The Neanderthalers were excellent fighters, and they traveled extensively. They gradually spread from the highland centers in northwest India to France on the west, China on the east, and even down into northern Africa. They dominated the world for almost half a million years until the times of the migration of the evolutionary races of color.
800,000 years ago game was abundant; many species of deer, as well as elephants and hippopotamuses, roamed over Europe. Cattle were plentiful; horses and wolves were everywhere. The Neanderthalers were great hunters, and the tribes in France were the first to adopt the practice of giving the most successful hunters the choice of women for wives.
The reindeer was highly useful to these Neanderthal peoples, serving as food, clothing, and for tools, since they made various uses of the horns and bones. They had little culture, but they greatly improved the work in flint until it almost reached the levels of the days of Andon. Large flints attached to wooden handles came back into use and served as axes and picks.
750,000 years ago the fourth ice sheet was well on its way south. With their improved implements the Neanderthalers made holes in the ice covering the northern rivers and thus were able to spear the fish which came up to these vents. Ever these tribes retreated before the advancing ice, which at this time made its most extensive invasion of Europe.
In these times the Siberian glacier was making its southernmost march, compelling early man to move southward, back toward the lands of his origin. But the human species had so differentiated that the danger of further mingling with its nonprogressive simian relatives was greatly lessened.
700,000 years ago the fourth glacier, the greatest of all in Europe, was in recession; men and animals were returning north. The climate was cool and moist, and primitive man again thrived in Europe and western Asia. Gradually the forests spread north over land which had been so recently covered by the glacier.
Mammalian life had been little changed by the great glacier. These animals persisted in that narrow belt of land lying between the ice and the Alps and, upon the retreat of the glacier, again rapidly spread out over all Europe. There arrived from Africa, over the Sicilian land bridge, straight-tusked elephants, broad-nosed rhinoceroses, hyenas, and African lions, and these new animals virtually exterminated the saber-toothed tigers and the hippopotamuses.
650,000 years ago witnessed the continuation of the mild climate. By the middle of the interglacial period it had become so warm that the Alps were almost denuded of ice and snow.
600,000 years ago the ice had reached its then northernmost point of retreat and, after a pause of a few thousand years, started south again on its fifth excursion. But there was little modification of climate for fifty thousand years. Man and the animals of Europe were little changed. The slight aridity of the former period lessened, and the alpine glaciers descended far down the river valleys.
550,000 years ago the advancing glacier again pushed man and the animals south. But this time man had plenty of room in the wide belt of land stretching northeast into Asia and lying between the ice sheet and the then greatly expanded Black Sea extension of the Mediterranean.
These times of the fourth and fifth glaciers witnessed the further spread of the crude culture of the Neanderthal races. But there was so little progress that it truly appeared as though the attempt to produce a new and modified type of intelligent life on Urantia was about to fail. For almost a quarter of a million years these primitive peoples drifted on, hunting and fighting, by spells improving in certain directions, but, on the whole, steadily retrogressing as compared with their superior Andonic ancestors.
During these spiritually dark ages the culture of superstitious mankind reached its lowest levels. The Neanderthalers really had no religion beyond a shameful superstition. They were deathly afraid of clouds, more especially of mists and fogs. A primitive religion of the fear of natural forces gradually developed, while animal worship declined as improvement in tools, with abundance of game, enabled these people to live with lessened anxiety about food; the sex rewards of the chase tended greatly to improve hunting skill. This new religion of fear led to attempts to placate the invisible forces behind these natural elements and culminated, later on, in the sacrificing of humans to appease these invisible and unknown physical forces. And this terrible practice of human sacrifice has been perpetuated by the more backward peoples of Urantia right on down to the twentieth century.
These early Neanderthalers could hardly be called sun worshipers. They rather lived in fear of the dark; they had a mortal dread of nightfall. As long as the moon shone a little, they managed to get along, but in the dark of the moon they grew panicky and began the sacrifice of their best specimens of manhood and womanhood in an effort to induce the moon again to shine. The sun, they early learned, would regularly return, but the moon they conjectured only returned because they sacrificed their fellow tribesmen. As the race advanced, the object and purpose of sacrifice progressively changed, but the offering of human sacrifice as a part of religious ceremonial long persisted.