Get access

Middle pleistocene dental remains from Qesem Cave (Israel)

Authors

  • Israel Hershkovitz,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Dan David Laboratory for the Search and Study of Modern Humans, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
    • Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Dan David Laboratory for the Search and Study of Modern Humans, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Patricia Smith,

    1. The Institute of Dental Sciences, Hebrew University—Hadassah, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rachel Sarig,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Dan David Laboratory for the Search and Study of Modern Humans, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rolf Quam,

    1. Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University (SUNY), Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
    2. Centro UCM-ISCIII de Investigación sobre la Evolución y Comportamiento Humanos, c/Sinesio Delgado, 4, 28029 Madrid, Spain
    3. Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St. New York, NY 10024-5192
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Laura Rodríguez,

    1. Departamento de Ciencias Históricas y Geografía, Universidad de Burgos, Facultad de Humanidades y Educación, 09001 Burgos, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rebeca García,

    1. Departamento de Ciencias Históricas y Geografía, Universidad de Burgos, Facultad de Humanidades y Educación, 09001 Burgos, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Juan Luis Arsuaga,

    1. Centro UCM-ISCIII de Investigación sobre la Evolución y Comportamiento Humanos, c/Sinesio Delgado, 4, 28029 Madrid, Spain
    2. Departamento de Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ran Barkai,

    1. Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Avi Gopher

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
    • Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

This study presents a description and comparative analysis of Middle Pleistocene permanent and deciduous teeth from the site of Qesem Cave (Israel). All of the human fossils are assigned to the Acheulo-Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC) of the late Lower Paleolithic. The Middle Pleistocene age of the Qesem teeth (400–200 ka) places them chronologically earlier than the bulk of fossil hominin specimens previously known from southwest Asia. Three permanent mandibular teeth (C1-P4) were found in close proximity in the lower part of the stratigraphic sequence. The small metric dimensions of the crowns indicate a considerable degree of dental reduction although the roots are long and robust. In contrast, three isolated permanent maxillary teeth (I2, C1, and M3) and two isolated deciduous teeth that were found within the upper part of the sequence are much larger and show some plesiomorphous traits similar to those of the Skhul/Qafzeh specimens. Although none of the Qesem teeth shows a suite of Neanderthal characters, a few traits may suggest some affinities with members of the Neanderthal evolutionary lineage. However, the balance of the evidence suggests a closer similarity with the Skhul/Qafzeh dental material, although many of these resemblances likely represent plesiomorphous features. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Ancillary