A Mongolian hominid

Yves Coppens and colleagues have found a frontal bone, and a bit more, in Mongolia. They do not report a date for the specimen beyond Late Pleistocene; it comes from a pit dug for gold mining. The site is north of Zhoukoudian and other northern Chinese sites by several hundred kilometers, and is approximately the same latitude (though further east) as Okladnikov Cave (discussed in my interview with Mica Glantz). The place is called Salkhit.

They describe the anatomy of the specimen: it has a complete supraorbital torus, thicker in the superciliary area than laterally; a slight frontal keel, and an overall sloping profile. In other words, it looks to be generally archaic in morphology. Their metrical comparisons put it generally with Middle Pleistocene crania like Zhoukoudian, Steinheim, and Petralona.

(via Paleoanthro)


Coppens Y, Tseveendorj D, Demeter F, Turbat T, Giscard P-H. 2008. Discovery of an archaic Homo sapiens skullcap in Northeast Mongolia. Compte Rendus Palévol (in press) doi:10.1016/j.crpv.2007.12.004