When you think of a Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) what comes to mind – a crude, brutish and uncaring caveman type of individual?
According to a new analysis by researchers at the UK’s University of York, that stereotype may not necessarily be true.
In a study published in the journal, World Archeology, the researchers provide evidence that our ancient ancestor was actually quite caring and compassionate.
The researchers realized that Neanderthals were quite knowledgeable and were able to provide effective healthcare for others regardless of the severity of the injury or illness.
According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Penny Spikins, of the University of York, the research findings indicate that when providing needed care, Neanderthals didn’t really consider whether those they helped would repay them, but merely reacted to their own feelings of seeing their loved ones suffering.