Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy 100th, La Chapelle aux Saintes!

The Anthrosite blog has an entry about La Chapelle aux Saintes, the Neandertal fossil which is famous for having spawned a lot of erroneous pictures of bent-kneed, slack-jawed, apish people in fur "clothing" that probably would have killed them off the first Paleolithic winter they tried to wear such garments. The fossil, an "old" man(at least by Neandertal standards in that era), was discovered by two brothers, both Catholic priests, on a bicycle trip in the summer of 1908, through southwestern France. There is a picture :






He was described as having been buried, and the picture above shows this quite clearly. Furthermore, someone must have cared for him in some way, before he died, since he had only a few teeth left. He was also arthritic, but this was not noticed or noted until fifty years after his discovery. Unfortunately, this oversight resulted in some pretty ridiculous portrayals of Neandertals, but I'll go into this in another post. Interestingly, it also spawned more "reasonable" reconstructions as well, but that's also for another post.

Anyway, if any reader happens to be in southwestern France between July 25 and August 8, they might want to drop by and at the very least, view the fossil, which will be on display. There are also a bunch of lectures and presentations during this time.

Anne G

3 comments:

Tim said...

Anne - thanks for the heads-up, I'm trying to work out if it's feasible for me to make a day-trip in that direction, as it sounds well worth seeing.

Anne Gilbert said...

It sounds well worth seeing to me, too, though I'm not going to be anywhere near the place. I hope you get a chance. Let us all know if you do.
Anne G

Tim said...

oops - sorry Anne, I should have mentioned I'd used your post for 4SH in my last comment; in the event it was a little too far away for a day trip to the Museum, though it's possible they might publish something of the lectures etc.