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, 92 (4), 449-61

Reexamination of the Immature Hominid Maxilla From Tangier, Morocco


Reexamination of the Immature Hominid Maxilla From Tangier, Morocco

N Minugh-Purvis. Am J Phys Anthropol.


Reexamination of the immature Upper Pleistocene hominid maxilla from Mugharet el-'Aliya (Tangier), Morocco is undertaken in light of new evidence on the growth and development of Upper Pleistocene hominids. Metric and qualitative comparisons were made with 17 immature Upper Pleistocene maxillae, and with a recent Homo sapiens sapiens sample. No unambiguous criteria for aligning the maxilla with Neandertals were found, although one character, the degree of maxillary flexion on the zygoma, strongly suggests that this child could be a representative of H.s. sapiens. The probable lack of a canine fossa in Mugharet el-'Aliya 1, the primary criterion used previously to align it with Neandertals, cannot be accurately extrapolated to its adult form from this juvenile. The present evidence suggests that it is inappropriate to refer to this fossil as "Neandertal-like" or as a North African "neandertaloid." Thus, the Tangier maxilla should not be cited as evidence for the presence of Neandertal facial features in North Africa during the Upper Pleistocene.

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