Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Research and Inspiration

Here's a few bits of research and inspiration for my Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series. The Geno 2.0 box is from National Geographic's Genographic project, which I used to learn that I have 2.2% Neanderthal DNA. The Neanderthals Art & Science Kit included a skeleton (which I assembled and set on the bookshelf in my studio office) and a plaster mold to cast a Neanderthal face (which is still in the box). There's a fossil of an echinoderm - which is a plant - but I like to think of it as some kind of strange, alien being. I got the souvenir woolly mammoth tusk and hair set, but also have a woolly mammoth card (with an actual piece of  mammoth tusk) from Upper Deck's Champs Hockey Cards. From the same set I got the Neanderthal base card and a Neanderthal flint stone knife artifact. From Gibraltar, a one pound coin that commemorated the discovery of Neanderthal bones. A birthday card I got last year, and the prehistoric themed story cubes. And of course, an actual stone knife found in France (not by me) from circa 25,000-30,000 years ago. At that age it may have been used by early humans and not Neanderthals, but still makes for a great connection to the past.


  1. Whoa, that stone knife is cool. Probably not neanderthal, like you said, but cool!

  2. Actually an echinoderm is an animal. It's an invertebrate sea creature belonging to the phylum Echinodermata. Echinoderms are cool because many of them have bodies that exhibit radial symmetry in fives, like sea stars (starfish) or brittle stars, sand dollars, and even sea cucumbers. So an echinoderm is actually closer to an alien life form than you thought!

  3. Ah, you're right, Karen! I don't know why I was thinking it was a plant...but that's why even though I did all kinds of research for this series and tried to double check things, we also still had it vetted by someone who knows the science better than I do...