Updating Neanderthals: Understanding Behavioral Complexity in the Late Middle Paleolithic provides comprehensive knowledge on Neanderthals who lived throughout the European and Asian continents. The book synthesizes historical information about the study of Middle Paleolithic populations and presents current debates about their genetics, subsistence, technology, social and cognitive behaviours. It focuses on the last phase of Neanderthal settlements and presents the main patterns of modern humans across Europe. Written by international experts on the Middle Paleolithic who have conducted innovative studies in the last three decades, this book explores the implications of interactions between different human species, including Neanderthals, Denisovans and sapiens. In addition, the book discusses the diversity and variability of human adaptations and behaviours in the changing climate and environment of the Late Pleistocene, and the relationship between these behaviours, demography and cognitive capabilities.
1. Updating Neanderthals: Taking stock of more than 160 years of studies
2. The climatic and environmental context of the Late Pleistocene
3. Biotic interactions in the Middle and Late Palaeolithic
4. Different species on the horizon: Denisovan hominins
5. Neanderthal: anatomy, genes, and evolution
6. Neanderthal brain
7. Neanderthal subsistence: Selective or opportunistic hunters?
8. Small animal use by Neanderthals
9. The use of plants by Neanderthals
10. Neanderthal technological variability: A wide-range geographical perspective in the Final Middle Palaeolithic
11. The organisation of living spaces in Neanderthal campsites
12. Fire among Neanderthals
13. "Art": Neanderthal symbolic graphic behaviour
14. Spiritual and symbolic activities of Neanderthals
15. Beyond European boundaries: Neanderthals in the Armenian Highlands and the Caucasus
16. Methodological advances in ancient Paleolithic studies
17. The arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe
18. Not only a Neanderthal: A great diversity of behaviours
Francesca Romagnoli, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. She is specialized in the study of Neanderthal socio-economy. Her research is aimed at understanding adaptations and diversity of cultural behaviours in European Neanderthals, with a special focus on coastal adaptations. She has published innovative research on Neanderthal shell technology, site formation processes, and the relationships between human mobility, technological costs, and stone tool resources.
Florent Rivals, PhD, ICREA is a Research Professor at the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona, Spain. He is specialized in the study of Neanderthal paleoecology. His research focuses on the impact of climate-driven environmental changes on humans, and Neanderthals in particular. He has published significant papers aimed to reconstruct ancient environments, track shifts related to climatic changes, and understand hominin behavioural strategies in different ecological settings.
Stefano Benazzi, PhD, is a Full Professor at the University of Bologna, Department of Cultural Heritage, in Bologna, Italy. He is specialized in the study of Neanderthal skeletal morphology. His research is aimed at understanding the time and mode of the biological and cultural shifts that led to the demise of the autochthonous Neanderthals and their replacement by modern humans. He has published significant papers aimed to assess the taxonomical affiliation of isolated human teeth, to evaluate Neanderthal and modern human morphological variability, and to track the earliest arrival of modern humans in Europe.