March 21, 2011

Combe Capelle RIP

John Hawks points me to an announcement about the date of Combe Capelle. Long-thought to be an early Paleolithic skull, the burial site has been redated to 7,575BCE, making the skull Epipaleolithic.



Combe Capelle differs quite a bit from the "Cro-Magnons" (right) who inhabited France during the Upper Paleolithic by being hyperolichocranic, higher-skulled narrower-faced. This led some to postulate the existence of two primordial European races.

The younger age of Combe Capelle upsets this theory, although skulls of this general type also appear in the Moravian site of Dolni Vestonice.

In 2004 another supposed Aurignacian specimen, Vogelherd was demoted to the last 5,000 years. It's always a good idea to be vigilant about possible misdating, especially if a sample seems discordant with other individuals from the same place and time.

(Combe Capelle Photograph Gunter Bechly)

1 comment:

George said...

What's next, a redating of the most recent Neanderthals to the neolithic?