A Tooth of a Second Human from the Petralona Mausoleum

Abstract to the 14th Congress of European Anthropological Association, 1-5 September 2004, Komotini, Greece (see also http://utopia.duth.gr/~xirot/14EAA/Abst_p2.htm)

Poulianos N.A.

Anthropological Association of Greece

The famous Petralona skull was found during 1960 in "Mausoleum", a small cave chamber. It belonged to a male, whose age of death is estimated to be ~35 years. Excavations proved that it corresponds to the 11th layer of the cave stratigraphic sequence, aged about 0,7 m.y.a. In 1979 an upper right 4th premolar (No.M' 79 287), with a single root of another human, was unearthed by the author in the same cave chamber, from a depth of 1,2 m below the level of the first human, corresponding to the 16th layer of the above sequence. However, several difficulties gave little opportunity up to now to present this finding. Mainly because of its stratigraphical position, and since both of the 4th premolars are present on the complete skull, there is no doubt that the new tooth belonged to another individual. The premolar is broken 4-7 mm below its crown and this evidently happened since the 16th layer formation. The enamel is well preserved and the cusps are slightly worn, indicating an age of ~16-18 years.

Dimensions: length 8,2 mm, width 9,1 mm

Crown height 8,2 mm externally and 7,0 mm internally.

It has slightly smaller dimensions (mainly concerning width) than the male complete skull, indicating that it either belonged to a female or to a slender individual. However, the crown height is similar to that of the complete skull, as well as the enamel's state of preservation. The morphometric teeth similarity of the two humans from Petralona Mausoleum indicates a close genetic relationship between them, which was preserved for the entire time-span from the 16th to the 11th layer, at least. Among other Lower-Middle Pleistocene hominids, Petralona presents the smallest teeth, resembling modern man. The above remarks reconfirm conclusions drawn from the palaeolithic tools, that the Petralona Archanthropous is autochthonous.