Know Your Hominin: The Dederiyeh Neanderthal Infant

The Dederiyeh Neanderthal infant was found in Dederiyeh Cave, in Syria, in 1993. The skelton is that of a two year old and dates to 50,000-70,000 years ago.

Source: Akazawa et al 1995 Neanderthal infant burial from the Dederiyeh cave in Syria

East African Australopithecines: More than One Species?

The fact that two species of Australopithecus coexisted, more or less, in South Africa has been known for years. One of the more interesting South African specimens (Stw 573) is dated to somewhere between 3.5 and 3 million years. It has a divergent big toe. As does a new partial foot found in East Africa. The foot is somewhere around 3.46 MYA. Only a partial foot was found so the specimen has not been attributed to a species. The find is reported in Nature. I don’t have access to Nature, and would be grateful if someone could send me a copy of the article. I have the paper now, thanks!

Begging For Articles: Asian Australopithecines

Can someone with access send me the following articles:

A critical analysis of claims for the existence of Southeast Asian australopithecines, Journal of Human Evolution Volume 26, Issue 1, Pages 3–21

Meganthropus, australopithecines and hominids, American Journal of Physical Anthropology Volume 11, Issue 1, pages 1–38, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330110112

Further remarks on the relationship between “Meganthropus” and australopithecines, American Journal of Physical Anthropology Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 429–445, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330130304

My email address is on the about page. Continue reading

Know Your Hominin: Sambungmacan 3

Sambungmacan 3 was discovered in 1977 and spent some time on the antiquities market, eventually ending up in New York, where its importance was realized. It has since been returned to Indonesia. It is attributed to Homo erectus and may be the skull of a female.

Source: Delson et al (2001) The Sambungmacan 3 Homo erectus Calvaria: A Comparative Morphometric and Morphological Analysis

For Further Reading:
Broadfield et al (2001) Endocast of Sambungmacan 3 (Sm 3): A new Homo erectus from Indonesia. The Anatomical Record 262:369-379

Delson et al (2001) The Sambungmacan 3 Homo erectus Calvaria: A Comparative Morphometric and Morphological Analysis. The Anatomical Record 262:380-397

Laitman and Tattersall (2001) Homo erectus newyorkensis: An Indonesian fossil rediscovered in Manhattan sheds light on the middle phase of human evolution. The Anatomical Record 262:341-343

Marquez et al (2001) New Fossil Hominid Calvaria From Indonesia—Sambungmacan 3. The Anatomical Record 262:344–368

Know Your Hominin: A. L. 822-1

A. L. 822-1 was discovered in 2000 at Hadar, Ethipia. It is attributed to Australopithecus afarensis and is, at the time of discovery, the only complete skull of a female A. afarensis. The skull dates to approximately 3.1 MYA and is one of three that preserves both a cranium and a mandible (the others being A.L. 444-2 and A.L. 417-1).


Kimbel and Rak (2010) The cranial base of Australopithecus afarensis: new insights from the female skull. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2010 365, 3365-3376, doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0070

Kimbel (2009) Australopithecus afarensis and the Mosaic Evolution of the Hominin Cranial Base. Note: This is an audio presentation given at a seminar hosted by the Royal Society in 2009.

Know Your Hominin: Stw 53

I am starting a new series, similar to “know Your Primate” – which will continue – on hominins. The difference, besides subject matter, will be that instead of discussing species I’ll be posting pictures of individual fossils with some additional commentary as the mood strikes me. First up is Stw 53 from Sterfontein. Stw 53 was discovered in 1976 by Alan Hughes and has been at the heart of debates over South African hominin variability. So much so that last year Curnoe used it as the holotype of a new species. The question of how many species are represented in the South African fossil record is something I am becoming interested in, so I will be taking a more in depth look at the question over the coming months. In the meantime, here is Stw 53:
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A New Study on Homo floresiensis

Nature News mentions a new study on Homo floresiensis that concludes that the fossil is that of a microcephalic modern human. The study is actually published in PNAS (and if someone could send me a copy I would appreciate it – my email is in the about tab). Continue reading