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Keywords:

  • attrition;
  • identification;
  • mandible;
  • Minatogawa Man No. 1;
  • occlusion

Abstract

The Minatogawa man hominid fossils are human fossils from Japan and the oldest from the Late Pleistocene period. Of the Minatogawa skeletal remains, Minatogawa Man No. 1 is best preserved and is accompanied by the mandible. When the maxillary and mandibular dentitions of Minatogawa Man No. 1 were occluded, the dentitions did not align with one another. The attrition pattern of the maxillary teeth was of an inclined type, which tilted from the buccal to lingual side, whereas that of the mandibular dentition was of a horizontal type. Moreover, both left maxillary and mandibular third molars exhibited attrition on the distal portion of the occlusal surface. The occlusal surfaces did not complement each other in the range of mandibular movement without temporomandibular joint dislocation and the curve of Spee produced by the left maxillary and mandibular occlusal planes did not match. These findings suggest that the maxilla and mandible of Minatogawa Man No. 1 are, in fact, from different individuals.