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EARLY HUMANS

Critical reading:
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Exercise: Critical reading

Here are a few examples. Read each of the quotations below carefully and think critically about the content of them. Once you have come up with some of your own ideas, click on the buttons below to see what we think:

Extract 1:
'Research has clearly demonstrated that Palaeolithic cave art played a role in hunting activities (Breuil 1952). The caves and their artwork were probably sacred or holy places, where voodoo or spells were placed on the animals to be hunted.'

(Troute 2003: 230)

Extract 2:
'...in order to bolster her case she calls upon Leroy-Gourhan's assertion that the organization of imagery on cave walls is a process of cultural production, repeatedly imposing cultural structure on natural space, and Levi-Strauss' contention that "the animal world and that of plant life are not utilized merely because they are there, but because they suggest a mode of thought.'

(Gupta 2001: 22)

Extract 3:
'It seems to me that Neanderthal co-existed with our ancestors for a period of maybe 50k years, then something happened 37,000 years ago that humans survived and Neanderthals didn't. I'm betting it was a bitterly cold period. Maybe it got down to we eat bugs, worms, and even each other, but they wouldn't or couldn't.'

http://www.evcforum.net/ubb/Forum21/HTML/000003-3.html (last accessed: 12-02-2004)

Extract 4:
'Excavations at Lagar Velho, in Portugal, discovered the remains of a 3-4 year old child. Subsequent analysis identified Neanderthal typology in the post cranial skeleton but more modern features in the crania - evidence of hybridization between the Neanderthal and anatomically modern human populations. This explains the riddle of Neanderthal extinction...'

Anon