Neanderthal used antibiotics and pain meds. Was Zeus a Neanderthal?

Did Neanderthal man use penicillin and painkillers? They overlapped with modern humans for thousands of years. We now know we interbread with Neanderthals. From genetic sequencing by, I even know my own percentage of Neanderthal ancestry. They had bigger brains, they were much stronger than modern humans, and better immune systems and eyesight.

I have a pet theory about them. I believe they were some of the “gods” in our mythology, and also the “giants in the earth” in verbal stories that later became part of the written Bible.

Genesis 6:4

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” 


Demigods, like Gilgamesh, who were half human and half “god” were very strong. They were kings and men of great renoun. 

If you know about Ligers (male lion mates with female tiger), they dwarf tigons (female lion mates with male tiger), as well as lions and tigers. A liger is typically bigger than both of its parents. Lioness mothers have growth inhibiting genes which tigress mothers don’t. 

So it was with Neanderthal strength, perhaps. If you wanted a king, it mattered if the gene donor Neanderthal was male or female.

What about immortality? One claim is that if you remove infant mortality, our ancient ancestors lived on average about as long as we do now, 70 to 80 years. 

This is the context in which I read the following story:

Fossilized plaque, also known as dental calculus, has been found on corpses that are tens of thousands of years old. Now that scientists have the tools to analyze old plaque for pieces of ancient DNA, they can reconstruct the diet, health, and lifestyle of the dead. … 

One team recently looked at the fossilized plaque on the teeth of four Neanderthals found at two cave sites: Spy in Belgium and El Sidrón in Spain.

(Neanderthals) built tools and lit campfires. They may have decorated their bodies and buried their dead. And, according to a new study published today in Nature, they took medicine for pain and natural antibiotics for infections, and at least some of them had a plant-heavy diet.
At 42,000 to 50,000 years old, these samples represent the oldest dental plaque ever to be genetically analyzed. One of the individuals found at El Sidrón suffered from a dental abscess visible on the jawbone. He also had an intestinal parasite. That may be why he was consuming poplar – which contains pain-killing salicylic acid, the active ingredient of aspirin – as well as a natural antibiotic mold, Penicillium. Previous research had shown that Sidrón Neanderthals may have used yarrow, an astringent, and camomile, a natural anti-inflammatory, as medicinal plants.

“Apparently, Neanderthals possessed a good knowledge of medicinal plants and their various anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, and seem to be self-medicating,” Alan Cooper, director of the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), said in a statement.

“The use of antibiotics would be very surprising, as this is more than 40,000 years before we developed penicillin. …


Human species have been intelligent for a long time. I think it’s quite possible that they developed some similar technologies and made similar discoveries multiple times. Plato says as much when he talks about the lost Atlantis, that disasters have destroyed what men have built and what we have learned many times.

When I first had this theory, that ancient Neanderthal memories echoed in human written history after eons of verbal tales being passed on, I think we had not yet discovered that almost all humans today except for some sub-Saharan Africans have some Neanderthal DNA.

Neanderthals and modern humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years, according to a new article. 

Via SciDaily

Perhaps one day we will generally accept that they were not dumb cave men, but a strong intelligent species of humans that went extinct for some reason. It may be that they could not adapt as well as we could. We used dogs, for example, to hunt and I don’t think they ever did. My other theory is that they were smart, but not as creative, and not as able and willing to be as deceptive as our species. This may be where we get some views of the gods being of high moral character, if they were in fact Neanderthals.

So far, I’m the only person I can find on the Internet saying that Zeus may have been a real Neanderthal leader. Food for thought:

Asclepius, Greek Asklepios, Latin Aesculapius, Greco-Roman god of medicine, son of Apollo (god of healing, truth, and prophecy) and the mortal princess Coronis. The Centaur Chiron taught him the art of healing. At length Zeus (the king of the gods), afraid that Asclepius might render all men immortal, slew him with a thunderbolt.

Via Britannica

Knowing his people were competing with the humans for limited resources, Zeus may not have wanted to share the medicine of the gods with the mortals (our words for them and us.)

It would be wild if Centaurs were Homo erectus and we eventually learn that besides being sailors they rode horses, leading to Centaur myths. Erectus was around a long time and could have taught Neanderthals about medicine.

If you are a historian with a good reason that this theory of Neanderthals as our ancient memories of gods must be wrong, please let us know why it could not be so.

3 thoughts on “Neanderthal used antibiotics and pain meds. Was Zeus a Neanderthal?

  1. Thank you for this article on Neanderthals. I have a writing project that includes many issues you address. Don’t know if I have any years left to complete it, but if I do, I’ll send you a copy.

  2. I’m not a historian, I’m a “sensitive” with a long line of past life remembrances. When I read about this planet’s past I know when a story is truth, or close to it – I can simply feel the rightness of it, or the wrongness if it is manufactured. This article would get at least an 8 out of 10 on my truth scale. I enjoyed reading this.

    1. Thank you, Sha’Tara. I just read one of your posts and it sounds like you’ve had a very interesting unique experience of this existence.

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