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Earliest Indonesian facial and dental remains from Sangiran, Java: a description of Sangiran 27

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Abstract

Sangiran 27 represents the only facial skeleton of Homo erectus so far known, and is thought to have derived from the earliest Pleistocene sediments of the Sangiran Formation, Java. We here describe in detail this cranial specimen, and provide comparisons with broadly contemporaneous fossils of western Asia and Africa. Sangiran 27 is a highly mineralized partial cranium with a well-preserved postcanine maxillary dentition, and includes portions of the face and anterior vault that have undergone substantial postmortem crushing and deformation. We consider that the 40Ar/39Ar dates on bracketing tuffs provide an age estimate of between 1.58 and 1.66 Ma for the cranium, making it highly relevant to the identity and adaptations of the earliest hominids dispersing from Africa. Based on anatomical comparisons, Sangiran 27 is best considered a member of H. erectus. However, Sangiran 27 exhibits a more robust morphology than the broadly contemporaneous fossils from Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia and Turkana region, Kenya, while it shares some dental similarities with the Dmanisi 2282 specimen.<br>

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