Is there any way for us to know what hair forms & how hairy prehistoric humans were?

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,780
USA
its cross section looks ovaloid . From what I remember from my old school anthropology, oval cross section hair is what makes it 'crinkly' or tight curly, and round cross section is straight hair .

What makes you think it is 'desnt appear to be the afro type ' ?
 
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Sep 2012
1,093
Tarkington, Texas
You can also tell by dna. They have decoded a lot of different Human and Humanoid types. The environment does not always play much of a part. The peoples that populated most of the Western Hemisphere before European contact were Mongoloid featured, which does not mean they could not be light or dark. Dna analysis of some remains found in Brazil determined the remains mostly resembled Melanasians.

Pruitt
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,205
T'Republic of Yorkshire
You can also tell by dna. They have decoded a lot of different Human and Humanoid types. The environment does not always play much of a part. The peoples that populated most of the Western Hemisphere before European contact were Mongoloid featured, which does not mean they could not be light or dark. Dna analysis of some remains found in Brazil determined the remains mostly resembled Melanasians.

Pruitt

You know we do not discuss genetics on this forum.
 
Oct 2017
243
America ??
Isn’t it a bit of a shame to think that while scientists are pondering about & working so hard at reconstructing much physical features of prehistoric humans, hair is one of the most neglected? Perhaps it’s simply because there’s not much way of knowing?

We’re all familiar with the fact that soft tissue does not fossilize, so unlike hard tissue traits, soft tissue reconstruction in prehistoric humans has to be reconstructed based on comparative anatomy & information.

Afro frizzy hair is actually a peculiarity in nature, there are barely any examples of wild animals with curly hair, & it seems to be an adaptation to heat. It’s always possible that negroid frizzy hair may be a relatively recent development, possibly solely unique to our species, or even to the ancestors of modern populations with such hairs. However, afro frizzy hair is clearly an adaptation to heat, & it’s highly suited to the reconstructed hunter-gatherer lifestyle of our ancestors on the African savannah. So it’s more likely to be one of the first adaptations of our ancestors, possibly developing simultaneously with losing body hair.

& If frizzy hair evolved before our species, then it would raise the question of whether our genus cousins also had frizzy hair, particularly the ones who lived in colder climates like Neanderthals & Denisovans. What’s certain in this scenario is that frizzy hair would have been less advantageous in cold climates, which would have at least been a factor pushing for development of straighter hairs. But who knows whether they might have adapted their frizzy hairs to be thick & woolly like sheep rather than straighter like non-negroids in this scenario?
I suppose the takeaway point probably is that we have little way of knowing for sure what hair forms, & how much face & body hairs, prehistoric humans had.

Hopefully we can at least rule out that I don’t suppose there’s any reason why prehistoric humans couldn’t have possessed all known hair forms of modern humans?
 
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