You know, I suppose what I'm really trying to say is that someone would have had to love it.

It makes those Neanderthals seem very close, doesn't it.

All joy to you this Christmastide.


  1. YOu're quite right and it occurred to me while I was reading the book that every single Neanderthal was EXTREMELY LUCKY to have survived. They could not have done so without love, I'm sure. But interesting that the tribal, group thing was more important than the maternal one, isn't it? Kind of "It takes a village to raise a child."

  2. In the Neanderthal's case I think this comes from their habit of hunting large game. You needed every available adult for hunting, and so child care had to be done by the old or the lame.