Header image: "Le Moustier" by Charles R. Knight -Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
New conclusions reached about a 2008 archaeological find support the notion that we humans mixed genes with our near-relatives, the Neanderthals, many thousands of years ago.
We weren’t that different. Contrary to popular belief the so-called “cavemen” had brains that were roughly the same size as ours, and our developmental speed was similar.
My favorite line from the Live Science article is this one:
Probably the most debated aspect of Neanderthal life in recent years is whether or not they interbred with humans. The answer remains ambiguous, with scholarly opinions ranging from belief that they definitely interbred to belief that the two groups didn’t exist on earth at the same time.
I’ve known couples just like that – hard to believe they could exist on earth at the same time.
Thoughts about a human-Neanderthal love affair lead to so many questions, not the least of which is how to pitch your woo to a near-but-not human partner.
“Interbreeding” is such an ugly term, I decided it would be a fitting challenge to try to work it into one of the the prettiest love songs I know.
You have such broad and stocky features,
the ridge across your brow seems so strong.
Our lips (I have to stoop to reach yours)
are whispering, perhaps, that our love is wrong.
The way you wield a club. Your ugly scar.
A hot Neanderthal is what you are!
Ice age! It feels so cold and lonely.
But this age can be more tender and kind.
When interbreeding’s on my mind.
Alas, it is tough to keep the romance alive between such mismatched characters when fire and tools are all they have in common.
What artifact might fuel speculation about your extinct love affairs?