New research has suggested that Neanderthals embraced healthcare practices, such as assisting in cases of serious injury and the challenges of childbirth.

Healthcare practices in this period of human evolution have often been studied alongside complex cultural behaviour, mostly based around research into rituals and symbols associated with death. This new study, however, sets out, for the first time, that healthcare could have had a more strategic role in Neanderthal survival.

Previous research at the University had already suggested that compassion and caring for the injured and dying could have been a factor in the development of healthcare practices, but further investigation has now shown that there was evolutionary drivers behind it too.

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