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Keywords:

  • Fossil teeth;
  • Homo sapiens;
  • East Africa;
  • Middle Stone Age

Abstract

Three hominid molars were recovered from a depth of 7.0–7.1 meters in the Mumba Shelter at Lake Eyasi, northern Tanzania. Geological context of the finds and archaeological data indicate that people with a Middle Stone Age technology were using the Mumba locality intermittently whenever retreat of lake waters allowed access to the site. Uranium series dates suggest an age on the order of 130,000 years bp for the teeth and stone tools. Based on morphological analyses, the dental remains probably belonged to one individual and appear to be the crowns of two upper permanent M2s and one lower permanent M2. Crown areas are very small, even in comparison to the variation exhibited by recent African populations. Crown patterns have no archaic features. These teeth are smaller than any verifiable archaic Homo sapiens examples; thus, they may represent early anatomically modern Homo sapiens.