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The Naked Neanderthal - Ludovic Slimak

The Naked Neanderthal

By: Ludovic Slimak

Hardcover | 21 September 2023 | Edition Number 1

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RRP $42.99



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A Neanderthal hunter takes us on a riveting journey of discovery

What if we have completely misunderstood who the Neanderthals truly were?

For over a century we saw them as inferior to Homo Sapiens. Today, Neanderthals are seen as fully human, different from us only because of their distant cultural traditions.

Neanderthal hunter and paleoanthropologist Ludovic Slimak understands these enigmatic creatures like no one else after studying them for three decades. Taking us on a fascinating archaeological investigation from the Arctic Circle to the deep Mediterranean forests, he traces their steps, deciphering their stories through every single detail they left behind.

In this stunning, bold book, he argues that Neanderthals should be understood on their own terms. They had their own history, their own rituals, their own customs. Their own intelligence. A remarkable intelligence, for sure, but an intelligence that may have been very different from ours.

A thought-provoking detective story, written with wit and verve, The Naked Neanderthal shifts our understanding of deep history - and in the process reveals just how much we have yet to learn.

About the Author

Ludovic Slimak is a paleoanthropologist at the University of Toulouse in France and Director of the Grotte Mandrin research project. His work focuses on the last Neanderthal societies and he is the author of several hundred scientific studies on these populations. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, The New York Times and more. The Naked Neanderthal was published to great acclaim in France.
Industry Reviews
Neanderthal hunter Ludovic Slimak has dedicated decades to unearthing the mystery of our prehistoric ancestors. Now he has found a missing piece that radically reshapes our understanding - not just of the Neanderthals but of humanity itself -- Michael Segalov * Observer *

One of the most enjoyable and enlightening history books of the year, Ludovic Slimak's The Naked Neanderthal, attempts to teach us about ourselves by teaching us about the mysterious, dead creatures we call Neanderthals * Prospect Magazine, Books of the Year 2023 *

Intriguing ... Ludovic Slimak finds unique insights through an exhaustive excavation he conducted of a rock shelter in France - a Rosetta Stone of the Neanderthal world ... The Naked Neanderthal sets out to free this extinct species of the prejudices we have imposed - and, as such, is a resounding success -- Alison George * New Scientist *

Vivid, refreshing ... this intriguing book offers personal vignettes of archaeological excavations and provocative critiques of researchers' tendencies to interpret Neanderthals as the intellectual and creative cousins of Homo sapiens ... The Naked Neanderthal is absorbing, elegantly written and sometimes mischievously humorous, ... a wealth of useful, up-to-date information and debate -- Rebecca Wragg Sykes * Nature *

An entertaining book ... His research has led him to conclude that Neanderthals weren't another version of modern Homo sapiens when it comes to mental structures. They were instead an utterly different humanity -- Jules Stewart * Geographical *

An exhilarating contemplation of human otherness ... Clear explications of scientific concepts, lively commentary on the implications of competing ideas, and engaging storytelling describing the pursuit of knowledge by dedicated investigators bring a startling picture of an alternate humanity into view ... Also excellent is the author's broader discussion of how our own human prejudices have limited our appreciation of the Neanderthals' achievements, a perceptual blindness he convincingly relates to modern forms of racism. Slimak shows how we have much more to learn about ourselves by studying "exotic sensibilities" and more fully acknowledging "our nature not as humanity but as a humanity" * Kirkus Reviews *

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