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J Hum Evol. 2005 May;48(5):493-505.

A Mid-Upper Palaeolithic human humerus from Eel Point, South Wales, UK.

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School of Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK.


We report here on a human humerus directly dated to 24,470 +/- 110 BP, placing it within the Gravettian, or Mid-Upper Palaeolithic. The partial humerus is an isolated find and can be attributed (with some caution) to the Pleistocene 'bone cave' of Eel Point on Caldey Island, Wales (UK). The humerus is probably male, similar in robusticity to other Gravettian right humeri. The apparent absence of stone tools and presence of hyaena bone and coprolites suggest that the element may not derive from an intentional burial. After a maxilla from Kent's Cavern and the Gravettian Paviland 1, Eel Point represents the third oldest anatomically modern human known from Britain. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope measurements do not support certain use of marine foods but highlight the need for more research on contemporary faunal remains in order to better interpret human values from this period.

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