Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Kocabaş hominin (Denizli Basin, Turkey) at the crossroads of Eurasia: New insights from morphometric and cladistic analyses

Amélie Vialet, Sandrine Prat, Patricia Will, Mehmet Cihat Alçiçek
Comptes Rendus Palevol
3 February 2018
(Link) open access


The Kocabaş skullcap (Denizli Basin), dated between 1.2 and 1.6 Ma, is the only ancient hominin fossil from Turkey and is part of discussions focusing on the first settlement outside the African continent. Our morphometric study tends to link this specimen with the African fossils, Homo ergaster and early Homo erectus, and to distinguish it from the specimens from Dmanisi and Asian Homo erectus. These results are confirmed by a cladistic analysis, which shows a separation of Kocabaş from the Eurasian clade comprising the Dmanisi hominins and grouping it with the African fossils dated to around 1 Ma (KNM-OL 45500, Daka-Bouri BouVP2/66, Buia UA31). As in the Kocabaş fossil, the divergence of the frontal bone is not very marked on these latter fossils and the temporal lines are separated on the parietal bone. The Kocabaş skull seems to point to a different evolutionary history than that of the Dmanisi fossils, and could reflect a later “out-of-Africa” expansion.

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