Middle Pleistocene dental remains from Qesem Cave (Israel).


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 (C(1) -P(4) ) 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 (I(2) , C(1) , and M(3) ) 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.

DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21446

Cite this paper

@article{Hershkovitz2011MiddlePD, title={Middle Pleistocene dental remains from Qesem Cave (Israel).}, author={Israel Hershkovitz and Patricia G. Smith and Rachel Sarig and Rolf M. Quam and Laura Rodr{\'i}guez and Rebeca Mart{\'i}n - Garc{\'i}a and Juan Lu{\'i}s Arsuaga and Ran Barkai and Avi Gopher}, journal={American journal of physical anthropology}, year={2011}, volume={144 4}, pages={575-92} }