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1erasmus

Need Some Help Identifying Fossil Hominin Skulls

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1erasmus

Short Story

I am photographing and cataloging fossil hominin skulls for my college, and I need some help identifying some of the unlabelled casts. I can generally get the species, but I am trying to narrow it down to a specific specimen that the model/cast is based on.

Long Story

I'm doing an independant study course at college, part of which is to photograph and catalogue all of the fossil hominin skull casts. It's the usual assemblage of Australopithecus through to H. erectus, Neanderthals and then Homo sapiens. However, a lot of the casts are very old and not that accurate, and most aren't labelled. I can generally get the species without too much of a problem, but I am trying to work out the specific fossil specimen the cast is based on, if it is based on a particular one. Also, the college does have some weird and outdated information. They classify the Paranthropus species as Robust Australopithecines, and all they Homo heidelbergensis are called Archaic Homo sapiens.

I have taken all the photos, and am sorting through and creating the database. My first step is to label all the photos, export them to a simple folder database. Each photo is titled with the species, fossil catalogue name, nickname, then view. So for example: Au. africanus STS 5 "Mrs Ples" Anterior.jpg.

Then I am creating a database of each cast, with all the relevant info (age, location, date found, brain capacity, etc). I am doing this with Bento software, but I plan to export from there to excel, or for whatever software the professors will use.

After all of that, what I need is some help with working out which skull is which, particularly trying to figure out exactly which one eg. KNM-ER 1813 or whatever. There are a few, I'll post them up one at a time.

Thanks in advance.

Mystery Skull Number 1

It's certainly H. erectus, but I'm not certain if it's meant to be of a specific individual or just a general representation. I have seen a reconstruction composed of several of the remains found at Zhoukadian, so I wonder if it is one of those. Or perhaps Peking Man?

post-14097-0-19996100-1394989833_thumb.jpg

post-14097-0-44258200-1394989839_thumb.jpg

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Tethys

My thoughts are male, asian, who did that dental reconstruction, and what is up with the mandible?

Paranthropus skulls? Oh please share, I love looking at their teeth.

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Tethys

This H. erectus is the closest match to your cast. He has a pretty severe cross bite because H. orthodontistia hadn't evolved yet.

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1erasmus

Thanks for the resources, I've been using the Smithsonian website a lot (I'm actually a docent at the Hall of Human Origins here in DC), and I can't find anything that seems close enough for me to confidently call it. I'll just label it as general Homo erectus. But it's definitely not the best of casts.

My thoughts are male, asian, who did that dental reconstruction, and what is up with the mandible?

Paranthropus skulls? Oh please share, I love looking at their teeth.

I'll stick up some of the picks of the P. robustus and P. aethiopicus pics I have up, unfortunately the P. boisei cast they have is pretty rubbish.

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Tethys

I've never tried to plaster cast an entire skull, but I've made many thousand dentition models, The H. erectus study skull I linked to would be particularly difficult to pull from an impression without breaking off the teeth. It looks like there was some glueing involved in the creation of your cast.

I look foreward to more photos, thanks!

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1erasmus

Mystery Skull 2

Not really a mystery, I know that it is supposed to be a male Australopithecus afarensis, but I am not sure if it is supposed to be a (not particularly good) replica of the AL 444-2 skull or not. I am tempted to just label it as a male Au. afarensis and leave it at that.

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post-14097-0-87348900-1395019531_thumb.jpg

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1erasmus

Mystery Skull 3

One last post before I go to bed, and in case anyone is still reading this. This one I have been struggling with for a while. I think it's a Neanderthal, but can't find anything that quite matches it. Closest I got is this one, but I'm not particularly confident in that.

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A large part of this for me is learning the different aspects of the skulls, so forgive me if I am posting into the nothingness of an abandoned thread, but I am enjoying this project immensely.

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