About forty thousand years ago, a new kind of hominid suddenly appeared in Europe and Western Asia. This was a creature unlike any of the other hominids then existing - borderline
Homosapiens, and the enigmatic
Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.<Homo sapiens sapiens, as he has now come to be known, was distinguished from his contemporaries by his increased height, delicate bone structure, and the huge balloon-like cranium that announced an intelligence that allowed for the radical break with the existing models. We see the results of this intelligence pouring out in an exuberance of material and artistic creativity. In his homeland, which extended from Spain to the Urals, a tiny, gemlike, if frost-encrusted civilization was spontaneously created.
Seymour W. Itzkoff focuses in
Triumph of the Intelligent on the evolutionary dynamics that led to the production of ever more intelligent humans, finally culminating in this sudden spasm of reconstruction. Itzkoff has followed the evidence carefully, attempting to stay within the assignable limits of evolutionary theory to produce a most-probable model of the dynamics that extruded this enigmatic creature,
Homo sapiens sapiens.