Publications by authors named "María Dolores Garralda"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Neanderthal teeth from Marillac (Charente, Southwestern France): Morphology, comparisons and paleobiology.

J Hum Evol 2020 01 22;138:102683. Epub 2019 Nov 22.

UMR5199 PACEA: de la préhistoire à l'actuel: culture, environnement et anthropologie, Université de Bordeaux, bât. B8. Allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire - CS 50023, 33615 Pessac, France.

Few European sites have yielded human dental remains safely dated to the end of MIS 4/beginning of MIS 3. One of those sites is Marillac (Southwestern France), a collapsed karstic cave where archeological excavations (1967-1980) conducted by B. Vandermeersch unearthed numerous faunal and human remains, as well as a few Mousterian Quina tools. The Marillac sinkhole was occasionally used by humans to process the carcasses of different prey, but there is no evidence for a residential use of the site, nor have any hearths been found. Rare carnivore bones were also discovered, demonstrating that the sinkhole was seasonally used, not only by Neanderthals, but also by predators across several millennia. The lithostratigraphic units containing the human remains were dated to ∼60 kyr. The fossils consisted of numerous fragments of skulls and jaws, isolated teeth and several post-cranial bones, many of them with traces of perimortem manipulations. For those already published, their morphological characteristics and chronostratigraphic context allowed their attribution to Neanderthals. This paper analyzes sixteen unpublished human teeth (fourteen permanent and two deciduous) by investigating the external morphology and metrical variation with respect to other Neanderthal remains and a sample from modern populations. We also investigate their enamel thickness distribution in 2D and 3D, the enamel-dentine junction morphology (using geometric morphometrics) of one molar and two premolars, the roots and the possible expression of taurodontism, as well as pathologies and developmental defects. The anterior tooth use and paramasticatory activities are also discussed. Morphological and structural alterations were found on several teeth, and interpreted in light of human behavior (tooth-pick) and carnivores' actions (partial digestion). The data are interpreted in the context of the available information for the Eurasian Neanderthals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2019.102683DOI Listing
January 2020

The Gravettian child mandible from El Castillo Cave (Puente Viesgo, Cantabria, Spain).

Am J Phys Anthropol 2019 11 8;170(3):331-350. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Área de Prehistoria, Universidad de León, León, Spain.

Objectives: This article documents an incomplete child's mandible found in H. Obermaier's excavation campaign (in 1912) in El Castillo Cave, Spain. This fossil was assigned to what was then considered a phase of the "Aurignacian-delta".

Materials And Methods: We exhaustively analyzed the original Obermaier documents, with particular attention to those corresponding to the year of the discovery. We extracted a bone sample to radiocarbon date the fossil directly. We also followed established methods to measure, describe and compare the mandible with other human remains.

Results: The analysis of Obermaier's documents and new data derived from modern excavations, show that the mandible was discovered in an interior area of the cave. Direct radiocarbon dating yielded a result of 24,720 ± 210 BP and 29,300 - 28,300 cal BP, a date similar to those known for the Gravettian technocomplex both in the El Castillo site and across Europe. The jaw corresponded to a child aged 4-5 years, with modern morphology, but with a certain robustness, especially in the symphyseal region. Comparisons were made with several modern children (Granada, Spitalfields, and Black series) and with immature fossils (European Aurignacian and Gravettian). The few differences between the modern and the fossil children are related to the symphysis and mandibular corpus thickness and height, and to the symphyseal morphology and larger teeth dimensions. Paleoisotopic data for Castillo C correspond with a varied diet. Numerous cutmarks were identified in the midline internal symphyseal region.

Discussion And Conclusions: The results agree with those published for other fossils of similar age and chronology (e.g., the mandible of the Lagar Velho child) and show clear differences from the jaws of the young Neanderthals. The interpretation of the original data on the mandible discovery may indicate the destruction of a burial and the displacement, by percolation or by a den, at least of part of the skeleton. The perimortem manipulations in the child's mandible are the first described in the Gravettian world of Western Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23906DOI Listing
November 2019

Paleogenomic Evidence for Multi-generational Mixing between Neolithic Farmers and Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherers in the Lower Danube Basin.

Curr Biol 2017 Jun 25;27(12):1801-1810.e10. Epub 2017 May 25.

Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24-25, 14476 Potsdam OT Golm, Germany. Electronic address:

The transition from hunting and gathering to farming involved profound cultural and technological changes. In Western and Central Europe, these changes occurred rapidly and synchronously after the arrival of early farmers of Anatolian origin [1-3], who largely replaced the local Mesolithic hunter-gatherers [1, 4-6]. Further east, in the Baltic region, the transition was gradual, with little or no genetic input from incoming farmers [7]. Here we use ancient DNA to investigate the relationship between hunter-gatherers and farmers in the Lower Danube basin, a geographically intermediate area that is characterized by a rapid Neolithic transition but also by the presence of archaeological evidence that points to cultural exchange, and thus possible admixture, between hunter-gatherers and farmers. We recovered four human paleogenomes (1.1× to 4.1× coverage) from Romania spanning a time transect between 8.8 thousand years ago (kya) and 5.4 kya and supplemented them with two Mesolithic genomes (1.7× and 5.3×) from Spain to provide further context on the genetic background of Mesolithic Europe. Our results show major Western hunter-gatherer (WHG) ancestry in a Romanian Eneolithic sample with a minor, but sizeable, contribution from Anatolian farmers, suggesting multiple admixture events between hunter-gatherers and farmers. Dietary stable-isotope analysis of this sample suggests a mixed terrestrial/aquatic diet. Our results provide support for complex interactions among hunter-gatherers and farmers in the Danube basin, demonstrating that in some regions, demic and cultural diffusion were not mutually exclusive, but merely the ends of a continuum for the process of Neolithization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.05.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5483232PMC
June 2017

Neanderthals from El Salt (Alcoy, Spain) in the context of the latest Middle Palaeolithic populations from the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula.

J Hum Evol 2014 Oct 22;75:1-15. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

Université Bordeaux, CNRS, MCC, PACEA, UMR 5199, F-33405 Talence cedex, France.

We present a bioanthropological study of dental remains recovered from El Salt Middle Palaeolithic site (Alcoy, Alicante, Spain). The dental remains were found in a sedimentary layer representing a calm depositional environment within a freshwater spring system. The corresponding archaeological context comprises a Middle Palaeolithic faunal and lithic assemblage that represents the last documented evidence of human occupation at the site, dating to between 47.2 ± 4.4 and 45.2 ± 3.4 ka (thousands of years ago). This evidence is overlain by an archaeologically sterile deposit dated to 44.7 ± 3.2 ka. Results show that the teeth belong to a single juvenile or young adult individual with morphological and metric features falling within the Neanderthal range of variability, although the considered traits are not taxonomically highly discriminant. The reported fossils are representative of the latest Middle Palaeolithic groups in the region and may be considered in the ongoing debate on the disappearance of Neanderthals and the end of the Middle Palaeolithic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.02.019DOI Listing
October 2014

Neanderthal infant and adult infracranial remains from Marillac (Charente, France).

Am J Phys Anthropol 2014 Sep 12;155(1):99-113. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

U. D. de Antropología Física, Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain.

At the site of Marillac, near the Ligonne River in Marillac-le-Franc (Charente, France), a remarkable stratigraphic sequence has yielded a wealth of archaeological information, palaeoenvironmental data, as well as faunal and human remains. Marillac must have been a sinkhole used by Neanderthal groups as a hunting camp during MIS 4 (TL date 57,600 ± 4,600BP), where Quina Mousterian lithics and fragmented bones of reindeer predominate. This article describes three infracranial skeleton fragments. Two of them are from adults and consist of the incomplete shafts of a right radius (Marillac 24) and a left fibula (Marillac 26). The third fragment is the diaphysis of the right femur of an immature individual (Marillac 25), the size and shape of which resembles those from Teshik-Tash and could be assigned to a child of a similar age. The three fossils have been compared with the remains of other Neanderthals or anatomically Modern Humans (AMH). Furthermore, the comparison of the infantile femora, Marillac 25 and Teshik-Tash, with the remains of several European children from the early Middle Ages clearly demonstrates the robustness and rounded shape of both Neanderthal diaphyses. Evidence of peri-mortem manipulations have been identified on all three bones, with spiral fractures, percussion pits and, in the case of the radius and femur, unquestionable cutmarks made with flint implements, probably during defleshing. Traces of periostosis appear on the fibula fragment and on the immature femoral diaphysis, although their aetiology remains unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.22557DOI Listing
September 2014

Hyperostosis frontalis interna in a Neandertal from Marillac (Charente, France).

J Hum Evol 2014 Feb 1;67:76-84. Epub 2014 Feb 1.

Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, MCC, PACEA, UMR 5199, F-33405 Talence cedex, France.

The site of Marillac (Charente, France) has yielded an important stratigraphic sequence containing numerous Neandertal remains (some of them with peri-mortem manipulations) from lithofacies 2 (Quina Mousterian). This level has been correlated with MIS 4 and is associated with a TL date of 57,600 ± 4600 years BP (before present). The study of one of the cranial fragments (Marillac 3) revealed a grade 2 or Type B Hyperostosis frontalis interna (HFI), remodelling and altering the internal table of the thick frontal bone. This pathology has been analysed macroscopically together with radiography and sections made using a microscanner and a scanner. The development of the HFI is compared with published evidence for Sangiran 3 (Homo erectus), two other Neandertals (Forbes' Quarry and Shanidar 5), and several archaeological samples. Forbes' Quarry seems to display more advanced HFI than either Shanidar 5 or Marillac 3. The three Neandertals may be considered mature individuals (≥40 years) and it seems likely that the aetiology of this pathology may be associated with hormonal alterations, as has been suggested for past and extant populations. While the prevalence of HFI in contemporary post-menopausal women is well documented, the identification of HFI amongst males from several archaeological samples (Neanderthals, Ancient Egypt, Syrian Bronze Age or the Anasazi), with different stages of development, confirm that the pathology affected both sexes in past populations. Additional data and research are still needed to elucidate the etiopathogenesis of this illness and to better understand the relationship between environmental factors and their possible influences/consequences for the development of metabolic disorders in prehistoric populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.12.003DOI Listing
February 2014