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Monday, 16 December 2013

Neanderthal Woodwoses (Wildmen)


Several of my friends at Facebook are involved in a search of old historical documents
looking to find depictions of Wildmen or Woodwoses in the illustrations and illuminations. This one example shows several Wild People of both sexes and are better than usual pieces of artwork

In this case though the bodies of the creatures are unusually burly and muscular, and are hence much closer to the way Neanderthals really were in that respect. The males in this set all wield clubs. One of the Wild Men is also fighting a small Dragon or Wyvern, and in this case  it is plausibly enough a representation  of a large winged and two-legged bird such as we have guessed is  the culprit  in the case of the "Winged and feathered serpents" of Wales.
                                  Reconstruction of a Neanderthal from the journal CELL
                                                                Burly like our Bigfoot



  1. Always possible for a few Neanderthal to survive till Middle Ages Europe. Origins for legends of ogres and orcs?

  2. To quote from Ivan Sanderson's Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come To Life, page 385:
    "I have a fancy that a somewhat extensive galaxy of alleged creatures in the folklore of Western Europe is of this same most pragmatic nature. If you come to look into what was said about Fairies, Pixies, Trolls, Titans, Vampires, Ghouls, Gnomes, Imps, Bogies, Brownies, Elves, Leprechauns, Satyrs, Ogres, and Fauns [as diametrically opposed to "ghosts," "specters," "apparitions," "spirits," "phantoms," "wraiths," "spooks," "banshees," "lemures," or "lorelei," which were definitely of Class 2], you will find that they may all be summed up by the classic line from the somewhat bawdy old English song that begins "There are fairies at the bottom of our garden"
    "Creatures, usually hairy, generally malignant, only rarely benevolent, but perfectly capable of breeding, as well as communicating with human beings, form the basis of these tales. And note, they come in four convenient sizes. The same may be said for all similar types known by whatever other languages all over Europe, North Africa, and a great part of what is today Russia. There seem, indeed, to have been "in the beginning" ABSMs of just the usual four types—pigmy; man-sized [and specifically of the Neanderthaler kind]; giant;[and one more apelike]"

    I would not have included all of the names that Sanderson has on his list, but you have roughly what the idea is supposed to be.


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