In this deeply researched 'twenty-first-century portrait of the Neanderthals' from birth to burial and beyond, palaeolithic archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes smashes stereotypes ... hers are vivid, immersive depictions of Neanderthals from diverse periods and places. One imagines hunting with them, chewing on horse eyeballs, hammering stones into blades. And one pictures Neanderthals encountering our Homo sapiens ancestors, with whom they crossed paths and mated multiple times over a period of more than 100,000 years, as DNA evidence shows.
... intriguing ... Through painstaking forensic analysis of an eclectic collection of fragmented artifacts, and in a manner at times achieving the suspense and excitement of a Hollywood thriller, Ms. Wragg Sykes makes a bold and magnificent attempt to resurrect our Neanderthal kin ... the author enables us to confront a sliver of Borgesian possibility ... The unsung heroes of this detective story are undoubtedly the forensic scientists who helped develop ingenious methods for bringing invisible Neanderthal existence to life.
In her book Kindred Rebecca Wragg Sykes aims to tell a complete new story about Neanderthals. She has done a remarkable job synthesizing thousands of academic studies into a single accessible narrative. From her pages emerge new Neanderthals that are very different from the cartoon figures of old. Kindred is important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.