Today I conclude this look at Neanderthals, and tomorrow I'll start taking you elsewhere in the Museum of History.
This is the fossilized skeleton of a Neanderthal male, whose remains and the tools with him proved that Neanderthals walked upright, just like us.
All of us are branches on the same genetic tree, and for homo sapiens and Neanderthals, that included contact.
This painting, Stone Age Abduction, still plays to the old stereotypes about Neanderthals. Paul Jamin painted it in the 19th century, so the stereotypes were to be expected.
A series of displays show statistics on various species of the human genetic tree.
DNA analysis is examined at a spot near the end of the exhibit. Science now looks at Neanderthals in a very different light.
One of the things I found particularly interesting was at the lower left. Science has been able to determine how three vowels would have sounded being pronounced by Neanderthals, based on study of the vocal tract. These vowels sound a bit different than how we pronounce them, but not that different. If you're of European descent, you're going to have anywhere up to 5 percent Neanderthal in your genetic background. They interbred with us, and in doing so went into decline. And yet because of that interbreeding, they live on in us.
Leaving the exhibit, we're left with this question.
A final display is a forensic reconstruction by Elizabeth Daynes. This is a Neanderthal woman given the name Kinga.
Kinga looks quite friendly, and quite contemporary.