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An adolescent female Neandertal mandible from Montgaudier Cave, Charente, France.

In 1974, an incomplete human mandible was discovered in the site of Montgaudier Cave, along the Tardoire (Charente), France. The mandible was found in association with stone tools and animal bones in geological deposits referable to the very end of the Middle Pleistocene or the beginning of the Upper Pleistocene. The mandible preserves much of the anterior part of the body and three permanent teeth: left lateral incisor, canine and first molar. Estimates based on tooth eruption of modern humans, as well as occlusal wear and root development, suggest an age at death of between 12.5 and 14.5 years. Morphologically, the fossil possesses features, such as a lack of a chin and multiple mental foramina, which have been observed on immature Neandertal mandibular specimens from Europe. Comparison with these immature European Neandertals indicates that the jaw and teeth of the Montgaudier mandible are small for its chronological age, suggesting it was that of a female.[1]


  1. An adolescent female Neandertal mandible from Montgaudier Cave, Charente, France. Mann, A., Vandermeersch, B. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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