April 04, 2012

Modern humans responsible for early Aurignacian

The fact that modern humans created the Aurignacian has long been hypothesized, and was recently supported by dental analysis. This attribution is now supported by analysis of a couple of jawbones and associated dental remains from France.

Journal of Human Evolution

The Early Aurignacian human remains from La Quina-Aval (France)

Christine Verna et al.

There is a dearth of diagnostic human remains securely associated with the Early Aurignacian of western Europe, despite the presence of similarly aged early modern human remains from further east. One small and fragmentary sample of such remains consists of the two partial immature mandibles plus teeth from the Early Aurignacian of La Quina-Aval, Charente, France. The La Quina-Aval 4 mandible exhibits a prominent anterior symphyseal tuber symphyseos on a vertical symphysis and a narrow anterior dental arcade, both features of early modern humans. The dental remains from La Quina-Aval 1 to 4 (a dm1, 2 dm2, a P4 and a P4) are unexceptional in size and present occlusal configurations that combine early modern human features with a few retained ancestral ones. Securely dated to ∼33 ka 14C BP (∼38 ka cal BP), these remains serve to confirm the association of early modern humans with the Early Aurignacian in western Europe.


1 comment:

German Dziebel said...

We still don't know if early Aurignacians had shovel-shaped incisors, a potentially critical dental marker to determine their Asian vs. African affinities. Shovel-shaped incisors have similar trait frequencies in Neandertals and some modern humans. See more at http://anthropogenesis.kinshipstudies.org/2012/04/paleontology-as-a-moving-target-in-human-origins-research/