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Rebecca Wragg Sykes On Our Neanderthal Ancestors

Renee Bright / KUER

The pop-culture stereotype of a Neanderthal – even the word itself – conjures the image of a stumbling buffoon, dressed in a loincloth, banging some rocks together. But who actually were our ancient relatives? 

Rebecca Wragg Sykes doesn’t profess to have the exact answer, but thanks to her work as an archaeologist, she knows Neanderthals were much more than most of us suppose. In her book, Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art, Rebecca examines both the history of these early people and the contemporary work scientists and archeologists have done over the past couple of hundred years to learn about them. Because although Neanderthals lived 40,000 years ago, Rebecca says that the most glorious thing about them is that they belong to all of us, here and now. Rebecca Wraggs Sykes joins us Friday at 11 a.m. MST to tell us why Neanderthals matter. (Rebroadcast)

Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes | @LeMoustier Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool and author of Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art [IndieBound|Amazon|Bookshop]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.