Wednesday, March 15, 2023
HomeArchaeologyAncient Human Remains A The Sima De Los Huesos Site Investigated

Ancient Human Remains A The Sima De Los Huesos Site Investigated

Conny Waters – – The Atapuerca Research Team (EIA) participated in a paper led by the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) that presents a taphonomic evaluation of the bone alterations within the skeletons of greater than 29 people discovered on the Sima de los Huesos website (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos), which confirms that carnivores didn’t take part within the accumulation of those human stays.

Credit: CENIEH

The authors of this paper, revealed within the journal The Anatomical Record, have analyzed the postcranial components, that’s, from the neck down, of the human stays recovered from this cave, to evaluate intimately the bone modifications noticed in these people from the Sima de los Huesos.

The wonderful state of conservation of the anatomical components that might be consumed by carnivores, along with the patterns of bone modification, have definitively dominated out the intervention of those animals within the transport and accumulation of human our bodies contained in the cave, with their exercise being relegated to sporadic scavenging, “in all probability by bears that fell into the cavity accidentally,” says Nohemi Sala, the lead creator of this new research.

The Sima de los Huesos fossils have been affected by postmortem modification processes typical of cave interiors, akin to fracturing attributable to sediment stress, precipitation of minerals akin to oxides of manganese or calcium carbonate crusts, and minor rodent exercise.

The outcomes obtained corroborate earlier analysis akin to that offered a 12 months in the past concerning the cranial stays from the positioning, and so they have helped underpin sure interpretations of the taphonomic processes, that are the bodily, chemical, and organic ones, that affected these hominins between loss of life and the second they have been discovered.


Just as for the cranium components, the principle fracturing of the postcranial bones occurred lengthy after these people’ deaths, when the cadavers now not had tender tissues and the bones have been “dry.” However, it’s doubtless {that a} small proportion of the fractures occurred at a second near loss of life, one thing technically referred to as a perimortem fracture, in contemporary bone.

Unlike the cranium components, by which it was attainable to ascertain the causes of sure perimortem fractures, within the postcranial skeleton it was not attainable to determine whether or not the few fractures in contemporary bone have been attributable to accidents, acts of violence, or the autumn of the our bodies via the chimney that offers entry to the positioning. “In reality, we now have not discovered defensive fractures in, as an illustration, the ulnas, which might have been associated to the instances of violence documented within the skulls,” explains Sala.

Time capsule

Thousands of bones have been recovered from the Sima de los Huesos cave, because of the fixed circumstances of temperature and humidity within the cavity over the past half-million years. These circumstances have nurtured the distinctive state of preservation of the fossils recovered since 1970, together with probably the most fragile skeletal components of those hominins. “This spot has acted as a time capsule, whose geological traits have partnered with the fossil document,” provides Sala.

The research was revealed in The Anatomical Record

Written by Conny Waters – Staff Writer


Most Popular

Recent Comments