Archaeology Magazine

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Jaw Bone May Be From Modern Human/Neanderthal Hybrid

Friday, March 29, 2013

fetchObjectMONTI LESSINI, ITALY—Silvana Condemi of the University of Ai-Marseille and her colleagues claim that a jaw from the Riparo di Mezzena rock shelter in northern Italy is from the first-known Neanderthal/modern human hybrid. “From the morphology of the lower jaw, the face of the Mezzena individual would have looked somehow intermediate between classic Neanderthals, who had a rather receding lower jaw (no chin), and the modern humans, who present a projecting lower jaw with a strongly developed chin,” she said. Genetic analysis of the bone shows that the individual’s mitochondrial DNA was Neanderthal, indicating a Neanderthal mother. The team speculates that the individual’s father may have been an invading modern-human male that lived between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago.