The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Skhul V segmentation and Broca’s region asymmetries in Neandertal endocasts


1Anthropology, Indiana University, 2Anthropology, Columbia University

Saturday 9:00-9:15, Ballroom C Add to calendar

One of the endocranial hallmarks of modern Homo sapiens are observable asymmetries over Broca’s regions (BA 44, 45, 47) of the brain that are presumed to be related to motor aspects of speech production and language. CT scans and segmentation procedures have made it possible to quantitatively measure asymmetries of these regions in fossil hominins. Here we demonstrate the patterns of asymmetries in the endocasts of La Chapelle-aux-Saints, La Ferrassie, La Quina, Saccopastore, as well as the Middle Eastern Skhul V endocast from Mt Carmel, Israel, which has not been shown before. The Skhul V endocast shows a left-handed association of petalial features, and a right Broca’s cap prominence. The French and Italian Neandertals demonstrate a different endocranial shape, and a mix of right and left-handed petalial associations, as well as asymmetry of the Broca’s cap region. These observations are consistent with the view that Neandertals from both Europe and the Middle East had brains very similarly organized as those of modern Homo sapiens.

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