Late Pleistocene human remains from Wezmeh Cave, western Iran

Am J Phys Anthropol. 2008 Apr;135(4):371-8. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.20753.


Paleontological analysis of remains from Wezmeh Cave in western Iran have yielded a Holocene Chalcolithic archeological assemblage, a rich Late Pleistocene carnivore faunal assemblage, and an isolated unerupted human maxillary premolar (P(3) or possibly P(4)). Species representation and U-series dating of faunal teeth place the carnivore assemblage during oxygen isotope stages (OIS) 3 and 2, and noninvasive gamma spectrometry dating of the human premolar places it at least as old as early OIS 2. The human premolar crown morphology is not diagnostic of late archaic versus early modern human affinities, but its buccolingual diameter places it at the upper limits of Late Pleistocene human P(3) and P(4) dimensions and separate from a terminal Pleistocene regional sample. Wezmeh Cave therefore provides additional Paleolithic human remains from the Zagros Mountains and further documents Late Pleistocene human association with otherwise carnivore-dominated cave assemblages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Bicuspid / anatomy & histology*
  • Bicuspid / chemistry
  • Fossils*
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Oxygen Isotopes / analysis
  • Paleodontology
  • Spectrometry, Gamma


  • Oxygen Isotopes