Morphology and function of the lumbar spine of the Kebara 2 Neandertal
Article first published online: 20 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 142, Issue 4, pages 549–557, August 2010
How to Cite
Been, E., Peleg, S., Marom, A. and Barash, A. (2010), Morphology and function of the lumbar spine of the Kebara 2 Neandertal. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 142: 549–557. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21256
- Issue published online: 6 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 20 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Received: 30 AUG 2009
- Dan David scholarship
- Igor Orenstein Chair for the Study of Geriatrics
- Tel Aviv University
- vertebral spine
The morphology of the lumbar spine is crucial for upright posture and bipedal walking in hominids. The excellent preservation of the lumbar spine of Kebara 2 provides us a rare opportunity to observe a complete spine and explore its functionally relevant morphology. The lumbar spine of Kebara 2 is analyzed and compared with the lumbar spines of modern humans and late Pleistocene hominids. Although no size differences between the vertebral bodies and pedicles of Kebara 2 and modern humans are found, significant differences in the size and orientation of the transverse processes (L1-L4), and the laminae (L5, S1) are demonstrated. The similarity in the size of the vertebral bodies and pedicles of Kebara 2 and modern humans suggests similarity in axial load transmission along the lumbar spine. The laterally projected (L2-L4) and the cranially oriented (L1, L3) transverse processes of Kebara 2 show an advantage for lateral flexion of the lumbar spine compared with modern humans. The characteristic morphology of the lumbar spine of Kebara 2 might be related to the wide span of its pelvic bones. Am J Phys Anthropol 142:549–557, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.