The Cave of the Neanderthal Tools


What tools did Neanderthals use? That’s what Leo wants to know. We dig into the past of Neanderthal archeology, back to when people used to excavate caves with dynamite! Archeologist and author Rebecca Wragg Sykes shares the explosive story of how Neanderthals made tools, and what they can tell us about how Neanderthals lived.



MEET REBECCA WRAGG SKYES


Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes is a British archaeologist. She’s interested in prehistory and the lives of Neanderthals –– that’s why she knows so much about their tools! Rebecca wrote a book all about Neanderthals titled, KINDRED: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art.


Rebecca is also one of the founders of TrowelBlazers, a website that celebrates the lives of women in archaeology, paleontology and geology. It's the best place on the internet to learn about amazing female archeologists, past and present! We highly recommend checking it out.


Read more from Rebecca:

The Secret Lives of Neanderthal Children

What Do We Know About the Lives of Neanderthal Women

Did Neanderthals Have a Society?


6 reasons why Neanderthals aren’t the brutish, primitive species we once thought


LEARN MORE ABOUT NEANDERTHAL TOOLS


In the episode, we learn about "knapping." It's a word that sounds like taking a nap, but actually means doing a lot of hard work by hand! See a knapper (yes, that is what you call a person who knaps) at work in this video:

The image below shows a flint napping site in Poland. This is where archeologists find the pieces to their tool jigsaw puzzles. (Image credit: A. Wiśniewski)

The great PBS paleontology YouTube channel, Eons, has a video about our human ancestors' tools. How are they similar or different from Neanderthal tools?


MORE ABOUT NEANDERTHALS:


Besides being handy toolmakers, they may have also been the world’s first weavers.

Watch scientists bring a Neanderthal “to life” by creating models!

Scientists have discovered that Neanderthals could talk! But they didn’t exactly sound like us. Based on the shape of their throats, chests and posture, scientists believe they had higher-pitched voices that were louder than the average modern human’s voice.

You can watch this video of a scientist recreating what they think a Neanderthal voice sounded like.


Neanderthals lived at the same time as humans. So why are Neanderthals no longer around?

Get some theories in this article: Why did Neanderthals go extinct?

What are your questions about Neanderthals? Tell us at tumblepodcast@gmail.com!