I love cavemen. Who doesn’t?* Of course my personal Venn diagram intersection ‘cavemen’ would include multiple species and sub-species, locales and time frames. And cave dwelling is optional.
While we’ve visited cavemen and their treasure trove teeth in prior adventures today’s comic inspiration came partially** from increasing evidence (again from teeth) that Neanderthals had a working knowledge of drug cooking. Well, that is, traces of roasted, cracked starch granules as well as bitter non-nutritional plants that nevertheless had medicinal use were observed on Neanderthal tartar samples. Close enough.
Neanderthals, traditionally depicted as simple brutes in contrast to the modern homo sapiens model, were actually capable of sophisticated and nuanced culture. In fact, with their larger brains, stronger more rough-and-tumble bodies, advanced hunting skills, varied diet and even use of jewelry and cosmetics, it’s a wonder they managed to go extinct at all. Their potential capacity towards abstract and symbolic thought together with direct evidence of their various skills also allots archeologists a significant increase in imagination while constructing their story.*** And while no evidence exists that they used their painted and perforated decorative shells as, say, drug money in violent meth empires, it does make for a better story than climate change or interbreeding with modern humans as a vehicle for their disappearance.
Also, Breaking Bad. If you’re not watching it you’re doing yourself, and your community (probably somehow) a disservice.
This post was brought to you by the new and improved, gentler, more domestic neanderthal, and slightly abstract fan-fiction.
**The other part, as with every comic, relies heavily on fever dreams.
***and it allots artists, well, not that much new. Artistic license>reality