For decades the debate on the familial similarity of humans and Neanderthals has continue back and forth despite DNA evidence showing potential sub-species status. Their classification as human or otherwise determines whether they fall into the category of mortuary archaeology, the study of human funerary sites in the past. So far, it has been questionable whether or not Neanderthals showed the symbolic capacity necessary for the funerary behaviour displayed by humans. However, regardless of whether they are a sub-species or distinct species, new evidence is emerging which supports the idea that Neanderthals may have engaged in patterned mortuary behaviour.
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