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A Late Neandertal Femur from Les Rochers-de-Villeneuve, France

Cédric Beauval, Bruno Maureille, François Lacrampe-Cuyaubère, David Serre, David Peressinotto, Jean-Guillaume Bordes, David Cochard, Isabelle Couchoud, David Dubrasquet, Véronique Laroulandie, Arnaud Lenoble, Jean-Baptiste Mallye, Sylvain Pasty, Jérôme Primault, Nadin Rohland, Svante Pääbo and Erik Trinkaus
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 102, No. 20 (May 17, 2005), pp. 7085-7090
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3375489
Page Count: 6
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A Late Neandertal Femur from Les Rochers-de-Villeneuve, France
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Abstract

In 2002, a Neandertal partial femoral diaphysis was discovered at Les Rochers-de-Villeneuve (Vienne, France). Radiocarbon dated to ≈40,700 14 C years before present, this specimen is one of the most recent Middle Paleolithic Neandertals. The diaphysis derives from an archeological level indicating alternating human and carnivore (mostly hyena) occupation of the cave, reinforcing the close proximity and probable competition of Middle Paleolithic humans with large carnivores for resources and space. Morphological aspects of the diaphysis and ancient DNA extracted from it indicate that it is aligned with the Neandertals and is distinct from early modern humans. However, its midshaft cortical bone distribution places it between other Middle Paleolithic Neandertals and the Châtelperronian Neandertal from La Roche-à-Pierrot, supporting a pattern of changing mobility patterns among late Middle Paleolithic Neandertals on the eve of modern human dispersals into Europe.

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