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Seven Ages of Man - 06 Dwarfs/The Neanderthals – Keightley and the Duergar's appearance



Type of spiritual experience



Neanderthals  were ‘designed’ from the outset to be compatible with the climate they would encounter at the time and their environment – the game and predators they would face.  The climate was cold and became extremely cold at certain times in their history. 

They were initially and probably throughout most of their history, hunter gatherers and most of the game and predators they faced were large and dangerous.  Woolly rhinoceros, lions, woolly mammoths, Megaloceros giganteus [with twelve foot antlers and a weight of over 100 pounds], wild boar, leopards, dhole, hyenas, aurochs, bison, musk ox, wolverine, stepped rhinoceri, goats, wildcats, lynx and bear were some of the larger and more dangerous animals.  There were also smaller animals such as marmots, beaver,  red and roe deer, chamois, horses and fox.

From both anthropological evidence and from myth and fable we get a remarkably similar view of their appearance.  First of all anthropologists have deduced they  were probably  'white'.

The Neanderthal's Necklace – Juan Luis Arsuaga
“The Neanderthals having evolved in Europe at medium and high latitudes, would have been lighter skinned than the Cro-Magnons”  

Next they were very short in stature, in comparison with homo sapiens

The Neanderthal's Necklace – Juan Luis Arsuaga

“The Neanderthals were shorter than us, with broader hips.  One aspect of their physical type that attests to their adaptation to the cold is that their cubiti and radii, the bones of the forearm, and their tibiae, in the lower leg, were quite short.  With their broad trunks, short forearms and short lower legs, the Neanderthals would have struck the Cro-Magnons as very compact

This description almost coincides with the description given in myths and legends of duergars.   The big difference is that the duergar had long arms.

A description of the experience

The World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies, Elves and Other Little People compiled by Thomas Keightley

The Duergar are described as being of low stature, with short legs and long arms, reaching almost down to the ground when they stand erect … Of personal beauty they have not much to boast; the Ebeltoft dwarfs …. had  long crooked noses …. They marry, have children, bake and brew, just as the peasant himself does.  A farmer one day met a hill-man and his wife and a whole squad of stumpy little children in his fields.   



The source of the experience

The Ancestors