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Keywords:

  • Homo sapiens;
  • Pleistocene;
  • cranium;
  • Aduma;
  • Middle Awash

Abstract

The Upper Pleistocene localities of Aduma and Bouri have yielded hominid fossils and extensive Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeological assemblages. The vertebrate fossils recovered include parts of four hominid crania from Aduma and a complete right parietal from Bouri. Archaeological associations and radiometric techniques suggest an Upper Pleistocene age for these hominids. The more complete cranium from Aduma (ADU-VP-1/3) comprises most of the parietals, the occipital, and part of the frontal. This cranium is compared to late Middle and Upper Pleistocene hominid crania from Africa and the Middle East. The Aduma cranium shows a mosaic of cranial features shared with “premodern” and anatomically modern Homo sapiens. However, the posterior and lateral cranial dimensions, and most of its anatomy, are centered among modern humans and resemble specimens from Omo, Skhul, and Qafzeh. As a result, the Aduma and Bouri Upper Pleistocene hominids are assigned to anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.