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Title: Laetoli hominid 18 : studies on a Pleistocene fossil human skull from northern Tanzania
Author: Magori, C. C.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3616 4160
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1980
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Laetoli Hominid 18 cranium was recovered in 1976 from the Pleistocene Ngaloba Beds at Laetoli, Northern Tanzania. The cranium is well preserved and consists of an almost complete cranial vault, much of the base, both temporal bones and part of the sphenoid bone. The face together with part of the upper dentition is only partially preserved. Associated with the Laetoli Hominid 18 cranium, were a number of artifacts and a few faunal remains. The dating of the Laetoli Hominid 18 cranium is about 120,000 years Before Present (B. P. ). In this study, a full anatomical and metrical description of the external and internal morphological features of the Laetoli Hominid 18 cranium is given, and the cranium is compared anatomically and metrically with both fossil and modern human crania in order to define its taxonomic relationships. Multivariate statistical analysis was employed to investigate the metrical features of the cranium. The comparative sample included fossil crania ranging from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens specimens. The sample included specimens from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, the Far East/Australia and the European materials. The modern human sample was drawn from the African Ngoni, Ashanti and Kaffir groups. The morphological examination combined with the statistical analyses indicates that the Laetoli Hominid 18 cranium is an early East African example of sub-SaharanHomo sapiens of the Upper Pleistocene age. The cranium shows a combination of modern and archaic features. The overall expansion of the cranial vault, the bossing of the parietals, the roundness and fullness of the occipital region, the low position of the inion, the U-shaped dental arcade, the great depth of the palate, the pear-shaped nasal opening, the development of the tympanic region, the symmetrical arrangements of the vascular and cerebral markings as well as the cranial capacity of 1200 cm3 places the Laetoli Hominid 18 cranium nearer to the modern sapients. In contrast, however, to the above modern features, the low receding, flattened and slightly keeled frontal bone, the large brow ridges, the low markings of the temporal ridges, the marked bone thickness, the small mastoids, the large occipitomastoid crest, the developed and centrally limited occipital torus are archaic features. The significance of the mosaic of the features is discussed in terms of the evolutionary history of man in Africa.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology