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A Neanderthal from the Central Western Zagros, Iran. Structural reassessment of the Wezmeh 1 maxillary premolar

Zanolli, Clément, Biglari, Fereidoun, Mashkour, Marjan, Abdi, Kamyar, Monchot, Hervé, Debue, Karyne, Mazurier, Arnaud, Bayle, Priscilla, Le Luyer, Mona, Rougier, Hélène, and others. (2019) A Neanderthal from the Central Western Zagros, Iran. Structural reassessment of the Wezmeh 1 maxillary premolar. Journal of Human Evolution, 135 . Article Number 102643. ISSN 0047-2484. (doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2019.102643) (KAR id:75685)


Wezmeh Cave, in the Kermanshah region of Central Western Zagros, Iran, produced a Late Pleistocene faunal assemblage rich in carnivorans along with a human right maxillary premolar, Wezmeh 1, an unerupted tooth from an 8 ± 2 year-old individual. Uranium-series analyses of the fauna by alpha spectrometry provided age estimates between 70 and 11 ka. Crown dimensions place the tooth specimen at the upper limits of Late Pleistocene human ranges of variation. Wezmeh 1 metameric position (most likely a P3) remains uncertain and only its surficial morphology has been described so far. Accordingly, we used micro-focus X-ray tomography (12.5 μm isotropic voxel size) to reassess the metameric position and taxonomic attribution of this specimen. We investigated its endostructural features and quantified crown tissue proportions. Topographic maps of enamel thickness (ET) distribution were also generated, and semilandmark-based geometric morphometric analyses of the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) were performed. We compared Wezmeh 1 with unworn/slightly-moderately worn P3 and P4 of European Neanderthals, Middle Paleolithic modern humans from Qafzeh, an Upper Paleolithic premolar, and Holocene humans. The results confirm that Wezmeh 1 represents a P3. Based on its internal conformation and especially EDJ shape, Wezmeh 1 aligns closely with Neanderthals and is distinct from the fossil and extant modern human pattern of our comparative samples. Wezmeh 1 is thus the first direct evidence of Neanderthal presence on the western margin of the Iranian Plateau.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2019.102643
Uncontrolled keywords: Zagros Mountains; Wezmeh Cave; Human premolar tooth; Microfocus X-ray tomography; Neanderthals
Subjects: Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Mona Le Luyer
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 17:27 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 08:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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