Krijn (Robbert Jan Looman)

Neanderthal Krijn comes to Futureland

FutureLand shows the development of the newest port area of Rotterdam. Next to Maasvlakte 2 this visitors center will be the stage of a new exhibition. Doggerland opens on October 22 and shows the prehistoric landscape that is now under the North Sea. A striking item is the reconstructed face of Krijn. The first Neanderthal of the Netherlands who lived in Doggerland 50,000 years ago.

In 2009 a fragment of the skull of the first Neanderthal in the Netherlands was presented at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities). The fossilized orbital bone is some 50,000 to 70,000 years old and was found twenty years ago in Zeeland by amateur palaeontologist Luc Anthonis. The fossil had been removed from the North Sea floor off the Dutch coast with a suction dredger.

Examination by experts at Leiden University and the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig revealed that it came from the skull of a young man with a fairly sturdy build. Analysis of stable isotopes – varieties of nitrogen and carbon atoms – show that he mostly ate meat. One striking feature is the small hole just above the pronounced eyebrow. This was found to have been caused by a benign tumor under the skin, a phenomenon never before observed among Neanderthals.

The reconstructed face of Krijn

The Neanderthal got a face. The Kennis brothers, world-famous palaeo-artists, interpreted the characteristics of the fossil and other Neanderthal skulls to arrive at the reconstructed face of Krijn.

Krijn lived in the prehistoric landscape that is now under the North Sea, more than 50,000 years ago. The sea level was then 50 metres lower than it is today. Mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, reindeer, horses, and Neanderthals roamed this steppe, which was cold but offered food in abundance. This region, Doggerland, and its inhabitants form the subject of the exhibition. Which will be on view til March 5, 2023.

Photo of Krijn by Robbert Jan Looman

 

 

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