The first Neanderthal discovered in the Netherlands, has finally received a face after more than 20 years since his remains were found on the shores of the province of Zealand.
The reconstruction was possible thanks to the work carried out by the Kennis brothers, renowned paleoartists who interpreted the characteristics of the fossil and other Neanderthal skulls to put it a smiling face to the remains of the hominid nicknamed Krijn, reported the National Museum of Antiquities.
The Neanderthal in question had lived more than 50,000 years ago in an area called Doggerland, a prehistoric land link that once linked what is now the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. It is believed that approximately one million people inhabited this area before climate changes flooded it around 5,800 BC.
A fossilized skull fragment, which forms the arch of the eyebrows, was discovered 20 years ago by paleontologist Luc Anthonis while analyzing sediments collected in the North Sea. Likewise, a later investigation determined that it was part of the skull of a fairly robust young man who ate mainly meat.
Researchers were also struck by the small gap located behind the characteristic arch of large eyebrows. This peculiarity turned out to be caused by a harmless subcutaneous tumor, something that had never been observed in Neanderthals before. In the images a prominent bulge is visible on the right eyebrow.
The reconstruction of Krijn’s bust and the fossil are part of the museum’s current exhibition on Doggerland and will be open until October 31 in the city of Leiden.