Spy Man, a Belgian Neanderthal


The first Neanderthal skeleton to be recognized as such was found in 1856 in the Neander valley near Düsseldorf, in Germany.

Thirty years later, excavations led by Belgians Max Lohest, Marcel Depuydt, and Julien Fraipont uncovered three other skeletons. “Spy 2”, shown here, was one of them. They also found prehistoric tools and the bones of extinct animals (notably cave hyenas) at the cave site in Spy, in Namur. This was the first Neanderthal find based on scientific research and not made by accident, and to have been the subject of an official report.

Other Neanderthal remains were found in Belgium: sites at Sclayn, Fonds-de-Forêt, Goyet, La Naulette, and Engis have also yielded bones and numerous artefacts.

To watch: Our Natural Selection - The Spy Man