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Publication Detail
The human remains from Axlor (Dima, Biscay, northern Iberian Peninsula).
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Gómez-Olivencia A, López-Onaindia D, Sala N, Balzeau A, Pantoja-Pérez A, Arganda-Carreras I, Arlegi M, Rios-Garaizar J, Gómez-Robles A
  • Publisher:
    Wiley-Blackwell
  • Publication date:
    01/07/2020
  • Journal:
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
    0002-9483
  • Language:
    eng
  • Keywords:
    Homo sapiens, Neandertal, Paleolithic, enamel-dentine junction, geometric morphometrics
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: We provide the description and comparative analysis of all the human fossil remains found at Axlor during the excavations carried out by J. M. de Barandiarán from 1967 to 1974: a cranial vault fragment and eight teeth, five of which likely belonged to the same individual, although two are currently lost. Our goal is to describe in detail all these human remains and discuss both their taxonomic attribution and their stratigraphic context. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We describe external and internal anatomy, and use classic and geometric morphometrics. The teeth from Axlor are compared to Neandertals, Upper Paleolithic, and recent modern humans. RESULTS: Three teeth (a left dm2 , a left di1 , and a right I1 ) and the parietal fragment show morphological features consistent with a Neandertal classification, and were found in an undisturbed Mousterian context. The remaining three teeth (plus the two lost ones), initially classified as Neandertals, show morphological features and a general size that are more compatible with their classification as modern humans. DISCUSSION: The combined anatomical and stratigraphic study suggest that the remains of two different adult Neandertals have been recovered during the old excavations performed by Barandiarán: a left parietal fragment (Level VIII) and a right I1 (Level V). Additionally, two different Neandertal children lost deciduous teeth during the formations of levels V (left di1 ) and IV (right dm2 ). In addition, a modern human individual is represented by five remains (two currently lost) from a complex stratigraphic setting. Some of the morphological features of these remains suggest that they may represent one of the scarce examples of Upper Paleolithic modern human remains in the northern Iberian Peninsula, which should be confirmed by direct dating.
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