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Neanderthal Portrait

14 November 2023
Anthropology, Archaeology, Genetics

Neanderthals as you have never seen them before. As handsome as the everyday bloke you might come across in your travels in a big city. At https://www.livescience.com/archaeology/weathered-face-of-old-man-neanderthal-comes-to-life-in-amazing-new-facial-reconstruction/ … go to the link to get a look and the new face reconstruction of a Neanderthal skull. It comes from a cave in south central France. Forensic scientists have created a digital approximation of the face, which was unveiled at a conference of the Italian Ministry of Culture. The forensic artist used existing computed tomography [CT] scans of the skull and then imported measurements from the Frankfort horizontal plane – a line running from the eye socket to the top of the ear opening. This was based on a human skull pulled from a database and gave the researchers the framework to generate the face shape.

According to a co author of the study, a graphics expert we are told, the image shows how Neanderthals were similar to us, Modern Humans. He can say that again. Why the difference to all those earlier images of ape like creatures, or people with big noses out of proportion to their face? Previous reconstructions, they say, have looked exaggeratedly like apes. This was due to bias on the part of earlier historians and artists. There was even an early 20th century depiction of a Neanderthal as a hunchback – with distinct long arms and accentuated ape like features. The use of digital scans and measurements has led to the new version of what Neanderthals may actually have looked like.The change in perception, we may note, comes about after researchers have found numerous similarities between Neanderthals and Modern Humans. They are similar in so many ways one can clearly class them as early humans – or Europeans and people of western Asia. Science, it seems, is surprisingly biased – and most certainly in the past. The idea that Neanderthals were inferior to humans is actually the product of the idea that things evolve better over time, in numerous small ways, eventually ending up with the superiority of Modern Humans. However, the way people act and think in the modern world leaves that theory wanting. The same basic closed minds to new ideas is part and parcel of modern science and inhibits over and over again the rise of new ideas about the past – and almost everything else.


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