Here is the face of the primitive “old man” who lived in France 50 thousand years ago!

Here is the face of the primitive “old man” who lived in France 50 thousand years ago!

Far from the ancient representations we had of our distant cousin, this new image created from the skeleton of a man from La Chapelle-aux-Saints reveals a more “human” Neanderthal.

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The “old man” in La Chapelle-aux-Saints cave now has a face! The skeleton of this Neanderthal, discovered by priests in 1908 in a cave in this village in Corez, is considered exceptional in more than one way. The skeleton is almost complete, except for a few missing teeth (hence the nickname “Old Man”), and is the first evidence that Neanderthals buried their dead. Buried at the bottom of a pit 47,000 to 56,000 years ago, in the fetal position, with his head supported by stones, the Shabelle-au-San man appears to have made use of a funerary ritual then unknown among humans. Neanderthal. Since then, discoveries have continued to come in favor of the highly advanced intelligence of our distant cousins.

The Neanderthal skeleton was found in the cave of La Chapelle aux Saints, a small town in Corrèze. © 120 / in. Moore, Wikimedia Commons, CC by-sa 3.0

Medical imaging at the service of artists

The story is not over regarding the man from Chapelle-aux-Saints. Because 115 years after its discovery, artists reconstructed its image. Facial morphology was specifically defined using medical imaging data (computed tomography). The face of this man, who died at the age of 40 (a bit young to be called “old man”), looks surprisingly common.

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Neanderthals closer to us?

A far cry from previous reconstructions that presented Neanderthals with more primitive and animalistic features. Distinguishing between morphological characteristics supported by scientific data and those that are more speculative, such as the color of skin, hair and eyes and the presence or absence of a beard, for example, Scientists He produced two images, one showing a bald bust and without a beard, the other presenting a more interpretive version, with beard and hair.

These findings, presented at a conference in Altamura, Italy, help change our view of Neanderthals and reveal their physiological closeness to humans. Homo sapiens.

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