• Question: have you ever saw the bones of a human the lived a long time a ago

    Asked by thor to Lindsay on 12 May 2015.
    • Photo: K. Lindsay Hunter

      K. Lindsay Hunter answered on 12 May 2015:

      I have! I’ve even worked on the original Neandertal skeleton–you know, THE one that gave the species, Homo neanderthalensis, its name! It’s from Feldhofer Grotto in Germany in a place called the Neander Valley (aka “Neanderthal”). The really cool thing is that “Neander” means “New Man” in German, which was an odd coincidence since Neandertals were the first species of human other than ourselves that we knew about!

      I’ve also worked on other fossil humans, and some that weren’t fossils and were more recent, like, only in the past few thousand years. Some of the bones were from people that died within the last century and were still greasy.

      These are some of the collections of old humans that I’ve worked on:

      UI-Stanford Collection (Office of the State Archaeologist, Iowa City), Point Hope Collection (American Museum of Natural History, NYC), Shanidar 3 and Haman-Todd Collection (National Museum of Natural History, DC), Kebara, Qafzeh, Skhul fossils (Tel Aviv University, Israel), Raymond Dart Collection (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa), Sterkfontein Australopithecus africanus fossils (Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, South Africa), Krapina Neandertal fossils (Zagreb, Croatia), Dolni Vestonice (Dolni Vestonice, Czech Republic), Neandertal and Oberkassell fossils (Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, Germany), La Ferrassie Neandertal fossils (Musee de l’Homme, Paris, France), Tabun Neandertal fossils (Natural History Museum, London, UK), Atacamenos (San Pedro de Atacama, Chile), Tierra del Fuegan and Aonikenk (Punta Arenas, Chile), Rising Star Cave UW 101 (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)

      You might also want to check out an answer I had to a similar question:

      Have you ever exam fossils?