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Observations on Middle Stone Age human teeth from Klasies River Main Site, South Africa.

Grine FE. J Hum Evol. 2012.

Abstract

The human fossils, artefacts and faunal remains from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) deposits of Klasies River Main Site have featured prominently in discussions of the evolution of modern human morphology and the emergence of human behavioral modernity. Nearly 40 human fossils were uncovered by John Wymer's (1967-1968) excavations, and subsequent work by Hilary Deacon (1984-1995) has produced an additional dozen specimens. Many of the latter have been described, but most of the dental remains have been afforded only cursory mention and provisional identification. These specimens are documented here, and questions of individual association among some of the fossils from Wymer's excavations are also addressed. Three teeth provide the first indisputable evidence for juvenile individuals in the deposit. The proportion of juvenile to adult remains in the MSA levels at Klasies is notably lower than in other penecontemporaneous South African coastal MSA sites such as Die Kelders Cave 1 and Blombos Cave, where the proportion of juveniles is seemingly in closer keeping with coastal, geographically proximate Later Stone Age sites such as Oakhurst Shelter and Matjes River Cave. The sizes of most of the recently identified human teeth from Klasies seem to affirm at least one arguable aspect of morphometric modernity in the MSA at this site in the form of a tendency for tooth size reduction.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID

23044372 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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