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Title: A Neanderthal Lower Incisor from Cova del Gegant (Sitges, Barcelona, Spain)
Author: Rodríguez, Laura
García-Gonzalez, Rebeca
Sanz Borràs, Montserrat
Daura Luján, Joan
Quam, Rolf
Fullola Pericot, Josep M. (Josep Maria), 1953-
Arsuaga, Juan Luis, 1954-
Keywords: Prehistòria
Paleolític mitjà
Home de Neandertal
Middle Paleolithic period
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural
Abstract: Cova del Gegant is located near the city of Sitges (Barcelona, Spain). The cave is a small karst system which contains Upper Pleistocene archaeological and paleontological material (DauRa et al., 2005). The site was first excavated in 1954 and then in 1972 and 1974- (Viñas, 1972; Viñas & Villalta, 1975) and in 1985 and 1989 (maRtínez et al., 1985; moRa, 1988; maRtínez et al., 1990). Finally, in 2007, Grup de Recerca del Quaternari has restarted the archaeological research at Cova del Gegant (DauRa, 2008; DauRa et al., 2010). A human mandible was recovered during the first field season in 1954 and was recently published by DauRa et al. (2005). In the present study, we describe a new human tooth (left I2) that appeared, like the mandible, in a revision of the faunal material recovered from the site in 1974-1975. The specimen preserves the entire crown and the cervical two thirds of the root (Figure 1). The lack of the root apex makes it difficult to determine if the tooth was fully developed at the time of death. However, CT analysis reveals a pulp cavity that could be still open, suggesting root formation was incomplete. The specimen shows only slight dental wear corresponding to stage 2 of Molnar (1971 en Hillson, 1996). Morphologically, the crown shows slight shovelling and a lingual tubercle and appears similar to Neandertal incisors. Standard crown measurements (buccolingual diameter=7.7 mm; mesiodistal diameter= 7.3 mm) (Figure 2) suggest a fairly large tooth, particularly in the BL dimension, again resembling Neandertals in this regard. Discriminant analysis classified the Gegant incisor as Neandertal with a 99.8% posterior probability (Table 2). Association of this tooth with the previously described mandible is considered unlikely given the different ages at death estimated for each. Thus, there appear to be two individuals preserved in the sediments of the Gegant cave, one adult and one subadult (around 8-10 years old).
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It is part of: Boletin de la Real Sociedad Espanola de Historia Natural. Sección Geológica, 2011, vol. 105, num. 1-4, p. 25-30
ISSN: 0583-7510
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Història i Arqueologia)

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