Re: Neanderthals' Noses Blow Scientists Away

Nick Maclaren (
5 Oct 1996 13:48:14 GMT

In article <>,
Ralph L Holloway <> wrote:
>On 3 Oct 1996, Nick Maclaren wrote:
>> Yes, there are. It is trivial to separate most populations and often
>> easy to distinguish even individual skeletons. In fact, I am 90%
>> certain that you can separate mainly celtic groups from mainly
>> germanic ones on the basis of the skulls alone! The same is true for
>> many geographical variants of other mammals.
>I'd like to bite on this. How do you distinguish "mainly celtic groups"
>for "Germanic ones" using just the skull?

As I said, I am 90% certain. I should not be flabberghasted to learn
that this is wrong.

But I believe that germanic crania tend to be more rounded, and rarely
have a cranial ridge (whereas celtic ones more often do). I have also
been told by one expert that there are minor differences in the 'bite'
(as dentists say). Remember that I was talking about populations and
not individuals, so relative frequency analysis can be used.

Nick Maclaren,
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory,
New Museums Site, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QG, England.
Tel.: +44 1223 334761 Fax: +44 1223 334679