We turn and then arrive at an artist’s sculptural rendering of what such a man might have looked like.
He’s about 5-foot-5 with ruddy skin and a surprisingly on-trend man bun and beard.
It’s this: Could a human and a Neanderthal fall in love?
Would a Neanderthal be attractive by today's standards? On a sweaty July day, I meet Bernard Wood, a paleoanthropologist at George Washington University, in the lobby of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
We can start feeling truly superior in about 750,000 years, he says.
"They probably needed about another 600 or 700 calories a day more than a modern human" to feed their hardier bodies, he explains — great in times of plenty but catastrophic in a famine.