Neanderthals: New Findings & Theories

blessmycottonsocks

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Following the death of the Asterix creator Albert Uderzo, I did a little Googling about the history of the Gauls.
On the Wiki page, I spotted this Roman Denarius from 48 BC, depicting a Gallic captive/slave.
It struck me as a remarkably Neanderthal-like profile, with its heavy brow-ridges, large eyes and prominent nose. Whoever the unfortunate enslaved Gaul was whose profile was chosen to adorn the coin, we'll never know, but I wouldn't be surprised if his Neanderthal DNA % was significantly higher than the European average for the time.
Of course, it could be something of a caricature, but it still looks like the archetypal caveman to me - but some 50,000 years too late.

Gaul_Denarius.JPG
 
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Naughty_Felid

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Following the death of the Asterix creator Albert Uderzo, I did a little Googling about the history of the Gauls.
On the Wiki page, I spotted this Roman Denarius from 48 BC, depicting a Gallic captive/slave.
It struck me as a remarkably Neanderthal-like profile, with its heavy brow-ridges, large eyes and prominent nose. Whoever the unfortunate enslaved Gaul was whose profile was chosen to adorn the coin, we'll never know, but I wouldn't be surprised if his Neanderthal DNA % was significantly higher than the European average for the time.
Of course, it could be something of a caricature, but it still looks like the archetypal caveman to me - but some 50,000 years too late.

View attachment 24462
nah - a bit of a reach.
 

EnolaGaia

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nah - a bit of a reach.
I tend to agree, though I can see the resemblance.

Ancient coinage isn't exactly known for precisely realistic portraiture. Moreover, it's entirely conceivable there'd have been a bit of bias toward accentuating coarse features in depicting a person from the empire's hinterlands and a "mere" slave at that.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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"it's entirely conceivable there'd have been a bit of bias toward accentuating coarse features"

Exactly.
The historical Gaul was prime Neanderthal territory though until maybe 30,000 years ago.
Also this coin seems to depict a somewhat more realistic profile than many highly-stylised Romano-Celtic coins of the era
I just felt it would be nice to consider that this was a reasonably realistic depiction of a genuine Gaul, who had inherited some atavistic traits from his great great (x who knows how many) grandparents.
 

maximus otter

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See food -> eat it.

Surf’s up, Neandertals.

Our close evolutionary cousins obtained shellfish, crabs, fish and other marine munchies along Europe’s Atlantic coast with all the savvy and gusto of ancient humans who foraged along southern Africa’s shoreline, say archaeologist João Zilhão of the University of Barcelona and his colleagues.

Neandertals consumed a diverse menu of sea and land foods while occupying Figueira Brava cave, on Portugal’s coast, for extended periods between around 106,000 and 86,000 years ago, Zilhão’s group says. Excavations there show for the first time that Neandertals matched Stone Age Homo sapiens in their ability to exploit seafood rich in brain-enhancing fatty acids, the scientists report in the March 27 Science. This discovery adds to controversial evidence that Neandertals engaged in various behaviors traditionally thought to have characterized only H. sapiens, such as creating cave art and elaborate personal ornaments (SN: 10/28/19; SN: 3/20/15).

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/neandertals-extensive-seafood-menu-rivals-ancient-humans
 
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