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La Chappelle - Aux-Saints

Three priests discovered a human skeleton on Aug 3 1908, along with skeletons of wooly Rhino, Reindeer, Ibex, Extinct Bison, Cave hyena and Marmot. The discovered parts included skull, vertebrae, ribs, claricle, tibiae, bines of feet etc.

  • Great Cranial Capacity approx. 1600 CC relating to the small structure of 5 ft.
  • Brainbox, elongated in form is much depressed.
  • Orbital arches are enormous.
  • Forehead very receding.
  • Face is long and projects forwards.
  • Nose is separated by the forehead by a deep depression; which is short and very broad.
  • Lower jaw is strong and thick.
  • Vertebral column was short and massive.
  • The ribs are extraordinarily strong, denoting broad thorax with very powerful intercostal muscles.
  • The upper arm bone (humeri) which are short strong and possess large articular heads are much like humeri of modern man.

Rhodesian Man

Broken Hill of Rhodesia that has yielded a number of important fossils, was made famous by discovery of a human skull described by Pycraft et al in 1928.

  • Skull was totally different from that of any southern African degree
  • It resembles to an extraordinary degree the Neanderthal man of European Paleolithic
  • It has an even more brutish or simian aspect.
  • Its length, breadth and height resembles Neanderthal man of Chappelle-aux-saints, but the brain must have been much smaller.
  • Dubois estimated the cranial capacity of the skull around 1400 cc, but Elliot Smith estimated it around only 1280 cc.
  • Orbital arches are even more prominent than Neanderthal man, the torus they form exceeds that of the Gorilla.
  • Cheek bones are strongly developed.
  • The wide nasal aperture merges insensibly into the face as in the Gorilla.
  • The dentition is quite human, the canines after normal; the wisdom teeth are reduced in size
  • According to Elliot Smith the brain of this man is of a quite low type but there is unexpected prominence of the auditory region.
  • The femur and tibia are very different firm those of Neanderthal man and very similar to the modern man.

Significance:

The skull is more like Homo than any race or variety, living or fossil of Homo Sapiens. But nevertheless Morant gave this man a special name i.e. Homo rhodesiensis because while in Neanderthal man the foramen magnum occupies a more backward position at the base of the skull than in modern man, but in Homo rhodesiensis the foramen magnum is occupies a more forward, more central position so that the skull must have rested with perfect ease and in perfect equilibrium on the vertical column.

Neanderthal man, Rhodesian Man and the modern Australian race present a common stock of primitive characters in spite of the differences which distinguish them. It may be admitted that the three forms have a common origin; they must have spread and lived for a long period over vast extremities of territory. In Europe, Neanderthal man seems to disappear somewhat abruptly after Glacial Period, but perhaps it was not total extinction, he may have continued to live in other regions. Indeed, it seems that Homo rhodesiensis reveals to us the persistence in Africa of a Human type, long since become fossil in France.