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Three new human skulls from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain

Nature volume 362, pages 534537 (08 April 1993) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THREE important fossil hominids were found in July 1992 in the Middle Pleistocene cave site called Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Northern Spain). One is a complete calvaria (cranium 4), the second a virtually complete cranium (cranium 5), the third represents a more fragmentary cranium of an immature individual (cranium 6). There is a large difference in size between the two adult specimens (for example endocranial volume 1,125 cm3 versus 1,390 cm3). The Atapuerca human remains are dated to > 300,000 years. The Atapuerca cranial sample fits within the 'archaic Homo sapiens' group, but is well differentiated from the Asian Homo erectus group. The extensive Atapuerca human collection is the most complete sample of Middle Pleistocene humans yet discovered from one site, and appears to document an early stage in Neanderthal evolution.

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Affiliations

  1. Departamento de Paleontologia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain

    • Juan-Luis Arsuaga
    • , Ignacio Martínez
    • , Ana Gracia
    •  & José-Miguel Carretero
  2. Laboratori d'Arqueologia, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

    • Juan-Luis Arsuaga

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https://doi.org/10.1038/362534a0

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