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Original type specimen of Neanderthal man

Original type specimen of Neanderthal man

E438/0032

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Credit

JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Original type-specimen of Neanderthal man, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, previously thought to be the separate species Homo neanderthalensis. Found in 1857 in a cave in the Neander valley, near Dusseldorf (Germany), this assemblage of bones was the first evidence of an evolutionary link between modern man and an ape-like ancestor. Here, a skull cap is seen, with well preserved bones of the leg, hip and arm. Neanderthal man was a group of hominids that lived from 130,000 to 35,000 years ago; formerly thought to be a degenerate version of modern man, they are now seen as a distinct and successful race of hunter-gatherers that ranged across Europe and the near East.

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