Clan of the Cave Bear Essay

700 Words Jun 7th, 2007 3 Pages
Portrayals of prehistory in popular books, films, and television programs are sometimes more interesting for what they tell us about contemporary life than for what they reveal about ancient cultures. In the Clan of the Cave Bear (and the books that followed it) a doomed Neanderthal race is hopelessly outclasses by physically modern, culturally advanced "Others." Such portrayals could be labeled as accurate or inaccurate based on current findings. Whether or not these primitive peoples had belief systems was expressed in the film, which seems quite accurate. However, one must not forget about evolutionary theory and how it can affect the validity of these portrayals, as well as the few contemporary values put in the film.
Neanderthals
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Unfortunately, this seemed to be the extent of a Neanderthal woman's social mobility according to discoveries thus far.
There are several inserts of comptemporary values in Clan of the Cave Bear that can be noticed by the viewer. For example, the hair style of the main character, a modern human woman, is extremely reminiscent of a popular style that was abundant at the time the film was produced. Also, in the start of the film, the human girl and her mother speak perfect modern English, which is preposterous since the language developed long after the film's events occur, and didn't stop for thousands of years after that. Another inaccuracy in the film was the presence of domesticated animals. It is highly unlikely that Neanderthals domesticated any animals, since such finds have been seen only in caves with remains of modern humans, also known as Cro magnon humans. Most animals at the time tended to want to either flee from or attack Neanderthals anyway. However, the filmmakers did try to keep the movie somewhat accurate, and they did do well in that sense.
In the Clan of the Cave Bear, there are several accurate and inaccurate aspects used to portray the doomed Neanderthal people and the modern humans. Some accuracies are the fact that Neanderthals had some sort of belief system and most likely a primitive language, as well as a strong social hierarchy. However, modern evolutionary…

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