Some fossils



A Kow Swamp skull (see below) :

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Discovery of an early type of man in Nebraska

Barbour, E.H., and Ward, H.B. ; Science, 24:628, 1906

In a circular mound recently opened on a Loess hill north of Florence, near Omaha, Nebraska, various skeletal parts, and eight human skulls of a primitive type were exposed. The credit of the discovery blongs to Mr. Robert F. Gilder, of Omaha, who described and figured the skulls in the World Herald, October 21.

That there was intrusive burial in this mound is apparent from the fact taht the skulls found below a layer of burned clay are of a much more primitive type than those found above it. Already five skulls have been taken from the lower level, and three from the upper, and others are in evidence and will be dug out later. Those of the upper layer probably belonged to Indians of a later period, and may be left out of account for the present. The skulls of the lower layer are low-browed and inferior, the supercialiary ridges being thick and protruding, the distance through the temples narrow, and the frontal emiences being as feebly developed as in Neanderthal man. The low arch of the skull is not the result of head-binding, but is normal and characteristic as is evidenced by five crania, two of which are fairly complete (...)

The skulls are brachycephalic, and extremely narrow in transverse diameter through the temples, expanding rapidly at the parietals. Length of skull 182 mm ; minimum breadth 93 mm ; maximum breadth 160 mm.

In shape and size the mandible agrees well with that of modern man, although the following marked differences are to be noted ; the bone, particularly in the region of the symphysis, is far heavier, the muscular scars more prominents, and the third molar in each case is ground to the very gum, while the second and third are ground in a diminishing ratio. The canines are weak and scarcely distinguishable from the incisors, and the space between the molars and the base of the coronoid is wide.

(...) The femora, which are massive, manifest an interior curvature more prononced than ordinary, and in cross section they appear triangular through the great development of the linea aspera, all muscular scars and tuberosities are noticeably prominent (...)

the skulls of the Nebraska man seem to be inferior to those of the mound builder, but for the present at least will be viewed as early representatives of the tribe.

(my emphasies)

Comments : the two obviously different populations were burried in the same structure, most probably by the same people (presumably the higher, "modern" one) at, roughly, the same period. The "lower people" could be slaves or any kind of associates of the "higher people".


Ancient skull discovered near Santa Barbara

Anonymous, Nature, 112:699, 1923

According to a telegram from New York which appeared in the Times of October 31, an expedition of the Smithsonian Institution, of which Dr. J. P. Harrington is the head, has discovered, at Santa Barbara, in California, two human skulls for which a very high antiquity is claimed. They are said to belong to an era far earlier than that of Neanderthal man. The evidence upon which this claim is based would appear to be a low forehead and very pronounced eyebrow ridges. The mouth cavity is extremely large and the walls of the skull very thick. They are said to be twice the thickness of ancient Indian's skulls. Until more detailed evidence is available, judgment must be suspended as to the likelihood of this claim to a high antiquity being substantiated ; but it may be pointed out that skulls exhibiting Neandertaloid characteristics, especially in the pronounced eyebrow ridge, have been found in more than one occasion in the United States. Although a great age has been attributed to them, upon further examination they have been pronounced to be merely a relatively modern variety of the Indian type. It is significant that the new Santa Barbara skulls were associated with a material culture, implements, fish-hooks, etc. which is said to show a great advance upon any culture that can be associated with Neanderthal man.

(my emphasies)

Comment : once again the writer never imagines that the owner of bones could be different from the owner of tools.



In 1908, Polish anthropologist Kasimierz Stolyhwo claimed the discovery of surprisingly recent neanderthal-type bones (Poszuswie, Poland, 10th century AC, and Novossiolka, near Kiev, where the skeleton has been found with an iron armor). Such "anomalies" have been found since at Klapeida, in Carelia, near Moskow, at Podkumok (Caucasus) in 1918, etc. More details in : Boris Porshnev and Bernard Heuvelmans, "L'Homme de Neanderthal est toujours vivant", Plon, Paris, 1974.


The earlier known Australian human fossils (at least 60.000 years) are only "modern" sapiens.  Nethertheless, one found dozens of recent (6.000 to 25.000 years) human skeletons, showing, at various degrees, many Homo erectus features (Kow Swamp, Nacurrie, Coobool, Talgai, Cohuna, Cossack, Wilandra Lakes, etc.) :

  • low forehead
  •  median sagittal ridge
  • supraorbital (brow) ridge
  • cranial wall unusually thick
  • postorbital constriction
  • large teeth and great alveolar development
  • general robustness of bones

These features are still present, to various and far lesser degrees in today Aborigins.

See for instance A. G. Thorne et P. G. Macumber "1972 discoveries of Late Pleistocene man at Kow Swamp, Australia" in Nature, n° 238.

 John Gribbin and Jeremy Cherfas, ("The Monkey Puzzle", Bodley Head, 1982), claimed modern Aborigins are of both sapiens and erectus origin (by ADN code).

A skull matching the "Kow Swamp type" has been found in Mare (New Caledonia), and dated 1680+/-80 AC (E. Dubois, "Le peuplement du Pacifique", La Recherche, Paris, n°74, 1977).