The earliest Pleistocene record of a large-bodied hominin from the Levant supports two out-of-Africa dispersal events

Alon Barash, Miriam Belmaker, Markus Bastir, Michalle Soudack, Haley D. O’Brien, Holly Woodward, Amy Prendergast, Omry Barzilai, Ella Been

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The paucity of early Pleistocene hominin fossils in Eurasia hinders an in-depth discussion on their paleobiology and paleoecology. Here we report on the earliest large-bodied hominin remains from the Levantine corridor: a juvenile vertebra (UB 10749) from the early Pleistocene site of ‘Ubeidiya, Israel, discovered during a reanalysis of the faunal remains. UB 10749 is a complete lower lumbar vertebral body, with morphological characteristics consistent with Homo sp. Our analysis indicates that UB-10749 was a 6- to 12-year-old child at death, displaying delayed ossification pattern compared with modern humans. Its predicted adult size is comparable to other early Pleistocene large-bodied hominins from Africa. Paleobiological differences between UB 10749 and other early Eurasian hominins supports at least two distinct out-of-Africa dispersal events. This observation corresponds with variants of lithic traditions (Oldowan; Acheulian) as well as various ecological niches across early Pleistocene sites in Eurasia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1721
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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