Re: Earth's Children

Sun, 15 Oct 95 13:55:00 -0300

ST> I have recently taken a layperson's interest in
ST> paleoanthropology since reading Jean Auel's exciting "Earth's
ST> Children" novels. I understand she took great pains to research
ST> much of her material to give a flavour of authenticity to what
ST> is essentially stone-age fiction.

One inspiration for Auel's _Clan_of_the_Cave_Bear_ was the Shanidar
excavations. A contemporary book describing the finds was
_Shanidar:_The_First_Flower_People_. (My apologies that I don't
recall the author's name.) Of course, some time has elapsed between
the original work and today. Interpretations have shifted all over
the landscape since then.

Also of interest to you might be a few other books published
within the past couple of years:

_The_Neandertals_ Trinkaus and Shipman
(an overview whose strength is in detailed coverage of
nineteenth and early twentieth century developments, good
book to appreciate some of the history of paleoanthropological
thought, and how important personalities have been in deter-
mining perspectives)

_The_Neandertal_Enigma_ Shreeve
(written by a science writer, it's quite readable but
doesn't always provide details for the interested non-
professional; also advances some interesting speculation)

_The_Fossil_Trail_ (Tattersall)
(quite worthwhile; the author has both experience and his
own points of view, which provide some balance to the other

I would definitely recommend all three books. Jean Auel is even
mentioned in at least one of them. <smile>

Evelyne Stalzer

* RM 1.3 01313 * Poetry is no substitute for reason, nor imagery for strategy