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J Hum Evol. 1999 Sep-Oct;37(3-4):431-57.

The human cranial remains from Gran Dolina Lower Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

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  • 1Departamento de Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, 28040, Spain.


In this article we study the cranial remains of the late Lower Pleistocene human fossils from Gran Dolina (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain), assigned to the new species Homo antecessor. The cranial remains belong to at least five individuals, both juveniles and adults. The most outstanding feature is the totally modern human morphology of the very complete face ATD6-69, representing the earliest occurrence of the modern face in the fossil record. The Gran Dolina fossils show in the face a suite of modern human apomorphies not found in earlier hominids nor in contemporary or earlier Homo erectus fossils. There are also traits in the Gran Dolina fossils shared with both Neandertals and modern humans, which reinforce the hypothesis that Neandertals and modern humans form a clade, and that the Gran Dolina fossils are a common ancestor to both lineages.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

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