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Earth's Children

Shanidar I

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Shanidar I was the inspiration for Creb in the Jean Auel series. He was just one of the nine skeletons found at the Shanidar Cave site. Shanidar I was an elderly Neanderthal male between age 40-50 years, which was considerably old for a Neanderthal, equivalent to 80 years today, displaying severe signs of deformity. At some point in his life he had suffered a violent blow to the left side of his face, creating a crushing fracture to his left orbit which would have left him partially or totally blind in one eye. He also suffered from a withered right arm which had been fractured in several places and healed, but which caused the loss of his lower arm and hand. This is thought to be either congenital, a result of childhood disease and trauma or due to an amputation later in his life. The arm had healed but the injury may have caused some paralysis down his right side, leading to deformities in his lower legs and foot and would have resulted in him walking with a pronounced, painful limp. All these injuries were acquired long before death, showing extensive healing and this has been used to infer that Neanderthals looked after their sick and aged, denoting implicit group concern.

Creb skull

Shanidar I skull as it looked when first found

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