A Neanderthal Lower Incisor from Cova del Gegant (Sitges, Barcelona, Spain)

  1. Laura Rodríguez Fernándea
  2. Rebeca García González
  3. Montserrat Sanz Borràs
  4. Joan Daura Luján
  5. Rolf Michael Quam
  6. Josep M. Fullola Pericot
  7. Juan Luis Arsuaga Ferreras
Boletín de la Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural. Sección geológica

ISSN: 0583-7510

Année de publication: 2011

Tomo: 105

Número: 1-4

Pages: 25-30

Type: Article


contains Upper Pleistocene archaeological and paleontological material (Daura et al., 2005). The site was first excavated in 1954 and then in 1972 and 1974- (Viñas, 1972; Viñas & Villalta, 1975) and in 1985 and 1989 (Martínez et al., 1985; Mora, 1988; Martínez et al., 1990). Finally, in 2007, Grup de Recerca del Quaternari has restarted the archaeological research at Cova del Gegant (Daura, 2008; Daura et al., 2010). A human mandible was recovered during the first field season in 1954 and was recently published by Daura et al. (2005). In the present study, we describe a new human tooth (left I2) that appeared, like the mandible, in a revision of the faunal material recovered from the site in 1974-1975. The specimen preserves the entire crown and the cervical two thirds of the root (Figure 1). The lack of reveals a pulp cavity that could be still open, suggesting root formation was incomplete. The specimen shows only slight dental wear corresponding to stage 2 of Molnar (1971 en Hillson, 1996). Morphologically, the crown shows slight shovelling and a lingual tubercle and appears similar to Neandertal incisors. Standard crown measurements (buccolingual diameter=7.7 mm; mesiodistal diameter= 7.3 mm) (Figure 2) suggest a fairly large tooth, particularly in the BL dimension, again resembling Neandertals in this regard. Discriminant analysis classified the Gegant incisor as Neandertal with a 99.8% posterior probability (Table 2). Association of this tooth with the previously described mandible is considered unlikely given the different ages at death estimated for each. Thus, there appear to be two individuals preserved in the sediments of the Gegant cave, one adult and one subadult (around 8-10 years old).