Two representations of skeletons, 1913.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 20cm x 32cm

Two representations of skeletons, 1913.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Illustration taken from an article entitled 'Fosil Man' in 'Nature', August 1913. The left Skeleton is that of the man of La Chappelle-aux-Saints (restored), while the one on the right is of an Australian Aborigine. The skeleton discovered at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in France in 1908 was the first virtually complete skeleton of Neanderthal Man to be found. It was analysed by the French paleontologist Marcellin Boule, who incorrectly deduced that Neanderthals were primitive ape-like creatures of limited intellectual capacity. A later study of the skeleton in the 1950s disproved Boule's interpretation, revealing that the stooped appearance of the skeleton was due to the individual's sheer old age, severe arthritis in the neck, and several injuries including a damaged patella.

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