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The internal cranial anatomy of the Middle Pleistocene Broken Hill 1 cranium

Balzeau, A, Buck, LT, Albessard, L, Becam, G, Grimmaud-Herve, D, Rae, TC and Stringer, CB (2017) The internal cranial anatomy of the Middle Pleistocene Broken Hill 1 cranium. Paleoanthropology. pp. 107-138. ISSN 1545-0031

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Abstract

The cranium (Broken Hill 1 or BH1) from the site previously known as Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe, Zambia) is one of the best preserved hominin fossils from the mid-Pleistocene. Its distinctive combination of anatomical features, however, makes its taxonomic attribution ambiguous. High resolution microCT, which has not previously been employed for gross morphological studies of this important specimen, allows a precise description of the internal anatomical features of BH1, including the distribution of cranial vault thickness and its 2 internal composition, paranasal pneumatisation, pneumatisation of the temporal bone and endocranial anatomy. Relative to other chronologically and taxonomically relevant specimens, BH1 shows unusually marked paranasal pneumatisation and a fairly thick cranial vault. For many of the features analysed, this fossil does not exhibit the apomorphic conditions observed in either Neandertals or Homo sapiens. Its morphology and the general shape of the brain and of the skull may be partly explained by an allometric relationship relative to the features observed in Homo erectus s.l. However, further research is still necessary to better appreciate the cranial anatomy of BH1 and the role of Homo rhodesiensis/Homo heidelbergensis in the course of human evolution. This paper also deals with more general aspects of scientific practices in palaeoanthropology. In particular, we give precise descriptions of many internal anatomical features of Broken Hill 1, a specimen discovered in 1921. This important and unique dataset will allow independent comparative studies in the future. However, we were …

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Paleoanthropology Society/University of Pennsylvania Museum
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 12:06
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 12:06
DOI or Identification number: 10.4207/PA.2017.ART107
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12174

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