The art of Neandertal teeth

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I want to point everybody to this slideshow at Scientific American, which features the “The Science and Art of Neandertal Teeth”. The accompanying article by David Frayer gives the background to the show, which was featured at the University of Kansas last fall.

Recently, Zagreb-based artist Luka Mjeda photographed all the original teeth for a permanent record as part of an open-source platform for information about Pleistocene humans called the NESPOS project ( Jakov Radov?i? of the Croatian Natural History Museum in Zagreb led the Krapina part of the project. Mjeda later manipulated the photographs to create remarkable, artistic renderings of the tooth surfaces. Although Gorjanovi? probably never considered the aesthetics of the Krapina teeth, we think he would have appreciated this new view of them through the eyes of an artist. Mjeda and I recently mounted an exhibition of the images in Lawrence, Kansas. They are available for purchase from [email protected]

A sample:

Luka Mjeda image of Neandertal tooth

Image courtesy of and © Luka Mjeda, 2012

It’s great to see these works brought to a broader audience, and I hope that more artistic representations of the science of human origins will take hold!