What neanderthals really looked like
The problem of anthropomorphism
He begins by showing how anthropomorphism – our propensity to see Neanderthals much like ourselves- has blurred western thinking on all things Neanderthals.
Anthropomorphism has been a ubiquitous feature of human culture since the Stone Age and has influences the way scientists have interpreted the archaeological evidence
The problem with forensic reconstructions
Vendramini says that facial reconstructions work extremely well for humans, but that’s because we know the shape, texture and thickness of our facial soft tissues.
Forensic reconstructions are fine for humans, (see slideshow above) but when human features, textures and dimensions are used to recreate Neanderthal faces, they’re bound to be wrong. After all, you’d never use human facial dimensions and textures to recreate the faces of chimps, gorillas or any other nonhuman primate.
Vendramini reasons that chimps and other primates provide a better analogue for reconstructing Neanderthals facial characteristics.
What big eyes you have
One major difference between Neanderthal and human skulls is the size of the eyes.
Slit-shaped pupils are better suited to the eyes of nocturnal primates (right) because they can close down tighter, preventing damage to their super-sensitive eyes from strong sunlight. NP theory argues that, like modern nocturnal predators, Neanderthals had slit-shaped pupils to protect them from snow blindness.
The position of the eyes
Not only were the eyes of Neanderthals approximately 20% larger than humans, they were higher up in the skull than ours, about where our foreheads are.
Another illustration from ‘Them and Us’ shows the human rib cage compared to that of a Neanderthal.
Forensic reconstruction of the La Ferrassie Neanderthal
One of the world’s foremost digital sculptors, Madrid based Arturo Balseiro (below) was commissioned to create a forensic reconstruction of a Neanderthal based on Vendramini’s NP theory.
A slideshow of the reconstruction process
It began with an extensive study of Neanderthal skeletal remains. A museum quality replica of a Neanderthal skull was then laser scanned in Madrid at the studio of Arturo Balseiro. Vendramini then directed the final rendering of skin and organs.
Neanderthal forensic reconstructions based on Danny Vendramini’s NP theory
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NEANDERTHAL: PROFILE OF A SUPER PREDATOR
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