Virtual Institute
7 - The satyrs

(last update : 01 November 1998)


    Half humanoid, half goat, the Satyr is the mythological prototype of the wild man : hairy, living in mountains, fond of wine and girls... But it has been suggested by Boris F. Porshnev and Bernard Heuvelmans that Satyrs are partly based upon relict Neanderthal Men, as demonstrated by their features : hairyness, the "goat's foot" (which in fact means a foot adapted to climbing, a mountaineer foot, typical of modern wild men and of the most specialized fossil Neanderthals).

    One cannot help noticing the extraordinary resemblance between the sculpture of a silen (a kind of Satyr), found in Nymphaion (figure 6), a Greek colony in Crimea (hence, not far from the Caucasus, where the almasty is living), and the identikit-picture of the latter, or with the reconstruction of the face of the pongoid man by Bernard Heuvelmans (figure 7) : naked face, receding front, protruding eye-brows and cheek-bones, flat nose, naso-labial and oculo-malar creases deeply marked, wide mouth, pointed ears, etc., and even the possible presence of a vocal bag (as in gibbons) to amplify the cries.

Figure 6 : the silen from Nymphaion.

Figure 7 : the face of the pongoid man
(from Heuvelmans 1974)

For more information

1974 L'Homme de Néanderthal est toujours vivant. Paris, Plon.

1994 The penis rectus as a marker in human palaeontology ? Human Evolution, 9 [n° 4] : 343-356 (October-December).

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