A caveman is a popular stock character based upon stereotyped concepts of the way in which early prehistoric humans or homininans may have looked and behaved. The term is sometimes used colloquially to refer to the Neanderthals or Cro-Magnon (i.e., "Homo sapiens" of the Paleolithic era). The term has been discouraged in serious use,Fact|date=September 2008 due to its inaccuracy and dependence on certain misconceptions about early humans.


In the past, many people shared the viewFact|date=September 2008 of the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes that the life of the human being without civilization was "...solitary, poore ("sic"), nasty, brutish and short". The modern scientific perception of prehistoric lifestyle is now that of the hunter-gatherer.

Caveman is traditionally portrayed as being clothed in animal skins, armed with bone or wood clubs, unintelligent, and aggressive. Furthermore, cavemen are often shown as living in caves; but this stemmed from the ritual paintings found in caves, where they are likely to be better-preserved than in more exposed locations. It is more probable that the caves were religious gathering places or temporary shelter, and not the actual dwellings of the supposed 'cavemen'. Thus, expressions such as "Balrog" or "living in a hole" have become cultural metaphors for a modern human who supposedly displays traits of brutishness or extreme ignorance. See also troglodyte.

Depictions of the Paleolithic in the media

In fiction, especially as pure entertainment or satire, cavemen are sometimes depicted as living contemporaneously with dinosaurs, a situation contradicted by archaeological and paleontological evidence which shows that non-avian dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, at which time true primates had not yet appeared.

In popular culture, the comic strips "B.C.", "Alley Oop" and occasionally "The Far Side", and Gogs, portray "cavemen" in that way. The animated television series "The Flintstones", a spoof on family sitcoms, portrays the Flintstones, not in caves, but in 1950s-1960s ranch-style homes that suggested caves and had stone fittings.

Stereotypical cavemen are also often featured in advertising, including advertisements for Minute Maid. More recently, GEICO launched a series of humorous television commercials and attempts at viral marketing, collectively known as the GEICO Cavemen advertising campaign, where GEICO announcers are repeatedly denounced by modern cavemen for perpetuating a stereotype of unintelligent, backward cavemen. The GEICO advertisements spawned a TV series called Cavemen (TV series) which is currently on indefinite hiatus.


*"Walking with Cavemen"
*"Walking with Beasts"

Caveman characters

*"Alley Oop"
*"Captain Caveman"
*"The Flintstones"
*"Stig of the Dump"
*"The Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw"
*Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, a "Saturday Night Live" sketch
*GEICO Cavemen
*Yahoo in "Gulliver's Travels"
*J. P. Manoux, plays Curtis the Caveman on the Disney show "Phil of the Future"
*"Bob" from "Prometheus and Bob" on KaBlam! on Nickelodeon
*Cave Guy, a villain on "Freakazoid"
*Scratch ("Your Favorite Golfin' Caveman") from
*The Slag Brothers (Rock and Gravel) in "Wacky Races"

Caveman movies

*"Three Ages", 1923 Buster Keaton silent film
*"Flying Elephants", 1928 Laurel and Hardy silent film
*"One Million B.C.", 1940
*"Mysterious Island (half a dozen films)
*"Caveman Inki, 1950 (Warner Brothers Chuck Jones cartoon)
*"Teenage Caveman, 1958 Roger Corman film and 2002 TV series
*"Eegah, 1962
*"One Million Years B.C.", 1966
*"It's About Time" (TV series 1966-67)
*"Planet of Dinosaurs", 1971
*"The Land That Time Forgot", 1975
*"The People That Time Forgot", 1977
*"Caveman", 1981
*"Quest for Fire", 1981
*"Luggage of the Gods!", 1983
*"Iceman, 1984
*"The Clan of the Cave Bear", 1986
*"Encino Man", 1992
*"The Flintstones", 1994
*"Bikini Cavegirl", 2004
*"10,000 BC", 2008

Caveman novels

*The Inheritors, 1955
*Dance of the Tiger, 1980
*Earth's Children series
**The Clan of the Cave Bear, 1980
**The Valley of Horses, 1982
**The Mammoth Hunters, 1985
**The Plains of Passage, 1990
**The Shelters of Stone, 2002

Caveman plays

* ''Defending the Caveman", Broadway 1995–1997, worldwide tour 1997--2008

ee also

*Human evolution

External links

* [ Online community of people who strive to emulate the diet and fitness of cavemen]
* [ Online community of people who study and practice the wisdoms of primal man]
* [ Website for prehistoric / stone-age tools and artifacts]


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  • Caveman — ist: das englische Wort für Höhlenmensch der Titel einer US Filmkomödie von 1981, siehe Caveman – Der aus der Höhle kam der deutsche Titel des Broadway Monodramas Defending the Caveman von Rob Becker, siehe Caveman (Schauspiel) der Name eines… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • caveman — UK [ˈkeɪvˌmæn] / US noun [countable] Word forms caveman : singular caveman plural cavemen UK [ˈkeɪvˌmen] / US 1) one of the people who lived thousands of years ago mainly in caves 2) informal a man who behaves in a violent, stupid, or rough way …   English dictionary

  • caveman — noun a) An early human or closely related species, popularly held to reside in caves. The political cartoon showed the politician as a caveman, clubbing the budget depcited as a mammoth. b) A brutish or savage person. The football squad was… …   Wiktionary

  • caveman — cave|man [ˈkeıvmæn] n plural cavemen [ men] 1.) someone who lived in a ↑cave many thousands of years ago 2.) informal an insulting word for a man who you think is rude, violent etc ▪ Are you going to give me the macho caveman act? …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • caveman — noun (C) 1 someone who lived in a cave 1 many thousands of years ago 2 informal a man who behaves rudely or violently: He used caveman tactics of rough behaviour towards women …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • caveman — (= cavewoman), noun were these the drawings of a caveman? Syn: cave dweller, troglodyte, primitive man/woman, prehistoric man/woman; Neanderthal …   Thesaurus of popular words

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  • caveman — noun Date: 1865 1. a cave dweller especially of the Stone Age 2. a man who acts in a rough or crude manner …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • caveman — cave·man also cave man (kāvʹmăn ) n. 1. A prehistoric or primitive human living in caves. 2. Informal. A man who is crude or brutal, especially toward women.   caveʹman or caveʹ man adj. * * * …   Universalium

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