maandag 4 juli 2016

Why Basal Eurasian is Still African as of Lazaridis et al 2016

"[The Shuqbah Natufian] type may be described as Mediterranean, but with a distinct bias towards the African variety of that stock represented by the predynastic people of Egypt. [...] The later cave dwellers of Shukbah practiced a rite which is still observed by many negro tribes of Africa. They removed one or both upper central incisors in youth, which resulted in atrophy of the corresponding alveolar part of the upper jaw and in an upgrowth of the unopposed lower incisors." 
Keith 1931 pp. 210-11

The excerpt above (Keith 1931) describes a Natufian sample excavated in the Shuqbah cave's Late Natufian deposits. In comparison to other Natufian sites, the Natufian inhabitants of this cave are known to be particularly African in their morphometric affinities, as shown by the descriptions of various physical anthropologists. The Natufian skull in the image above—complete with the North African practice of upper incisor extraction (Stojanowski et al 2014) and what seems to be a blurred nasal margin—differs substantially from preceding groups in the Levant. Among other things, its cranial length (189 mm) and breadth (128 mm) represent a huge break from the short and broad head trend observed in the preceding Levantine skeletal samples (Stock et al 2005Hershkovitz et al 2005) and are consistent with both North and Sub-Saharan groups.