I knew it! Iknew it! According to this article in Nature, a respected science journal, some Neandertals had red hair, just like my Neanderlady picture! The reason? They had one variety of the MC1R gene, which under certain circumstances, produces red hair. Of course, the authors of the article are quick to point out, it wasn't "the same" as the "modern" one(I think they were probably a little too quick on this, but that's another story), but it had the same results.
Personally, I think that since MC1R seems to come in several different "varieties" or "strengths", as I understand it, it is hardly surprising that Neandertals may have had another "variety". But it is also not surprising that this "variety" seems to have more or less worked the same way as "modern" types of MC1R. Apparently, as I indicated in a post last week, Neandertals were "chatty" too, because they had the same version of FOXP2, which is one of the genes involved in speech. The more genes these people recover, the more Neandertals seem like "us"(or at least some of us), in important ways.
Anyway, I'd like to end this "newsflash" with a hint, related to my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals: the heroine, Illg, is not unlike my "Neanderlady". And her Neanderfriends who accompany her(sometimes) in her adventures through medieval England, are rather chatty, though none of the others are redheaded.