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Homo sapiens: Skhul V

  • Geologic Age:

    90 Ka

  • Discovery Date:

    2 May 1932

  • Discovered By:

    Theordore McCown & Hallum Movius Jr.

  • Discovery Location:

    Skhul Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel

  • Cranial Capacity:

    1518 cc

  • Specimen Age:

    Adult, 30 - 40 years old

  • Sex:


    The Skhul V specimen is an adult male comprising of a nearly complete cranium and mandible. Due to poor preservation and harsh preparation, much of the morphology details of the specimen have been lost and extensively reconstructed2. Additionally, a large amount of Middle Paleolithic tools, particularly from the Levantine Mousterian industry, have been found in association with this specimin2.

    There are several distinct morphological features on this Skhul V. First, both the cranium and mandible are asymmetrical, with the right side relatively larger than the left (although this may be due to reconstruction)2. Second, the right side articular eminence and mandibular condyle have been affected by osteoarthritis2. Third, the palate of this specimen is very deep, with steep sides2. Fourth, an apparent lack of periodontitis suggests the teeth continued to erupt as they were being worn down2. Finally, the reduction in upper molar size from M1 to M3 is caused by miniaturization of the entirety of the tooth, not just the metacone and hypocone areas2. This does not follow the typical molar pattern of Homo sapiens.

    1. GrĂ¼n R, Stringer C, McDermott F, Nathan R, Porat N, Robertson S, Taylor L, Mortimer G, Eggins S, and McCulloch M. 2005. U-series and ESR analyses of bones and teeth relating to the human burials from Skhul. Journal of Human Evolution 49(3):316-334.
    2. Schwartz JH and Tattersall I. 2003. The Human Fossil Record: Craniodental Morphology of Genus Homo (Africa and Asia) Volume 2. Hoboken: Wiley-Liss.

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