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HOUSTON, July 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/  Award-winning geologist and journalist Neil Bockoven got bitten by the novelist bug while researching what killed off Neanderthals so quickly after they encountered us – Early Modern Humans – in Ice Age Europe. The mystery inspired Bockoven to bring this prehistoric world to life in his powerful and exciting novel Moctu and the Mammoth People, available now in bookstores and on Amazon from Waldorf Publishing.

Set in Paleolithic Italy 45,000 years ago, the compelling coming-of-age story follows a Cro-Magnon youth who fights for leadership of his tribe and the right to mate Nuri, a fiercely independent woman, who is being courted by Moctu’s rival, the shrewd and cunning Jabil. Moctu also battles mammoths, wolves and saber-tooth cats as well as his captors, the “Pale Ones,” a fearsome group of seemingly cannibalistic Neanderthals known as the People Eaters.

Bockoven took two years to review all the current genetic and archeological research about these primitive people and this attention to detail is reflected in a story line that captures not only Moctu’s experiences, but the nature of the physical and tribal world in which he operates. Solid science drives this story and – uniquely for a novel – the research is annotated in an addendum to the book that includes color images.

“During my initial research, I hadn’t planned to write a novel, but I realized that there was an incredible story to be told about these early humans – their interaction with a different human species and their struggles for survival in a violent, primitive world,” says Bockoven. “I hope people can travel back in time to feel what our ancestors experienced – from having babies in the wild to hunting mammoths. I want readers to identify deeply with these Early Modern Humans; they are, after all, our ancestors. We are family.”

Early reviews proclaim:

“Fans of Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear . . . will relish Moctu and the Mammoth People . . . an intriguing, exciting and moving saga.” – Diane Donovan, editor of California Bookwatch

“Neil Bockoven takes a scientific base and adds inspiration and imagination to create an epic tale of struggle and survival, of passion, betrayal and vengeance. [The book] highlights our ancestors’ lives and loves, their fears and feelings – and, yes, their very humanity.” – Kieran Mulvaney, author of The Great White Bear, At the Ends of the Earth and The Whaling Season

“Moctu and the Mammoth People is revolutionary . . . unique, fascinating and deeply-sourced.” – Mark McDonald, award-winning New York Times Foreign Correspondent, author of the Novel Off the X.

The novel arrives at a time when many readers study their forbearers through services like and To help young people understand their origins, Bockoven also has published When We Me Neanderthals, an illustrated children’s book.

For more information, visit the author’s website.

About the Author

Neil Thomas Bockoven is an award-winning PhD geologist and journalist with 35 years of experience in minerals exploration. He has been featured in Geological Society of America Bulletin, Virginia Journal of Science and other scientific publications. Bockoven is a member of the Archaeological Institute of America, the Archeological Conservancy and is an Impact Member of the Center for Study of the First Americans.

Dr. Neil Bockoven


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