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The neanderthal, @, is a Caveman quest guardian.


Neanderthals, or homo neanderthalensis, are an extinct species of archaic humans, one of the last such species to become extinct. Neanderthals lived alongside anatomically modern humans (homo sapiens sapiens) before their extinction approximately 40000 years ago. There exists debate as to whether they are a distinct species, or a subspecies of homo sapiens, but modern scientific consensus generally leans towards considering them a separate species. They are known to have interbred with homo sapiens, and in fact many modern humans possess Neanderthal DNA, primarily those with European ancestry, where Neanderthal populations survived the longest.

Despite popular perception of the Neanderthal/caveman character as an unintelligent, aggressive apelike person, this was not scientifically accurate for Neanderthals, who were likely more psychologically and socially similar to homo sapiens. Surprisingly, the quotes from Neanderthals when players chat to them in NetHack correctly reflect this.

Encyclopaedia entry

1. Valley between Duesseldorf and Elberfeld in Germany,
where an ancient skull of a prehistoric ancestor to modern
man was found. 2. Human(oid) of the race mentioned above.

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