Cranium of an old Neanderthal male from La Chapelle-aux-Saints. Plaster cast.
Definite Neanderthal traits

* Eyes deeply set.  Reference: “Close-set small eyes are deeply sunk under the “visor” of the heavy brow ridges”.

* Prominent premaxilla. Reference “Morphologic study of the premaxillary suture at its different borders (i.e. the nasal aspect of the frontal process, nasal and palatal aspects of the palatal process of the maxilla) indicates a persistence of the suture among very young Neandertal children in comparison to the condition in extant ones.”

* Palate high/narrow.  Reference “The palate is narrow and extremely high.”

* Macrodontia/teeth asymmetry/abnormally shaped teeth. Reference “Taurodontism is a condition found in molar teeth where the body of the tooth and pulp chamber is enlarged vertically at the expense of the roots.” “The condition is of anthropological importance as it was seen in Neanderthals.”

* Large nose.  Reference “The Neanderthal’s huge nose is a fluke of evolution, not some grand adaptation, research suggests.”

* Nose bridge prominent. Reference “And heavy supraorbital ridges met across the bridge of the nose.”

* Nose concave. Reference “A concave, angled nasal profile.”

* Lower jaw prominent. Reference “The concept of forceful chewing is also evidenced by the heavy jaw.”

* Toes widely spaced. Reference “a gap of 1.6 cm marks the separation of big and second toes.”


Brachycephaly. Reference “I believe strongly in neanderthal origins of europeans. Another fact is that we find brachycephal neanderthals exactly where today live dinaric people (Brachycephal); the only brachycephalic neanderthals are those of Crapina and Vindija caves in Croatia.
Others were dolichocephalic, as are the people of the same places today.”

Traits that cannot be assessed

* Face coarse
* Forehead prominent Neanderthal had prominent brow ridges and a low sloping forehead. It is not straight-forward if this means they had prominent forehead or not.
* Macrostomia
* Microstomia
* Short philtrum
* Upper lip cupid bow
* Long uvula
* Ear low-set
* Ear posteriorly rotated
* Ear lobe crease
* Toes syndactyly
* Hypermobile/hyperlax joints
* Multiple nevi
* Hypo-/depigmentation patches
* Open mouth appearance
* Abnormal whorl (non-frontal)
* Full cheeks
* Periorbital fullness
* Eyebrows arched
* Lower lip full
* Upper lip thin
* Prominent philtrum
* Dimpled/grooved chin
* Prominent ear
* Ear lobes attached
* Inverted nipples
* Dry skin
* Nails striped
* Toe proportions

Unintersting traits

* Face asymmetry
* Eyes asymmetry
* Mounth asymmetry
* Halluces valgus
* Face expression less/dull
* Clinodactyly
* Pes Planus (flat feet)


Nine of the traits had a definite Neanderthal connection, one was questionable, and 29 could not be assessed due to them not being related to bone structure. None of the traits could be ruled out as definitely not of Neanderthal origin. An additional seven traits are probably related to problems with hybridization (mostly asymmetry).

                                                                                                                                                                                         List and words by Leif Ekblad


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