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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Nov 14;103(46):17196-201. Epub 2006 Nov 3.

Early modern humans from the Pestera Muierii, Baia de Fier, Romania.

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  • 1Centrul de Cercetări Antropologice Fr J Rainer, Eroii Sanitari 8, PO Box 35-13, 76241 Bucharest, Romania.

Abstract

The early modern human remains from the Peştera Muierii, Romania have been directly dated to approximately 30,000 radiocarbon years before present (approximately 30 ka 14C BP) (approximately 35 ka cal BP) ("calendrical" age; based on CalPal 2005) and augment a small sample of securely dated, European, pre-28 ka 14C BP (approximately 32.5 ka cal BP) modern human remains. The Muierii fossils exhibit a suite of derived modern human features, including reduced maxillae with pronounced canine fossae, a narrow nasal aperture, small superciliary arches, an arched parietal curve, zygomatic arch above the auditory porous, laterally bulbous mastoid processes, narrow mandibular corpus, reduced anterior dentition, ventral-to-bisulcate scapular axillary border, and planoconcave tibial and fibular diaphyseal surfaces. However, these traits co-occur with contextually archaic and/or Neandertal features, including a moderately low frontal arc, a large occipital bun, a high coronoid process and asymmetrical mandibular notch, a more medial mandibular notch crest to condylar position, and a narrow scapular glenoid fossa. As with other European early modern humans, the mosaic of modern human and archaic/Neandertal features, relative to their potential Middle Paleolithic ancestral populations, indicates considerable Neandertal/modern human admixture. Moreover, the narrow scapular glenoid fossa suggests habitual movements at variance with the associated projectile technology. The reproductive and scapulohumeral functional inferences emphasize the subtle natures of behavioral contrasts between Neandertals and these early modern Europeans.

PMID:
17085588
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1859909
Free PMC Article

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