This is a museum quality reproduction of first Neanderthal skull to be discovered. The Gibraltar Skull which was blasted out of Forbes' Quarry on the North Face of the Rock of Gibraltar is one of the best examples of a female Neanderthal in existence. This find dates back to 200,000 - 100,000 years ago. This reproduction was made based on the original skull. It measures 205mm from the back to the front of the skull.
Price: 270.00

The discovery in 1856 of a skullcap and partial skeleton in a cave in the Neander valley near Dusseldorf, Germany, signalled the first recognized fossil human form. While it was later realized that several Neanderthal sites had previously been discovered, their remains were not recognized as those of an archaic form of human until the discovery of "Neanderthal Man." In 1864 a new species was recognized: Homo neanderthalensis.

Neanderthals inhabited Europe and western Asia during the latter part of the Pleistocene. The climate in these regions was much colder than it is today, and several glaciations, or Ice Ages, are known to have occurred during the time of Neanderthal occupation. Neanderthal localities are known today from Spain to Uzbekistan (near Afghanistan). Several important sites in the vicinity of Qafzeh Cave, Israel, suggest that Neanderthals arrived in the region after modern Homo sapiens. This would indicate that the population of modern humans in this area was not descended form Neanderthals, and that there was some period of coexistence, or an alternating series of migrations into this region by the two species. Neanderthals are known from Europe and western Asia from about 200,000 years to about 30,000 years ago, when they disappeared from the fossil record and were replaced in Europe by anatomically modern forms.

The original interpretation of Neanderthal anatomy was one of a primitive early human based on a flawed reconstruction of the nearly complete skeleton of an elderly Neanderthal male found at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, France (second photograph from the top). However, Neanderthals and modern humans (Homo sapiens) are very similar anatomically -- so similar, in fact, that in 1964, it was proposed that Neanderthals are not even a separate species from modern humans, but that the two forms represent two subspecies: Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens. This classification was popular through the 1970's and 80's, although many authors today have returned to the previous two-species hypothesis. Either way, Neanderthals represent a very close evolutionary relative of modern humans.

Several features of the skeleton unique to Neanderthals appear to be related to cold climate adaptations. These features include limb-bone proportions and muscle attachments indicative of a broad, slightly short, and strong body; a large, rounded nasal opening; and a suite of anatomical traits of the skull.

In all, the fossil record for Neanderthals is significantly better than for earlier human species. One reason for this is that Neanderthal fossils are relatively young compared to other early human species, and fossils decay over time. But another very important factor is the purposeful burial of their dead. Many Neanderthal sites include the remains of individuals who were deliberately placed in graves dug into the earth. Some of these burials show evidence that may indicate that these graves were adorned with offerings (such as flowers). This cultural advance, which represents an awareness and recognition of life and death, may have first been practiced by the Neanderthals.

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Reproduction Neanderthal Skull. NP Collectables
HS314 Neanderthal Skull
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