Impressive Neanderthal Models (Man and Woman)
Collectors of dinosaur models and prehistoric animal figures have the opportunity to add two new Neanderthal models to their figure collections, as CollectA have introduced a model of a Neanderthal man and to accompany him, a model of a Neanderthal woman.
The Neanderthals, named after the first closely studied fossils found in the Neander Valley (Germany) are an extinct group of hominids (Homo neanderthalensis) who evolved around 200,000 years ago. Palaeoanthropologists believe that the Neanderthals shared a common ancestor with our own species – H. heidelbergensis. They originated in the eastern Mediterranean and spread into Europe and western Asia, before finally becoming extinct around 28,000 years ago.
Neanderthals were short, stocky and heavily muscled. Evidence of the heavy musculature appears in the extremely large muscle attachment scars on the fossil bones and the bowing of some of the limb bones. Neanderthals were tough, used to hard physical work and suffered many injuries. These injuries have been preserved on their fossilised bones. Neanderthals were on average, shorter than modern humans, with males around 1.7 metres tall and females slightly shorter still. Their stocky bodies were ideal for preserving body heat and this may have been an adaptation to living in cold climates.
The pair of Neanderthals are very well painted. It is interesting to note that both the male and the female have blue eyes. Studies of the recently mapped Neanderthal genome suggest that indeed, these humans did have blue eyes, or certainly a significant proportion of the population carried the gene sequence that would lead to blue eye colour.
The New Neanderthal Models from CollectA
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
The sturdy female model stands seven centimetres tall, the robust male (CollectA Neanderthal Man), around one centimetre taller. It is clear that the designers and sculptors at CollectA have taken great care to study the fossil record of this human species as both models show remarkable detail. For example, scientists know that Neanderthals had a stronger grip than our own species. Studies of the pathology (injuries associated with fossil bones of Neanderthals), suggest that these people hunted game at close quarters, using spears that were thicker shafted than those of modern humans and that were designed for thrusting. The Neanderthal male is carrying a thick shafted spear, demonstrating the sort of weapons associated with this species.
To view prehistoric animal models including the Neanderthals available as part of the CollectA series from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models.
The strong looking female (CollectA Neanderthal Woman) is carrying a hefty club and the skull of an antelope, perhaps an important symbol in Neanderthal culture. Both models have necklaces made of animal teeth. For many years, Neanderthals were depicted as slow, lumbering stupid ape-men, but recent discoveries have suggested that they made jewellery and even created musical instruments.
The models are a welcome addition to the CollectA model series and they do depict Neanderthals in a way that is backed up by scientific evidence.