Neanderthal cranial remains from Baume Moula-Guercy (Soyons, Ardèche, France)
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Objectives: We provide the first comparative description of the Guercy 1 cranium and isolated cranial fragments from Baume Moula-Guercy and examine their affinities to European Preneanderthals, Neanderthals, and Homo sapiens. Materials and Methods: The Moula-Guercy hominins derive from deposits chronostratigraphically and biostratigraphically dated to the Eemian Interglacial (MIS 5e). For comparisons we compiled a sample of European and Southwest Asian subadult-adult Middle-to-Late Pleistocene hominins (≈MIS 14–MIS 2; N = 184). This sample represents a Preneanderthal–Neanderthal group and a H. sapiens group, both of which were further divided into three time-successive subgroups defined by associated marine isotope stages (MIS). Metric and morphological observations were made on the original fossils and a virtual reconstruction of Guercy 1. Developmental age and sex and the minimum–maximum number of individuals were assessed. Results: Guercy 1 represents the remains of a late stage adolescent (≈15–16.0 years) female. Morphological and metric data combine to associate the total morphological pattern expressed in Guercy 1 with our MIS 7–MIS 5e (“Early Neanderthal”) subgroup. Some features, especially those related to the frontal, suggest linkage to a paleodeme comprising the Moula-Guercy, Artenac, La Chaise Abri Suard and, possibly, the Biache-Saint-Vaast samples. Discussion: Remains of MIS 7–MIS 5e Neanderthals are rare and fragmentary, especially those dated to the Last Interglacial. The Baume Moula-Guercy sample provides new insights into the total morphological pattern expressed in MIS 5e Neanderthals. Further, our results support earlier suggestions that MIS 7–MIS 5e European hominins represent a morphotype that is distinct from both earlier and later members of the Preneanderthal–Neanderthal group.
Richards, G. D.,
Jabbour, R. S.,
Defleur, A. R.
Neanderthal cranial remains from Baume Moula-Guercy (Soyons, Ardèche, France).
American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 175(1), 201–226.