– For a long time it was assumed that Neanderthal children were raised in a tough environment and lived a dangerous and short childhood. This belief is now being challenged by a research team from PALAEO (Center for Human Palaeoecology and Evolutionary Origins) and the Department of Archaeology from the University of York. It seems that Neanderthal kids played an important role in society and shared a strong emotional attachment within their close social group.

– Research shows, for example, that sick and injured Neanderthal children benefited from attention and care for months and even years. Dr Penny Spikins, who led the study, said: “There is a critical distinction to be made between a harsh childhood and a childhood lived in a harsh environment.”