We tend to equate 'Neanderthal' with stupid, uncivilized, barbaric. Behind the times. Cavemen.
How about this...in the eastern Ukraine a structure built primarily of mammoth bones has been found that considerably predates the expansion of modern man into the area. It was made by Neanderthals. Traces of paint indicate that they colored the inside of the structure.
No less than 24 separate hearths were found inside. Somebody was living there. Somebody was living there for a long time.
The area, close to Moldova, has no suitable wood for building, so they used bone. But one has to wonder how many other Neanderthal houses were built that we might never find...because the wood foundations are long gone and we have no clue where to even start looking.
Just how intelligent and civilized were they?