Neanderthal - Encyclopedia




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NEANDERTHAL, a ravine near the village of Hochdal between Dusseldorf and Elberfeld, Rhenish Prussia. Here in 1856 were discovered in a Quaternary bed in the Feldhofen Cave human remains which have been referred to a type commonly called Neanderthal Man. The bones found were a brain-cap, two femora, two humeri and other fragments, now in the Fuhlrott Collection, Elberfeld. The cranium, pronounced by Huxley to be the most ape-like yet discovered, was remarkable for its enormous superciliary ridges. Professor Virchow and others contended that the remarkable shape was pathological or caused by disease during the lifetime of the individual. The subsequent discovery of two other skulls, almost identical in form, at Spy in Belgium, have helped to prove its typical character. The now generally accepted view is that the Neanderthal skull represents the oldest known dolichocephalic race of Europe.

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