Patterns of craniofacial growth and development in upper pleistocene hominids / Nancy Minugh-Purvis.

Minugh-Purvis, Nancy.
xiv, 657 leaves ; 29 cm.

Get It


Local subjects:
Penn dissertations -- Anthropology. (search)
Anthropology -- Penn dissertations. (search)
A study of immature Upper Pleistocene hominid craniofacial remains was undertaken in an attempt to document patterns of skull growth in Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, and to compare it to that of Homo sapiens sapiens. This permitted examination of two issues: (1) whether the changes in craniofacial morphology characterizing the Neandertal to H. s. sapiens transition could be attributed to a shift in growth, and (2) whether Neandertal craniofacial maturation followed a schedule comparable to that of H. s. sapiens.
Craniofacial remains of 97 immature Upper Pleistocene individuals from Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia provided the metric data and qualitative observations used to investigate these problems. Comparative data was obtained for adult Upper Pleistocene hominids and for modern immature H. s. sapiens.
Results demonstrated, unequivocally, that the Neandertal skull grew differently than our own. This is most marked in the dimensional changes characterizing the growing face, while fewer ontogenetic differences appear in the neurocranium.
However, many aspects of craniofacial growth in the Upper Pleistocene hominids examined were remarkably similar. Significantly, neurocranial growth in Neandertals and early H. s. sapiens was more similar than between either of these groups and modern humans. In contrast, facial growth in early H. s. sapiens was clearly intermediate between Neandertals and ourselves. Only one significant maturational difference was noted between the Upper Pleistocene specimens and modern humans: a prolonged period of neurocranial growth in Neandertals and early H. s. sapiens over than known for ourselves. These growth patterns suggest that selection had, in Neandertals, acted to produce a sapient braincase long before the appearance of a modern face.
The mosaic nature of the evolutionary changes characterizing Upper Pleistocene craniofacial ontogeny clearly demonstrate continuity between Neandertals and our accepted ancestors, the earliest H. s. sapiens. These findings further support the premise of a substantial Neandertal contribution to the gene pools of local H. s. sapiens populations.
Supervisor: Alan E. Mann.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Anthropology)--Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, 1988.
Includes bibliography and index.
Local notes:
University Microfilms order no.: 88-16207.
Mann, Alan E., advisor.
University of Pennsylvania.