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The Science & Society Distinguished Public Talks Series presents "Who Says Neandertals Are So Different?" with David Frayer, professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Kansas, on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 5 p.m. in rm. C of the UNM Conference Center located at 1634 University Blvd. N.E. A meet and greet will also be held prior to the talk at 4:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public. Plenty of free parking is available.

Since their discovery in 1856, Neandertals have generally been considered a different species or inferior offshoots from the subsequent European line with no contribution to the people who followed them. Yet, a variety of anatomical, genetic and behavioral traits link Neandertals with their European successors. Along with new information from biology and culture, it is becoming increasingly difficult to exclude Neandertals from those who followed them in Europe.

Frayer's research has focused in European paleoanthropology and dental anthropology. For the past two decades he has extensively published on the relationship between Neandertal and subsequent European populations. He has published widely in national and international books and journals on topics ranging from Neandertal toothpick use to evidence for human massacres in the German Mesolithic to evidence for language origins.

Ongoing research concerns various projects about the Croatian Neandertal site of Krapina, the dental anthropology of an early, preceramic Neolithic site of Merhgarh in Pakistan, early Homo from Eritrea and the so-called 'hobbit" from Flores, Indonesia. Frayer has published widely in national and international books and journals on topics ranging from Neandertal toothpick use to evidence for human massacres in the German Mesolithic to evidence for language origins.

The Science & Society Distinguished Public Talks series are co-sponsored by Albuquerque Section of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Sigma Xi (the Scientific Research Society), the Department of Physics & Astronomy, College of Arts & Sciences, University Honors Program, and the Division of Continuing Education.

Media contact: Steve Carr (505) 277-1821; e-mail: scarr@unm.edu