Neanderthals Wore Makeup 2010-01-11 12:00:04

Turns Out Neanderthals Wore Foundation, Fierce Fur Bikinis

Well, OK, maybe that second part isn't true, but Raquel Welch made me want to believe. In any case, I've always been sad that neanderthals died out, but today I've got more reason than usual: apparently, they loved makeup as much as we do.

Archaeologists from England's University of Bristol recently unearthed a cache of neanderthal body paint, including a yellow-based foundation-type pigment, a bright red pigment, and a brilliant black pigment—all stored in lovely shells that rival a modern compact for elegance and functionality. While delightful, these finds are unsurprising, given the large body of evidence suggesting that neanderthal behavior and ritual were as complex as ours. Unfortunately, "neanderthal" continues to be a word associated with brutish behavior and a lack of higher intelligence. I realize these guys have been dead for 30,000 years, but given their comparable intelligence and heart-breaking likeness to ourselves, do you think it's right that we continue to refer to them pejoratively? And would you be curious to try a little of their foundation formula out on yourself?

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