Philip Marsden

Is it possible that Neanderthals had a spiritual life?

Astonishing finds suggestive of shrine in a subterranean cave in the Aveyron continue to baffle anthropologists, says Rebecca Wragg Sykes


When I studied anthropology back in the early 1980s, Neanderthals were still largely the bulk-browed brutes of yore, grunting in smoky caves and loping across the tundra. Their vanishing from the fossil record some 40,000 years ago was a result of competition, along with a little interbreeding, with our own forebears.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in