JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hominid fossil skull of Gibraltar man, found during the construction of military fortifications in Gibraltar. It is not known who found the skull, or when, only that mention was first made of it in 1848. Gibraltar man is classified as a Neanderthal Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, a group of hominids that lived from 100,000 to 35,000 years ago and then vanished from the fossil record. Formerly, Neanderthal man was seen as a degenerate version of modern man, but further study showed that deformities were due to diseases such as osteoarthritis and not to evolution. They are now seen as a sturdy and successful race of hunter gathers ranging across Europe and the Near East.
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