Thursday, 17 January 2013

Why were they called Neanderthals, anyway?

In 1856, in the valley of the Neander river near Dusseldorf in Germany, some miners discovered the bones of a previously unknown creature.

These creatures were humanoid, but not quite the same as our own human species.

The newly-discovered creatures have become known as Neanderthals after the place they were found*.

Unfortunately the original site was dynamited out of existence by the miners, but the people of the Neander valley are still proud of their links to early man. There’s a museum:

and the museum shop even sells something called Neanderthal cordial.

 Replete with essence of mammoth, presumably.

I wish I could try it!

 *Thal is the German for valley. The word is usually spelled Neandertal in America, because that is how you say it.


  1. It's the most obvious question of all and I never asked it! Shows how intellectually curious I am...very interesting too about US spelling.

  2. But you can have too much of intellectually curious people can't you?

    There are times when you're so hungry you don't care WHAT'S in the burgers.