Archaeological discovery forces rethink of ‘sophisticated’ Neanderthal culture

Archaeologists working at a dig in Basildon, Essex have stumbled upon a series of finds that challenge currently-held theories about the cultural development of Neanderthal man. Once demonised as brutish, animalistic cavemen, many archaeologists now believe that Neanderthals were a more cultured and less primitive people than at first thought. Finds of stone and shell jewellery and ceremonial burial sites throughout Europe seem to support this theory.

 However the Basildon finds indicate that, in Britain at least, the original hypothesis might actually be correct. Or so thinks Professor Kenneth Morgan, leader of the dig: “We have unearthed compelling evidence that Neanderthal man was just as thuggish as was previously believed.” He and his team have highlighted two trenches where they believe the evidence is irrefutable.

 In trench A they discovered what seems to have been a meeting place, where local Neanderthals gathered to socially interact. “We found a pounded earth floor that could have only come about by centuries of dancing. Remains of torches indicate that this must have happened at night, when the females of the tribe were encouraged to cavort in prototype cages. We also excavated an area for serving beverages, a primitive cloakroom and a ticket booth.”

 Trench B held more compelling evidence. “Here we found prehistoric cooking equipment – a long vertical spit on a rotating platform, with a tray underneath to collect fats. We also discovered lurid cave-paintings of various dishes behind a stone serving counter and the fossilised remains of pickled green chillies. We can only conclude that this place was some kind of primitive kebab shop.”

 But it was the detritus found around these two sites that point to the Neanderthal’s savagery. “We found evidence of violence outside both the dance-floor and kebab house.” said Morgan. “There must have been a lot of fighting outside these establishments, judging by the broken bones, chipped teeth, ripped furs and spilled pints that we unearthed.”

 In another scientific breakthrough, Morgan and his team were able to extract DNA samples from these materials. “Comparing them with modern DNA proved conclusively that Neanderthal man did not die out, but lives alongside us to this day.” said Morgan. “Neanderthal genes show up particularly strongly in nightclub bouncers, premiership football players and, not surprisingly, young Conservatives.”

 (Written 29 Jan 2009)

Published in: on October 5, 2009 at 7:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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