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Title: A comparative study of frontal bone morphology of Late Pleistocene fossil hominins from the territory of the former Soviet Union
Author: Bulygina, E.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
The major aim of the present work is to provide a re-assessment of the morphological and taxonomic affinities of several adult and juvenile fossils from the territory of the former Soviet Union that retain frontal bones. Nine fossils were analysed and compared with a sample of Late Pleistocene hominins and recent modern populations. Analytical techniques included traditional inter-landmark measurements, as well as a geometric morphometric toolkit for the 3D surfaces. The following patterns were found in the comparative sample: 1) the best differentiation in the frontal bone morphology exists between the 'modern' and 'archaic' groups of hominins, where the former is composed of recent and Upper Palaeolithic modem humans, and the latter incorporates Neanderthals and early modern humans from Africa and West Asia 2) Upper Palaeolithic humans from central and eastern Europe differ significantly from the pooled sample of the nine recent modern human populations 3) the morphology of the complete frontal bone discriminates between hominin groups better than the supraorbital relief 4) recent modern humans and Neanderthals display diverging growth trajectories in the shape of the frontal bone differences already exist at the earliest age stages represented here (2.5 years in Neanderthals) and increase towards adulthood. Within the above framework, all Sungir' fossils align with the recent modern human morphological variation. In contrast, the fossil frontal from Podkumok, North Caucasus, is associated with the Upper Palaeolithic sample of fossils. Satanay, Khvalynsk and Skhodnya frontal bones have an ambiguous morphological associations generally aligning with the modem morphology but demonstrating particular combination of features that sometimes make them closer to the 'archaic' fossils in the sample. The Teshik-Tash child is found to be similar to Neanderthals in the frontal bone morphology. However, it shows lesser degree of the development of the 'classical' Neanderthal morphology and deviates towards the early modern humans. The Starosel'e child did not demonstrate any affiliation with the 'archaic' morphological pattern in its frontal bone.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.689425  DOI: Not available
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