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Palaeodemographics of individuals in Dinaledi Chamber using dental remains

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posted on 20.02.2018 by Debra Bolter, John Hawks, Barry Bogin, Noel Cameron
Hominin skeletal remains from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, represent a minimum of 15 individuals of the extinct species Homo naledi. We examined the dental material from this sample in order to assess the life-history stages of individuals in the sample, in particular to determine the minimum number of individuals in the sample as a whole, and within each of six age classes. We found evidence of individuals within every age class: infant, early juvenile, late juvenile, subadult, young adult and old adult. The Dinaledi Chamber sample is notable in comparison to other samples of human, chimpanzee and fossil hominins in that it has a relatively high representation of juvenile remains, as compared to infants and adults. With 15 individuals, the sample size presented by the Dinaledi dental material is too small to test the hypothesis of attritional versus catastrophic accumulation. The data here provide a basis for further investigation of individual associations within this commingled assemblage, and provide an important comparative data set as a basis for the consideration of life history in H. naledi and other extinct hominin populations.

Funding

National Geographic Society; National Research Foundation (South Africa); University of Wisconsin-Madison.

History

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  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

South African Journal of Science

Volume

114

Issue

1-2

Citation

BOLTER, D. ... et al, 2018. Palaeodemographics of individuals in Dinaledi Chamber using dental remains. South African Journal of Science, 114 (1-2), Art. #2017-0066.

Publisher

Academy of Science of South Africa © The Author(s)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Publication date

2018

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by the Academy of Science of South Africa under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

eISSN

1996-7489

Language

en

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