Personal Ornaments from the Grotte du Renne at Arcy-sur-Cure

Randall White

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The debate on the relationship between Neanderthals and early modern humans (Cro-magnons) has often centered on human cognition and ability for symbolic thought. We feel fairly certain that early modern humans had such abilities, based on their sophisticated artwork, and on projections backward from ourselves; could their lack in Neanderthals have given us the adaptive “edge” that lead to our own continued survival over other early human populations? In an attempt to challenge this theory, researchers have looked for evidence which may indicate that Neanderthals, too, engaged in symbolic activities