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Richard Walker

Newmansdale Man

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 25 Feb 2016, 23:13

The Neanderthals fascinate us; they were close enough to interbreed, but we know so little of them. Could they talk, for example? No-one can say.

The name is from the Neanderthal, a German valley (thaltal in modern German, the same word as English dale or dell). I always imagined it was named for a river: 'the valley of the Neander'.

But not so; the valley is called after a local 17c pastor. His family name was Neumann, but being a scholar he translated it into Greek, Neander.

So in a wry twist, the valley where the bones of our old relatives were first found is literally 'New man's dale'.

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