Could a modern human beat a Neanderthal in a fight? Maybe, but the modern human should keep his distance and play a long game:
A Neanderthal would have a clear power advantage over his Homo sapiensopponent. Many of the Neanderthals archaeologists have recovered had Popeye forearms, possibly the result of a life spent stabbing wooly mammoths and straight-tusked elephants to death and dismantling their carcasses. Neanderthals also developed strong trapezius, deltoid, and tricep muscles bydragging 50 pounds of meat 30 miles home to their families. A Neanderthal had a wider pelvis and lower center of gravity than Homo sapiens, which would have made him a powerful grappler. That doesn’t mean, however, that we would be an easy kill for our extinct relative. Homo sapiensprobably has a longer reach, on average, than Neanderthals did, and more stamina. Most importantly, we could deploy these advantages to maximum effect using our superior wits. It’s obviously speculative, but a modern man of above-average build would have an excellent chance of defeating a Neanderthal in hand-to-hand combat if he could keep his opponent at arm’s length, survive the initial onslaught, and wear him down.
Pictured above is Neatorama's own Alex Santoso (left) and Thag (right). Place your bets.
Link | Images: Trendhunter, Berkeley Laboratory