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African Archaeological Review

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 511–523 | Cite as

The Fossil Human from Rabat-Kébibat (Morocco): Comparative Study of the Cranial and Mandibular Fragments

  • Aicha Oujaa
  • Julie Arnaud
  • Morgane Bardey-Vaillant
  • Dominique Grimaud-Hervé
Original Article

Abstract

As part of the geological and chronological recontextualization of the Rabat-Kébibat quarry performed by a Franco-Moroccan team of geologists, the human remains discovered in the site and already published were reassessed. The human remains assemblage is composed of 23 cranial fragments, a mandible (including on the right I1, P3, P4, the roots of M1, M2, and M3, and of the left I1, I2, C, P3, P4, and M1), and the left half of the maxillary (including I1, I2, P3, P4, M1, and M2). Through a micro-computerized tomography analysis, the internal structure of the parietal fragment (evaluation of the thickness of the compact table and diploe) and the mandible was examined. Geometric morphometrics were applied on the tridimensional model of the mandible to investigate the conformation of the symphyseal outlines. Results were compared to a large reference collection composed of African, Asiatic, and European hominin fossils, from different chronological range. Our results allow us to clarify the phylogenetic position of the human remains from Rabat-Kebibat, in particular their relationship with other North African hominins.

Keywords

Kebibat Human fossils Internal bone structures Phylogenetic position 

Résumé

Dans le cadre de la recontextualisation géologique et chronologique de la carrière de Rabat-Kébibat par une équipe marocco-française de géologues, les restes humains : 23 fragments crâniens, une mandibule (comprenant à droite I1, P3, P4, les racines des M1 et M2, M3 et à gauche I1, I2, C, P3, P4 et M1) et la moitié gauche du maxillaire comprenant I1, I2, P3, P4, M1 et M2, découverts dans le site et déjà publiés ont fait l’objet de nouvelles investigations. Une analyse microtomographique a permis de mettre en évidence les structures internes de ces restes humains. Ainsi, la composition de la structure interne des fragments crâniens pariétaux (tables compactes et diploé) est analysée, leur épaisseur évaluée, ainsi que celles de la mandibule. Cette analyse est complétée par une étude morpho-géométrique du contour symphysaire de la mandibule de Rabat Kébibat à partir du modèle tridimensionnel. Les résultats obtenus par ces analyses complémentaires sont comparés à un vaste échantillon de référence d’homininés fossiles africains, asiatiques et européens. La position phylogénétique des restes de Rabat-Kébibat peut ainsi être précisée, en particulier par rapport aux autres homininés d’Afrique du Nord.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, the Pr. De Lumley, and the MNHN collections managers for access to the original human remains from Rabat-Kébibat, as well as the reference collection. We would like to thank the Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAfA), the editor of the proceedings, and the two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments.

Funding Information

The research was funded by CNRS-CNRST. A part of the reference collection was study thanks to the support from SYNTHESYS Project http://www.SYNTHESYS.info/ which is financed byEuropean Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 Integrating Activities Programme.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10437_2017_9278_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
SI-Table 1 List of reference material used for the comparison of Rabat-Kébibat mandible (DOCX 15 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du PatrimoineRabatMorocco
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sezione di Scienze Preistoriche e AntropologicheUniversità degli Studi di FerraraFerraraItaly
  3. 3.UMR 7194-HNHP-MNHN-Département Homme EnvironnementMusée de l’HommeParisFrance

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