Shanidar 10: A Middle Paleolithic immature distal lower limb from Shanidar Cave, Iraqi Kurdistan

Department of Anthropology, Campus Box 1114, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.
Journal of Human Evolution (Impact Factor: 3.73). 09/2007; 53(2):213-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2007.04.003
Source: PubMed


The analysis of the faunal remains from Shanidar Cave has identified an incomplete immature human distal leg and foot from the deepest levels of the Middle Paleolithic of Shanidar Cave, Iraq. The distal tibia, fibula, first metatarsal, and two tarsals, designated Shanidar 10, derive from a 1-2-year-old infant. The tibia exhibits a transverse line from a stress episode during the last quarter of its first year postnatal. The cross-sectional geometry of the tibial midshaft reveals modest cortical thickening and a level of diaphyseal robusticity similar to those of recent human infants of a similar developmental age.

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Available from: Melinda Zeder, Dec 22, 2014
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    • "In sum, the Qafzeh 11 child represents, to our knowledge, the oldest documented human case of severe cranial trauma available from south-western Asia, dated to 90–100 kyrs BP. The adult Shanidar 1 skull exhibits an indisputable evidence of trauma, that was sometimes interpreted as a consequence of interpersonal violence [2], [50] but the specimen is probably more recent [51]. For Qafzeh 11, the exact circumstances surrounding the injury remain unknown, although this kind of injury generally results from a blunt force trauma. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Qafzeh site (Lower Galilee, Israel) has yielded the largest Levantine hominin collection from Middle Palaeolithic layers which were dated to circa 90-100 kyrs BP or to marine isotope stage 5b-c. Within the hominin sample, Qafzeh 11, circa 12-13 yrs old at death, presents a skull lesion previously attributed to a healed trauma. Three dimensional imaging methods allowed us to better explore this lesion which appeared as being a frontal bone depressed fracture, associated with brain damage. Furthermore the endocranial volume, smaller than expected for dental age, supports the hypothesis of a growth delay due to traumatic brain injury. This trauma did not affect the typical human brain morphology pattern of the right frontal and left occipital petalia. It is highly probable that this young individual suffered from personality and neurological troubles directly related to focal cerebral damage. Interestingly this young individual benefited of a unique funerary practice among the south-western Asian burials dated to Middle Palaeolithic.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "This is corroborated by ESR age estimate of the Tabun materials (Gr€ un and Stringer, 2000; Coppa et al., 2005, 2007; Gr€ un et al., 2005). Although there are no radiometric dates available from the lower levels of Layer D at the Shanidar Cave, based on craniofacial configuration and depth of deposit, these specimens have been dated between OIS 4 and 6, and hence similar in age to those Neanderthal specimens from Layer B and C at Tabun (Cowgill et al., 2007). However , due to the geographical distance between Shanidar Cave and the Levantine region (almost 1,000 km), it seems unlikely that these human populations came into contact during the Middle Paleolithic. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans (AMHs) may have lived in close proximity in the Near East region during Middle Paleolithic times. Although functional morphological analyses suggest a marked behavioral contrast between these two human groups, new dental micro- and macro-wear studies, together with new archaeological data, have revealed some similarities in ecology and dietary habits. In this study, we analyze the tooth wear patterns of Neanderthals and AMH from Middle Paleolithic sites of Israel and Northern Iraq, using the Occlusal Fingerprint Analysis (OFA) method to virtually reconstruct the jaw movements responsible for the creation of the occlusal wear areas. We particularly focus on para-facets, a distinctive type of wear which has been previously described in the dentition of historic and modern hunter-gatherers. The analysis reveals a similarity in para-facet frequency between early Near Eastern Neanderthals and AMH, and a significant difference with other Pleistocene human groups. The absence of antagonist occlusal contacts in the lower teeth and the occlusal compass analysis suggest that para-facet formation is not related to normal mastication but to nonmasticatory activities. Thus, the identification of these nonmasticatory wear areas on the molars of early Near Eastern Neanderthals and AMH may indicate analogous tooth-tool uses for daily task activities. These may have emerged independently or could be interpreted as indirect evidence of cultural interactions between these two groups. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · American Journal of Physical Anthropology
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    • "The hunter-gatherer lifestyle likely exposed this human group to a lifestyle that required their physiology to adjust to hard life. A good example is the cortical thickening of bones (Odwak, 2000; Cowgill, 2007). This physiological adjustment would require the mechanical loading by weight-bearing tissues to function properly (Ruff, 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: This book chapter deals with a brief history of the discovery of Neandertals in the 1800s and how the scientific thinking of the time may have led to the misinterpretation of the data from the skeletal remains, thus leading to the mistreatment of the human group in the popular culture. The chapter continues to document the major skeletal traits that define the group and offer new and revised interpretations both from other works and from my own perspectives. Key to these morphological works are the cold adaptive traits that led to the robusticity of the skeletal forms of the group, thus being used as a means to separate them from the human taxon. On the pathological remains, this work joins others in illustrating their significance in painting the new picture on the human group, whereby, the presence of diseases is interpreted as a sign of good health (the health-disease paradox) and survivorship. Another important matter to this line of thinking is the realization that social group support for ailing members is clearly a human trait, making the Neandertals our equals in care and empathy. This chapter also delves on the debates concerning the interpretation of the genetic data derived from the Neandertal fossils. It is now shown that modern humans share many of the known functional genes such as FOXP2 (the language gene), MC1R (the pigment gene), PTC (bitter taste) gene, O01 haplotype (ABO blood group O gene) among others. Even in cases where there are variants of the genes such as the MC1R, my argument is that modern humans also show similar variations in many functional genes without making us separate species. An example is the gene that controls the production of the enzyme lactase whose function is the synthesis of lactose, the milk energy. Individuals that posses the lactase persistence gene can digest milk throughout life, and they make only 30% of the human population and are not a separate species. These arguments for similarity are also included in the treatment of the archeological data. In the behavioral interpretation, my work focuses on Neandertal ingenuity by giving various examples of their behavior evidenced by tool kits, burials and other archaeological data. Their long survival in colder Europe for over 200,000 years help support these lines of evidence; modern humans are yet to reach that species-wide longevity if they are considered separate. In short, the chapter offers a summary of Neandertal studies and may be a quick and informative read for students or anyone interested in the subject.
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