Earth's Children Earth's Children is a series
From Wikipedia, the Free of historical
Encyclopaedia fiction novels written
by Jean M. Auel.
She is an American writer,
better known as Jean M.
Auel. She is best known for
her Earth's Children books,
a series of historical fiction
novels set in prehistoric
Europe that explores
interactions of Cro-
Magnon people with
Neanderthals. Her books
have sold 34 million copies
world-wide in many
There are five novels
in the series so far.
As the stories take place during the Würm glaciations,
populations are small in number, surviving mostly in
sedentary hunter-gatherer fashion. Prior to the
discovery of metal, flint is the primary medium for the
creation of tools.
Cro-Magnon flint tools
Neanderthal stone tools
Two primary cultures vie for resources, space and
survival: the Clan, which is what Neanderthals call
themselves, and Cro-Magnon (whom Ayla, with her Clan
upbringing, generally referred to as the Others). Both
races are fairly different in culture, society and
technology, but with some overlap: both depend on flint
for their tools, both recognize the importance of fire; both
hunt and gather.
The series is set in Europe during the Upper
Palaeolithic era, and focuses on the period of co-
existence between Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals.
It tells the story of Ayla, a Cro-Magnon girl who is
adopted by a tribe of Neanderthals, but who later
embarks on a journey where she meets up with
various cultural groups of Cro-Magnon humans.
The series has a highly detailed focus on archaeology
and anthropology, but also features substantial
amounts of romance and poetic license.
As with many series of speculative fiction, there is a
substantial fan base that organize websites, hold
meetings, and write fan fiction.
The author's treatment of unconventional sexual
practices has earned the series a place on the American
Library Association's 100 Most Frequently Challenged
Books of 1990-2000.
The Clan of the Cave Bear
was released in September
It introduces Ayla, the main
character of the series, a
orphaned in an earthquake
and wounded by a cave lion
who is adopted by a group
of Neanderthals who call
themselves 'the Clan of the
A brief summary of the first book-the best
T he wonderful novel by Jean Auel: quot;Ayla in the Clan of the Cave Bearquot; is about
a Cro Magnon woman who has been found by a horde of Neanderthals at the
age of five orphaned and wounded.
The medicine woman adopts her as her daughter but - like in the story of quot;the
ugly ducklingquot; - all her higher developed abilities and properties are regarded
as morbid and of lower quality because they are different.
Though she already had been able to speak she now learns to communicate
with grunting noises and gestures and to behave humble like a slave towards
every man of the tribe.
Hunting is a holy privilege of the men.
Women are only allowed to collect plants and herbs.
When it gets known that Ayla has secretly learned to skilfully kill
small game with a slingshot, she is quot;banned to deathquot;
and expelled by the tribe.
She manages to stay alive though for one month
all on her own in a small cave in the woods.
No other outcast before her has ever succeeded to do so
and the clan has to accept her back after that.
Every woman has to give herself to every man
at his will and so Ayla is made pregnant by the son
of the chieftain because he hates her
and wants to humble her.
Her newborn son appears to the tribe as a monster
unfit to live because of his long neck and would have been killed.
But Ayla runs away with him and hides in her cave,
where she manages to survive a whole winter alone with her baby.
When spring comes,
both of them are received as members of the tribe
and Ayla is granted a special privilege,
she becomes quot;the woman who huntsquot;.
Nevertheless on the long run she can't bear living in
the Clan of the Cavebear any longer.
When her son is old enough,
she leaves him with one of the Clan women and
sets out all on her own into the steppe,
sets out to search for people of her kind,
for big fair people with long streight legs,
for people who are able to form words with their lips,
to reckon with two hands and whose eyes
water like hers when they are sad ...
The Valley of Horses
was released in September 1982.
Ayla, cast out of the Clan, goes in
search of the Others—
or people like herself.
She settles in a small valley for the
winter and lives alone there
for three years.
During that time she is free to give into
innovative and creative impulses,
including raising and training animals.
At the same time,
a Zelandonii man by the name of
Jondalar begins a long Journey
with his brother.
Ayla and Jondalar eventually meet
and fall in love.
Jean Auel after her big success wrote three more books about the fate of Ayla,
the quot;Earth Childrenquot;- Cycle.
In the second volume quot;Ayla in the valley of horsesquot;
the young woman lives all on her own for quite some time and tames a wild
horse and a young lion for companions till in the end she meets Jondalar,
a Cro-Magnon man who has roamed the steppe all alone on a long trip and
who later (in the third book) takes her back with him to his tribe to quot;the
mammoth huntersquot;. With him ,who had often been selected by the old women
to introduce young girls to the quot;delights of the big motherquot;, she finally
experiences tenderness for the first time of her life.
Marvellous descriptions of landscapes and sensitive representation of the
quot;Mother -Worshipquot; and of life in the stone ages as it might have been make up
the special charm of this grat series of novels.
The Valley of Horses
Ayla’s ‘Whinny’ & ‘Baby’
Like the one which
The Mammoth Hunters
was released in Fall 1985.
Ayla and Jondalar visit a tribe known as
the Mamutoi, or Mammoth Hunters,
who live near Ayla's valley.
The Mamutoi adopt Ayla, and her and
Jondalar's love is threatened by Ayla's
brief affair with Ranec,
a member of the camp,
which she engages in after a
misunderstanding leads her to believe
no longer loves her.
Her history with the Clan, ability to train
animals and talent for invention make
for many surprises for her new
A Mamutoi Earthlodge
Mammoth bone hut
The Plains of Passage
was released in November
Ayla and Jondalar travel west,
back to Zelandonii territory,
both nature and
along the way.
Her interactions often
force the people around
her to take a broader
view and be more
accepting of new ideas.
The Plains of Passage
Giant sturgeon –staple of the Ramudoi
The Shelters of Stone
was released on 30 April
2002, and is the most recent
novel of the series.
Ayla and Jondalar reach the
Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii,
Jondalar's home, and prepare
to marry and have a child.
nothing is ever simple,
especially for a woman with
Cro-Magnon life was not all
that different from the lives of
They lived in caves, or
temporary structures, and
spent their lives hunting and
gathering in small groups. As
food sources increased
humans settlements became
more permanent. Many groups
began building homes out of
logs or stone. Smaller groups
joined together forming larger
Pre-historic cave drawing –Cro -Magnon man
Cro-Magnon bone tools
THESE ARE SOME OF THE WEBSITES YOU CAN VISIT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT
THE EARTH’S CHILDREN SERIES
I have read all the five books in the series
and I personally recommend
the Earth’s Children saga---
its got all the elements for great reading
plus information about things---
Herbs, plants and their uses, animals, landscape,
lifestyles, pre-historic places,
way of life, and many, many
other things-Its really great reading!
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