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Johann Carl Fuhlrott

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Johann Carl Fuhlrott was born December 31 1803 in Leinefelde, Germany, and died October 17 1877 in Elberfeld, (Wuppertal). He is famous for the discovery of the Neanderthal man.

After studying mathematics and natural sciences at the University in Bonn, Fuhlrott became a teacher at the Gymnasium in Elberfeld. In 1856, workers in a lime quarry in the nearby town of Mettmann showed him bones they had found in a cave and thought to belong to a bear. Fuhlrott identified them as human and thought them to be very old. He recognized them to be different from the usual bones of humans and showed them to the Professor of Anatomy at the University of Bonn, Hermann Schaffhausen. Together they announced the discovery publicly in 1857. In their view the bones represented the remnants of an ancient human race, different than contemporary humans.
Neanderthal man
Their views were not readily accepted as it contradicted literal interpretations of the Bible and Charles Darwin's work about evolution had not yet been published. Today, Fuhrott and Schaffhausen are regarded as the founders of paleoanthropology.

The term Neanderthal man refers to the site where the bones were found, the Neander valley.

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