You might have heard stories about cavemen or seen them on television. Some people use the word “caveman” to describe primitive men and women who lived on Earth long ago, used weapons like spears and clubs, and found food by hunting and gathering.
There were primitive people who lived in caves thousands of years ago. But scientists don’t usually use the word “caveman” to describe ancient people. They use more precise terms depending on what kind of early humans they’re talking about. Primitive humans started appearing on Earth long ago — two hundred thousand years ago — and we call these humans homo sapiens. You and I are homo sapiens, too. There are older kinds of human ancestors like the Neanderthals, a kind of early human that lived in Europe thousands of years before homo sapiens appeared.
Neanderthals have since died out. As with dinosaurs, scientists know about them because of fossils: bones and other objects that we dig out of the ground. Scientists who study old things buried in the ground are called paleontologists.
In cartoons and stories you sometimes see cavemen and dinosaurs together. But scientists know that people and dinosaurs never lived on Earth at the same time. The dinosaurs died out long before humans appeared on Earth.