Was it genocide, climate change or perhaps feminism that lead to the Neanderthals’ ultimate extinction?
Recently a new theory about their end has emerged: stone age feminism.
Among Neanderthals, hunting big beasts was women’s work as well as men’s, so it’s a safe bet that female hunters got stomped, gored, and worse with appalling frequency. And a high casualty rate among fertile women – the vital “reproductive core” of a tiny population – could well have meant demographic disaster for a species already struggling to survive among monster bears, yellow-fanged hyenas, and cunning Homo sapien newcomers.
just 2,000 generations ago, the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms, Neanderthals walked among us and we among them. They might have been our lovers. Almost certainly they were our rivals, competing for the same giant elk and reindeer.
I believe they still walk among us and it’s not as hard to spot them as you may think. Anyway, so females went on hunting with males which may have contributed to their extinction. It’s still basically all speculation but if this in fact happened, it does make sense.
There are other plausible explanations for the Neanderthal extinction. Warming at the end of the Ice Age surely wasn’t easy for robust people built for the cold. Or an epidemic could have so depopulated Neanderthal bands that the survivors couldn’t replenish the species. A more sinister idea is that early humans wiped them out in a prehistoric genocide.
There’s some interesting theories, whatever it was that wiped the off the surface of the earth doesn’t really matter though does it… with humans out smarting them and evolving it was only a matter of time.