Rebecca Wragg Sykes
‘Beautiful, evocative, authoritative.’ Professor Brian Cox
‘Important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.’ Yuval Noah Harari
Kindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals. Since their discovery more than 160 years ago, Neanderthals have metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins.Rebecca Wragg Sykes uses her experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research to share our new understanding of Neanderthals, shoving aside cliches of rag-clad brutes in an icy wasteland. She reveals them to be curious, clever connoisseurs of their world, technologically inventive and ecologically adaptable. Above all, they were successful survivors for more than 300,000 years, during times of massive climatic upheaval.
Much of what defines us was also in Neanderthals, and their DNA is still inside us. Planning, co-operation, altruism, craftsmanship, aesthetic sense, imagination, perhaps even a desire for transcendence beyond mortality. Kindred does for Neanderthals what Sapiens did for us, revealing a deeper, more nuanced story where humanity itself is our ancient, shared inheritance.
Beautiful, evocative, authoritative. Kindred is a beautifully written exploration of our fast-developing understanding of Neanderthals and their culture and a compelling insight into how modern science is revealing the secrets of an extinct species who, for 350 thousand years before Homo Sapiens became dominant, inhabited a world "as wide and rich as the Roman Empire." -- Professor Brian Cox, Physicist and TV presenter Blending cutting-edge science with lyrical storytelling, Rebecca Wragg Sykes paints a detailed portrait of our enigmatic relatives. -- Professor Alice Roberts, anatomist, author and broadcaster Rebecca Wragg-Sykes's fact-packed but highly readable book puts us right with a superbly authoritative guided tour of much new evidence. It's tempting to say. "If you read only one book about the Neanderthals, read this one" -- except that if the next 20 years provide as many revelations about our ancestors as the past 20 have done, she will need to produce just as weighty a second volume. -- Richard Morrison * The Times * Rebecca Wragg Sykes's book paints a vivid portrait of our adaptable ancient relatives ... immersive. -- Josie Glausiusz * Nature * Written with such pleasing, elegant prose, Kindred is a captivating ode to the subtle complexities of palaeoanthropology - the thrill of discovery, the frustrating gaps in the evidence, the tantalising question marks hovering above our favourite ideas. Dr Rebecca Wragg Sykes balances admirable scientific caution with her joyous enthusiasm, and the result is a generous, enthralling history of how we first came to know our ancient cousins, and how we're still getting to know them today. -- Greg Jenner, historian and author Kindred is a tour de force. A rich and beautiful synthesis of all that is known about Neanderthal biology and culture, it should be required reading for anyone interested in the history of humanity. -- Dr Tori Herridge, palaeontologist and TV presenter Wragg Sykes paints a fascinating picture of a field transformed almost beyond recognition over the past 30 years. -- Simon Ings * New Scientist * Current, compelling, well researched, beautifully written and poetical, Kindred is like no other book you've read on Neanderthals. -- Professr Lee. R. Berger, University of Witwatersrand
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