A Neandertal infant from Amud Cave, Israel

Y. Rak, W. H. Kimbel, E. Hovers

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A newly discovered partial skeleton of an infant from the Amud Cave, Israel, displays an array of anatomical features that help to establish its taxonomic status as Homo neanderthalcrisis: the absence of a mental protuberance on the anterior mandibular corpus, the extreme oval shape of the foramen magnum, and the presence of a medial pterygoid tubercle on the internal aspect of the mandibular ramus. Present on a 10-month-old individual, these traits must be ascribed to genetic origins; as such, they attest to the degree of phylogenetic differentiation of Neandertals from modern as well as Mousterian Homo sapiens . The recovery of this specimen thus reconfirms the presence of Neandertals in the Middle Paleolithic in the Near East while the taphonomic circumstances lend support to the claim of intentional burial by this group.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)313-324
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • Amud
  • Foramen magnum
  • Medial pterygoid muscle
  • Neandertal


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