Archaic human remains from Hualongdong, China, and Middle Pleistocene human continuity and variation

Xiu Jie Wu, Shu Wen Pei, Yan Jun Cai, Hao Wen Tong, Qiang Li, Zhe Dong, Jin Chao Sheng, Ze Tian Jin, Dong Dong Ma, Song Xing, Xiao Li Li, Xing Cheng, Hai Cheng, Ignacio de la Torre, R. Lawrence Edwards, Xi Cheng Gong, Zhi Sheng An, Erik Trinkaus, Wu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Middle to Late Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia has remained controversial regarding the extent of morphological continuity through archaic humans and to modern humans. Newly found ∼300,000-y-old human remains from Hualongdong (HLD), China, including a largely complete skull (HLD 6), share East Asian Middle Pleistocene (MPl) human traits of a low vault with a frontal keel (but no parietal sagittal keel or angular torus), a low and wide nasal aperture, a pronounced supraorbital torus (especially medially), a nonlevel nasal floor, and small or absent third molars. It lacks a malar incisure but has a large superior medial pterygoid tubercle. HLD 6 also exhibits a relatively flat superior face, a more vertical mandibular symphysis, a pronounced mental trigone, and simple occlusal morphology, foreshadowing modern human morphology. The HLD human fossils thus variably resemble other later MPl East Asian remains, but add to the overall variation in the sample. Their configurations, with those of other Middle and early Late Pleistocene East Asian remains, support archaic human regional continuity and provide a background to the subsequent archaic-to-modern human transition in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9820-9824
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume116
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to colleagues who have provided access to comparative materials and/or other assistance with the research; W. Huang, Z.-X. Qiu, and T. Deng regarding the site’s geology; Z.-Y. Zhao for preparing, molding, and casting the human remains; L.-T. Zheng, L.-M. Zhang, P.-P. Wei, Y.-M. Zhang, L.-T. He, X. Zhang, and L. Pan for participation in the excavations; and X. Ding, Z.-X. Jia, and H.-L. Xiao for help with photography and the figures. The research was supported by Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences Grant XDB26000000; National Natural Science Foundation of China Grants 41630102, 41672020, 41872029, and 41872030; Grand International Collaboration Project GJHZ1777 from the Chinese Academy of Science; National Science Foundation Grant 1702816; and Chinese Academy of Sciences President’s International Fellowship Initiative Grant 2017VCA0038.

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We are grateful to colleagues who have provided access to comparative materials and/or other assistance with the research; W. Huang, Z.-X. Qiu, and T. Deng regarding the site’s geology; Z.-Y. Zhao for preparing, molding, and casting the human remains; L.-T. Zheng, L.-M. Zhang, P.-P. Wei, Y.-M. Zhang, L.-T. He, X. Zhang, and L. Pan for participation in the excavations; and X. Ding, Z.-X. Jia, and H.-L. Xiao for help with photography and the figures. The research was supported by Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences Grant XDB26000000; National Natural Science Foundation of China Grants 41630102, 41672020, 41872029, and 41872030; Grand International Collaboration Project GJHZ1777 from the Chinese Academy of Science; National Science Foundation Grant 1702816; and Chinese Academy of Sciences President’s International Fellowship Initiative Grant 2017VCA0038.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Cranium
  • East Asia
  • Human paleontology
  • Mandible
  • Teeth

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