A caveman is a popular stylized characterization of what early humans or hominids may have looked and behaved like. The term is sometimes used colloquially to refer to Neanderthals or to Homo sapiens of the Neolithic era, although popular descriptions of cavemen are usually highly inaccurate.
The term has been discouraged for a number of reasons. Neither Neanderthals nor early humans actually lived in caves, however paleolithic humans were responsible for cave art. Also from a political correctness standpoint, the term "cavemen" might imply that only males were important. The term still lives on as an icon in the minds of many, and is seen in many items of popular culture. Examples include the comic strips B.C. and Alley Oop, and the cartoon The Flintstones.
Cavemen are usually portrayed as being hairy, clothed in animal skins, armed with clubs, unintelligent, and aggressive. They are often shown as living contemporaneously with dinosaurs, a situation totally contradicted by archaeological evidence.
Last updated: 10-25-2005 22:36:56