Was the 20th-century caveman Azzo Bassou a Neanderthal?
Categories: ScienceBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/was-the-20th-century-caveman-azzo-bassou-a-neanderthal.html
More than one generation of scientists has been searching for the missing link in human evolution. If we could find our ancestor, who was no longer an ape, but had not yet become an intelligent man, we would be able to answer many important questions. It was the passionate desire to know the truth that led to the fact that the ancestor of modern people was seen where he was not. The story of the Moroccan caveman Azzo Bassou is a great example of this phenomenon.
In 1931, the Moroccan and then European newspapers were sensationalized. In Marrakech, a man named Azzo Bassou was found, who looked like a Neanderthal in appearance. There lived a unique man in the Dades valley, not far from the city of Skura, as befits a man of the Stone Age, in a cave.
Azzo ate roots and raw meat, used sticks and stones as tools, and was not familiar with clothing at all. The rags in which he appears in many of the pictures were given to the wild man specifically for filming, after which he was relieved to be exposed again.
Everyone who had the opportunity to communicate with Azzo Basso, as one, claimed that his level of intelligence is extremely low, and his speech is sparse and unintelligible. Most eyewitnesses recalled that the Moroccan primitive man managed only a few simple words and a whole range of emotional sounds.
Outwardly, Azzo was very similar to the Neanderthal man that science imagined him to be at the beginning of the 20th century. He had a depressed, sloping forehead, a massive, protruding lower jaw, powerful brow ridges, and a large nose. Basso's arms ended at his knees, and his feet were long and flat.
For a long time, Bassou was a star of the local press and a tourist attraction for visiting tourists, until in 1956, the writer Jean Boulay and the ethnologist Marcel Gomet became interested in him. Guests from France arrived in the Dades Valley specifically to take measurements of the parameters of Azzo and compare his skull with the fossil remains of Neanderthals.
What they saw amazed the researchers and they immediately declared the cave dweller a missing link in evolution and a miracle preserved prehistoric man. The "yellow" press trumpeted about the discovery all over the world and the already somewhat cooled interest in the person of Azzo flared up with a new force.
Unfortunately, the object of interest of scientists died in the midst of research-Azzo died at the age of 60. In order not to curtail the work of Bule and Gomet began actively searching for other cavemen in Marrakech and, to their delight, found two sisters who looked exactly like the late Basso.
The women were called Hisa and Herkaya, and they were as strong, ugly, and wild as Azzou, but further study of them disappointed the French. They found out that the sisters ' parents were quite normal people, and they themselves were very likely just suffering from microcephaly, like the famous actor of the time Schlitzy Sertis.
In microcephaly, the adult skull is small, and the brain is small and poorly developed. People with this genetic disease tend to be dementia-stricken or have no intelligence at all. After this unpleasant discovery, the French gave up trying to find the missing ancestor of man and returned to Paris with a whole archive of photographs and anthropological materials.
Despite the fact that Azzo Bassou was almost certainly microcephalic, some enthusiasts still believe that he was a Neanderthal or a somewhat socialized Bigfoot.