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Journal Article

Two Deciduous Human Molars from the Early Pleistocene Deposits of Barranco León (Orce, Spain)

Francesc Ribot, Luis Gibert, Carles Ferràndez-Cañadell, Enrique García Olivares, Florentina Sánchez and María Lería
Current Anthropology
Vol. 56, No. 1 (February 2015), pp. 134-142
DOI: 10.1086/679615
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/679615
Page Count: 9

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Topics: Tooth enamel, Teeth, Excavations, Flint, Fossils, Mammals, Humans, Anatomy, Material culture, Cervix uteri
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Two Deciduous Human Molars from the Early Pleistocene Deposits of Barranco León (Orce, Spain)
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Abstract

Recently Toro-Moyano et al. (2013) reported a deciduous tooth from Barranco León (Spain; BL02-J54-100) and claimed it to be the oldest human fossil in Europe. In that paper, the authors suggest that a previously reported human molar fragment from the same site (BL5-0) was not human but a deciduous molar of Hippopotamus found out of stratigraphic context. Here, we show the stratigraphic and spatial position of BL5-0, and we separate it from deciduous teeth of Hippopotamus. We conclude that two human deciduous molars have been discovered at the Barranco León site. Both teeth were found 9 meters apart, have a similar size, are heavily worn on the occlusal surface, have a nearly identical interstitial contact facet, and in both cases the roots are practically missing due to resorption. These similarities and the proximity of the finds suggest that both molars probably belonged to the same individual.

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