Ancient Types of Man, Keith, Arthur (1911), Chapter VI, The Grimaldi or Negroid Type in Europe, page 59-63:
In the cliffs which flank the beach near Mentone [northern Italian border] there are a number of caves which for a long period of time afforded a habitation for ancient man. At the close of the last and at the beginning of the present century, largely owing to the interest taken in the history of primitive man by the Prince of Monaco, systematic excavations were carried out in deep strata of their floors. In one of these, the "Grotte des Enfants," usually named the Grimaldi Cave, the various strata of the floor made up a thickness of 8 1/2 metres (28 feet). In the lowest layer of all were found two skeletons—one of a woman past middle life, with a stature estimated at 1570 mm. (5 ft. 2 in.), and the other of a boy about sixteen to seventeen years of age, and about 1550 mm. (5 ft. 1 in.) in height.
With them were found traces of a civilization and of a fauna which has led anthropologists to assign them to the end of the Mousterien or beginning of the Aurignacien Period [40,000 to 28,000 years ago]—about the same or perhaps before the period assigned to the Combe-Capelle man. They have the narrow and long heads of the Galley Hill race. In the woman the maximum length of the head is 191 mm.; in the boy, probably her son, it is 192 ; the width of the skull in the mother is 131 and in the son 133. The proportion of breadth to length is about 68 per cent—the same as in the Galley Hill race. Yet French anthopologist Dr. Verneau,(1) who has published the results of a minute examination of these two ancient individuals, from various features seen in the skeletons, had no hesitation in assigning them to a negroid race.
It is an easy matter to distinguish the skeleton of the true negro from that of the pure white, but there are many intermediate races—not hybrids —which show a puzzling mixture of characters. The ancient Grimaldi woman and boy are of the mixed or negroid type. We associate large white teeth, full prominent jaws, and receding chin with the races showing pigmented skins. In the old woman, a great number of the teeth have been lost during life and the dental characters are uncertain. The shallow, projecting incisor part of the upper jaw and the characters of the chin are certainly features of a negroid race. So are the wide opening of the nose, the prominent cheek bones, the flat and short face. Yet the bridge of the nose is not flat as in negroes, but rather prominent as in Europeans, and the capacity of the skull (1375 cc.) is of ample dimensions for a woman of her size.
As to the boy, his teeth are large and of the negro type; he bears a striking resemblance to the woman, and his cranial capacity (1580 cc.) indicates a brain distinctly above the modern in size. The leg bones of mother and son are relatively long as in negroes. In that race the two eminences or bosses of the forehead usually meet and join together in a high median prominence, whereas in white races they remain separated, and this is the case in the Grimaldi skulls. Indeed, in the features of the forehead the Grimaldi remains agree with the Galley Hill type. It is a remarkable fact that the natives of the uplands of the Sandwich Islands—a true negroid race—reproduce today the cranial features of the ancient inhabitants of the Grimaldi caves.
To appreciate the true significance of a negroid race in the south of Europe towards the close of the Glacial Period, we must look at the distribution of moden races. A line from Gibraltar in the West to the Phillipine Islands in the Far East passes through a zone where the fairer skins of the North pass into the darker skins of the South. To some extent it may be a zone in which intermixtures of fairer and darker races occur, but in the main it is better to regard it as a zone in which human races have inherited from the ancestral stock of modern humanity some of the characters which now distinguish the European, and some that distinguish the Negro; but both Negro and European are highly specialized examples of the modern type of man. The discovery of the Grimaldi race does not indicate that we have reached the common stock from which black and white races have evolved; that point must lie much farther in the past. It merely indicates that towards the end of the Glacial Period the negroid race which we see in the north of Africa today was already evolved, and that it extended into Europe.
The land connections between Europe and Africa we know to have been much closer in the time of the Grimaldi people than they are today. There are other evidences of a negroid race in Europe. The negroid traits of the Combe-Capelle man have been mentioned; but there is also the remarkable fact that statuettes and engravings which are assigned to this period represent certain bodily characters of the negro. The Grimaldi people are the earliest negroid type so far discovered, yet they are so modern and highly evolved in character that we cannot suppose them to represent a common ancestor of European and African races. If, however, we suppose that all races of modern man have been evolved from a common stock, we naturally expect, especially in the earlier stages of the evolution of modern races, to find intermediate types between the extreme racial forms now found in North Europe and Central Africa. The Grimaldi people seem to represent an intermediate type in the evolution of the typical white and black races.
(1) Dr. Rene Verneau, Les Grottes de Grimaldi, Vol. II., Monaco, 1906.
"The Grimaldi Negroids have left their numerous traces all over Europe and Asia, from the Iberian Peninsula to Lake Baykal in Siberia, passing through France, Austria, the Crimea, and the Basin of Don, etc. In these last two regions, the late Soviet Professor Mikhail Gerasimov, a scholar of rare objectivity, identified the Negroid type from skulls found in the Middle Mousterian period.
If one bases one's judgment on morphology, the first White appeared only around 20,000 years ago: the Cro-Magnon Man. He is probably the result of a mutation from the Grimaldi Negroid due to an existence of 20,000 years in the excessively cold climate of Europe at the end of the last glaciation.
The Basques, who live today in the Franco-Catabrian region where the Cro-Magnon was born, would be his descendants; in any case there are many of them in the southern region of France."
The Grimaldi or Negroid Type in Europe
Marcellin Boule (1861-1942) was a French palaeontologists who studied and published the first analysis of a complete Homo neanderthalensis. Boule was an international authority on fossil skulls, made a careful study of the Grimaldi race in:
Fossil Men, by Marcellin Boule and Henri Vallois, Oliver and Boyd, (translated 1957), p. 274:
When we compare the dimensions of the bones of their limbs, we see that the leg was long in proportion to the thigh, the forearm very long in proportion to the whole arm; and that the lower limb was exceedingly long relative to the upper limb. Now these proportions reproduced, but in greatly exaggerated degree, the characters presented by the modern Negro. Here we have one of the chief reasons for regarding those fossils as Negroid, if not actually Negro.
The Negroid affinities are likewise indicated by the characters of the skull. These are large; the crania are very elongated, hyperdolichocephalic (indices 68 and 69) and, seen from above, they present a regular elliptically shaped contour, with flattened parietal bosses. The skulls are also very high, so that their capacity is at least equal to that of the average Parisian of our day: 1,580 cubic centimeters in the case of the young man, 1,375 cubic centimeters in the case of the old woman. The mastoid apophyses are small. The face is broad but not high, while the skull is excessively elongated from the front backwards; so that the head might be called unbalanced or dysharmonic. The majority of these characters of the skull and face are, if not Negritic, at least Negroid.
Aurignacien Period 40,000 to 28,000 years ago
Les Grottes de Grimaldi, Vol. II., Dr. Rene Verneau (1906)
dolichocephalic character, the same prognathism, the same flattening of the nose, the same development of the breadth of the face, the same form of jaw, and the same great size of teeth. The only differences are to be found in the stature and perhaps in the height of the skull. Professor Sollas of Oxford also made similar observations.*
This comparison between two groups of human beings, so widely separated at the present day both in time and in space, seems to be confirmed by the discovery of the fossil Man of Asselar—which has undeniable affinities on the one hand with the fossil Negroids of Grimaldi, and on the other with modern Hottentot and Bantus—and also, as we shall presently see, by an examination of the steatopygian statuettes of women yielded by some of the oldest deposits of the Reindeer Age.
Verneau has investigated the survivals of the Grimaldi race at different prehistoric periods. He has first of all compared this type with the Cro-Magnon, which succeeded it in place. 'At first sight', he says, 'the two races appear to differ greatly from each other; but on examining them in detail, we see that there is no reason why they should not have had some ties of kinship.' Verneau even declares that the Grimaldi Negroids 'may have been the ancestors of the hunters of the Reindeer Age'.
Verneau likewise discovered, in both prehistoric and modern races, survivals or reappearances of the Grimaldi types.
'In Brittany, as well as in Switzerland and in the north of Italy, there lived in the Polished Stone period, in the Bronze Age and during the early Iron Age, a certain number of individuals who differed in certain characters from their contemporaries', in particular in the dolichocephalic character of their skull, in possessing a prognathism that was sometimes extreme, and a large grooved nose. This is a matter of partial atavism which in certain cases, as in the Neolithic Breton skull from Conguel, may attain to complete atavism. Two Neolithic individuals from Chamblandes in Switzerland are Negroid not only as regards their skulls but also in the proportions of their limbs. Several Ligurian and Lombard tombs of the Metal Ages have also yielded evidences of a Negroid element.
Since the publication of Verneau's memoir, discoveries of other Negroid skeletons in Neolithic levels in Illyria and the Balkans have been announced. The prehistoric statues, dating from the Copper Age, from Sultan Selo in Bulgaria are also thought to portray Negroids. In 1928 Rene Bailly found in one of the caverns of Moniat, near Dinant in Belgium, a human skeleton of whose age it is difficult to be certain, but which seems definitely prehistoric. It is remarkable for its Negroid characters, which give it a resemblance to the skeletons from both Grimaldi and Asselar.
It is not only in prehistoric times that the Grimaldi race seems to have made its influence felt. Verneau has been able to see, now in modern skulls and now in living subjects, in the Italian areas of Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia, Tuscany, and the Rhone Valley, numerous characters, which anthropologists have long recognized without arriving at any understanding of them, are explained by the facts of atavism. "That we may still find at the present day so many traces of a racial type having characters recalling those which I have observed in the Grimaldi race", declares Verneau, "must of necessity have been due to the fact that this race was formerly represented in our country by a whole group." And he adds: "We must therefore admit that an almost Negroe element lived in South-Western Europe towards the Mid Quaternary Era, between the Spy race and the Cro-Magnon race."
Grotte des Enfants
click photos to enlarge
We know less about the soft-tissue characteristics. Alongside the skeletons were a number of female statuettes with big breasts, protruding bellies, full hips, and large buttocks. On the statuettes, the hair seems to be short and matted (Boule & Vallois, 1957, p. 311).