The early Upper Paleolithic human skeleton from the Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Portugal) and modern human emergence in Iberia

C Duarte, J Mauricio, P B Pettitt, P Souto, E Trinkaus, H van der Plicht, J Zilhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

213 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The discovery of an early Upper Paleolithic human burial at the Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal, has provided evidence of early modern humans from southern Iberia, The remains, the largely complete skeleton of a;approximate to 4-year-old child buried with pierced shell and red ochre, is dated to ca, 21,500 Sears B,P. The cranium, mandible, dentition, and postcrania present a mosaic of European early modern human and Neandertal features. The temporal bone has an intermediate-sized juxtamastoid eminence. The mandibular mentum osseum and the dental size and proportions, supported by mandibular ramal features, radial tuberosity orientation, and diaphyseal curvature as Hell as the pubic proportions align the skeleton with early modern humans. Body proportions, reflected in femorotibial lengths and diaphyseal robusticity plus tibial condylar displacement, as well as mandibular symphyseal retreat and thoracohumeral muscle insertions, align the skeleton with the Neandertals. This morphological mosaic indicates admixture between regional Neandertals and early modern humans dispersing into southern Iberia. It establishes the complexities of the Late Pleistocene emergence of modern humans and refutes strict replacement models of modern human origins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7604-7609
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume96
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 1999

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