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Neanderthal Face Reconstruction Artist Who Suffered a Tumor on the Face


KOMPAS.com – Twenty years ago, an amateur paleontologist discovered a piece of a Neanderthal skull off the coast of the Netherlands.

Now after the findings, a paleo-anthropological artist is trying to reconstruct the face of an ancient human, nicknamed Krijn.

Interestingly, after the reconstruction was completed, this male Neanderthal turned out to have a tumor growing on his face when he died 70,000 years ago. The bulge is above his right eyebrow.

Also read: Skilled, 400,000 years ago Neanderthals turned elephant bones into tools

“This is a very distinctive piece,” said Adrue Kennis, a paleo-anthropological artist while showing a reconstructed sculpture of Krijn’s face in an exhibition.

Krijn is also a special fossil, being the first hominin from the Pleistocene epoch (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) to be found under the sea. Krijn was also the first Neanderthal to be discovered in the Netherlands.

Quoting Live Science, Tuesday (14/9/2021) when Krijn was still alive, he lived in Doggerland, the area between England and the European continent which is now submerged under the North Sea.

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The place is known to be very cold which means it is possible that Krijn has a challenging life.

A 2009 study in Journal of Human Evolution reveal, some details about Krijn.

The study found the young man was highly carnivorous, but in isotopic analysis, his body showed no evidence of seafood.

In addition, a lesion or bulge above Krijn’s eyebrows indicates that he has a tumor known as an intradiploic epidermoid cyst.

Read also: Study: Only 7 percent of our DNA is unique and different from Neanderthals

These cysts are rare. Even so, if the lesions grow slowly, they are usually benign. Researchers assume that Krijn may experience headaches, dizziness, seizures, vision problems.

But he may not have any symptoms. It was the first time a tumor in a Neanderthal had been documented.

This reconstruction of Krijn’s face is on display at the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) in the Netherlands until October 31.

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