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Out of the North Sea: the Zeeland Ridges Neandertal
Hublin, J-J.; Weston, D.; Gunz, P.; Richards, M.; Roebroeks, W.; Glimmerveen, J.; Anthonis, L. (2009). Out of the North Sea: the Zeeland Ridges Neandertal. Journal of Human Evolution 57(6): 777-785. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.jhevol.2009.09.001
In: Journal of Human Evolution. ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD: London. ISSN 0047-2484, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Pleistocene; Hominins; Europe; Middle Palaeolithic; Neandertal; NorthSea

Authors  Top 
  • Hublin, J-J.
  • Weston, D.
  • Gunz, P.
  • Richards, M.
  • Roebroeks, W.
  • Glimmerveen, J.
  • Anthonis, L.

Abstract
    In 2001, a portion of human frontal bone was discovered in sediments extracted from the bottom of the North Sea, 15 km off the coast of the Netherlands. The extraction zone is located in the so-called Zeeland Ridges area located at 51°40′ northern latitude and 3°20′ eastern longitude. The specimen was dredged up from sediments containing Late Pleistocene faunal remains and Middle Palaeolithic artefacts, including well-finished small handaxes and Levallois flakes. The details of the supraorbital morphology, as well as the quantitative assessment of the shape of the external surface of the squama using traditional and 3D geometric morphometrics, unambiguously assign the Zeeland Ridges frontal bone to Homo neanderthalensis. Carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis indicate that the Zeeland Ridges hominin, like other Neandertals, was highly carnivorous and does not show evidence for the consumption of aquatic foods. A lesion on the outer table and diploic layer of the bone in the area of the supratoral sulcus can be interpreted as the result of an intradiploic epidermoid cyst, a type of neoplasm diagnosed for the first time in Neandertal remains. So far, the Zeeland Ridges Neandertal is the first Pleistocene fossil hominin found under seawater and the first recorded in the Netherlands.

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