Writer in Residence Extra – Meet the In-Laws – Our Neanderthal relatives – by Paul Andruss

We dip into the archives on Paul’s blog to discover more about our ancestory. Are Neanderthals extinct or do they live on in some of us?

Paul Andruss has a great new look about page.. head over and share around please… Paul’s blog is a treasure trove of ancient history and modern legends that he deconstructs and delivers brilliantly.. Definitely a blog to follow.. Nominated in this year’s #BloggersBash Awards….Most informative blog and well deserved.

Meet the In-Laws – Our Neanderthal Relatives by Paul Andruss

Neanderthal family: not too different from us

Not only is the human genome project completed – the mapping of all 24,000 human genes, but scientists have also completely mapped the Neanderthal Genome; from DNA recovered from bones dating back some 38,000 years. The results were surprising and have caused a total re-assessment of one of our closest cousins.

Like the rest of our relatives – the great apes and early hominid species – Neanderthals always got a bit of a bum deal. Scientists said they were….

On average Neanderthal brains were a fifth bigger than ours

Dumb… literally – they couldn’t speak

Neanderthals had the same speech related Gene FOXP2 with the same mutations as modern humans.

Brutish and violent, scavengers and cannibals 

Neanderthal Mother

They were sophisticated big game hunters, who cooked vegetables and wild grains.  There is evidence of cannibalism, but from necessity – eating the dead when facing starvation in a world much harsher than ours. How is that any different to what we have done in similar circumstances – such as the Andean plane crash or the Donner party when trapped by winter snows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1846.

That is not to say they were better than us. Neanderthals could be just as violent with each other as we are.

No culture and a rudimentary tool kit that never evolved

Recreation of Mammoth bone house

Neanderthals built canoes to sail to Mediterranean islands. They constructed complex shelters using mammoth tusks and bones. There is evidence men stayed in the tribe, while women came from outside – implying marriage rituals. They buried their dead. They created art such as ring structures made from shaped and coloured stalagmites.

Neanderthal Burial

Neanderthals were different from us

Kith n Kin: Neanderthal & Modern Human

Scientists were also wrong about humans and Neanderthal cross-breeding. They dismissed skeletons of children from Mount Carmel in Israel and Lagar Velho in Portugal that had features from both species. But recent gene analysis shows modern humans and Neanderthals shared between 99.5% and 99.9% of their genes. At least 4% of the genes in modern Europeans, and their descendants across the globe, are unique to Neanderthals.

Scientists also maintain Neanderthals went extinct almost 40,000 years ago. Although there is evidence to suggest they existed around 24,000 years ago. Given they were wrong about everything else could they be wrong about this too?

It may be possible small groups of Neanderthals survived in Europe into historical times and are responsible for European legends of trolls and dwarves.

There are legends of the Alma, a humanoid who ranges from the edge of Siberia to as far south as Kazakhstan and the Caucasus Mountains that lie between the Black and Caspian Seas.

A 19th century report of a captured female Alma described her as having a short stocky build and being immensely strong; with red hair, sloping forehead and robust receding chin. Genetic evidence shows Neanderthals to have red or sandy hair. The last reliable sighting of one such creature was made by the Russian scientist Alexander Pronin in 1948.

According to the historian Boris Porshney, the female Alma, named Zanya, mothered four surviving children by different men. He reported all the children were said to look similar to normal humans except they were much stronger.

Porshney investigated Zanya’s living descendants and remarked on their unique features, including a robust receding jaw. Although he failed to find her grave, he dug up the remains of her direct offspring and concluded their skeletal structure was more similar to Neanderthals than modern humans.

The legend of the Alma supports the idea the Neanderthal race is not extinct, but still lives in the isolated and inhospitable parts of Eurasia that formed their traditional home territory.

©Paul Andruss 2017

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul Andruss is the author of 2 contrasting fantasy novels

Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen

Thomas the Rhymer

Finn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, explicitly sexual and disturbingly violent, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only

Finn Mac Cool

Connect to Paul on social media.

Blog: http://www.paul-andruss.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks
Google+  https://plus.google.com/s/+jackhughesbooks

You can find all of Paul’s posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Thank you for dropping by today and please feel free to share the post on your own blog and networks.


40 thoughts on “Writer in Residence Extra – Meet the In-Laws – Our Neanderthal relatives – by Paul Andruss

  1. Very interesting, of lately we keep hearing from our cousins, and it seems very likely we may had more in common, with them than we thought. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Even if Neanderthals died out 24,000 years ago (last refugium was Gibraltar) there is growing evidence of human cousin species being alive more recently, notably the Red Deer Cave people (extinct c 11.5 ky ago) and H. Floresiensis. I imaging further science will continue to refine the picture as more discoveries are made.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I would be so interesting to build up an accurate picture of the descent of man without both positive and negative preconceptions clouding our judgement. There is some evidence Australian aboriginal people arrived there before the last great diaspora from Africa (modern homo sapiens sapiens). Meaning like Europeans they could have the genetic inheritance of another (related) species. However because of various ethnic groups being treated as sub-human in the past and that justifying atrocities, science is reluctant to grasp that particular nettle. Instead it claims we are all equal. Yes,I agree we are all equal, but we have genetic diversity – we are not homogenised. Genetic diversity is a strength – an survival insurance against what this capricious old planet can throw at us.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Writer in Residence Extra – Meet the In-Laws – Our Neanderthal relatives – by Paul Andruss | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Stevie Wonder, The Neanderthals and other legends | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  5. Dear Sally and All.
    Firstly apologies for the delay in responding to all your great comments and interest. I have been working on updating the Thomas the Rhymer website and Odds & Sods after some great tips from Shehanne Moore. It took a long time because as usual I work on the principle- given enough monkeys with typewriters you will eventually come up with the works of Shakespeare. And I am only one monkey – alone with a computer keyboard.
    2ndly if this interested you can I recommend Horatio Grin’s 6 fascinating essays on our human & superhuman (so he would claim) genetic inheritance. http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/grin-1-lost-begin.php. Learn more about the famous British Occultist Horatio Grin here:http://britishocculthistory.yolasite.com/
    3rdly. Sally Thank you for nominating me for the prestigious blog award… I am humbled.

    Liked by 1 person

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