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Professor Clive Finlayson is the Director of the Gibraltar National Museum and of the Gorham’s Cave Complex World Heritage Site. Clive is also Beacon Professor of the University of Gibraltar. He is an evolutionary ecologist whose great passion is birds. He got involved in Neanderthal research after participating in the early excavations in Gorham’s Cave; he now co-directs the research programme in the caves. Clive is also a nature photographer who started his trade in the old days of black and white film, developing his own photographs, some of which were published in ornithological books as far back as the 1970s.

Clive will be interviewed by Alice Mascarenhas as he talks about this latest book The Smart Neanderthal published by Oxford University Press. Clive draws on his team’s research in Gorham’s and Vanguard caves in Gibraltar, and evidence from other Neanderthal sites, as well as insights from natural history, in particular knowledge from observing birds, to present a very different emerging view of Neanderthals. In a thrilling account of archaeological discovery, detective work, and magical moments watching majestic golden eagles and cunning vultures, Clive paints an image of Neanderthals who captured birds for their decorative feathers and talons, who made engravings and painted on cave walls, and who may have taught modern humans a thing or two. He questions whether modern humans underwent a unique cognitive revolution at all, and mourns the loss of a lineage of humans who were probably just as smart as us.

Clive's talk The Smart Neanderthal will be held at the Gibraltar Garrison Library at 12:00 on 15th November. Purchase tickets online here.

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