Iwo Eleru's place among Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene populations of North and East Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Iwo Eleru site in Nigeria preserves the only terminal Pleistocene fossil from tropical West Africa. The peoples of this region contributed to significant population movements throughout the continent during the Holocene. As such, characterizing the phenotype of Late Pleistocene West African populations is critical for disentangling the evolutionary signatures of a highly complex African population history and structure. Previous research approached the calvaria's morphology from a paleoanthropological perspective, noting its mosaic of archaic and modern neurocranial features and distinctiveness from Pleistocene fossil taxa and contemporary modern human samples. In this paper, I compare Iwo Eleru with contemporary Late Pleistocene Africans and also consider the specimen's affinities with Holocene populations of the central and western Sahara, Nile Valley, and East Africa. Craniometric data were recorded for 22 neurocranial dimensions and subjected to principal components analysis and Mahalanobis distance estimation. Multidimensional scaling of distances indicated that Iwo Eleru fell outside the observed range of variation of other terminal Pleistocene supra-equatorial African populations, confirming previous results that documented its divergence from Neanderthals, Upper Paleolithic Europeans, and modern Africans. The calvaria was also distinct from Holocene Saharan, Nile Valley, and East African populations, which suggests limited West African input into the Sahara during the African Humid Period. Results presented here bolster previous research that suggested Iwo Eleru's anatomy reflected either admixture with archaic humans or the long-term survival of populations with more archaic neurocranial anatomy until the end of the Pleistocene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-89
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume75
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Fingerprint

North Africa
East Africa
Northern Africa
Eastern Africa
Holocene
Pleistocene
anatomy
Western Sahara
fossil
Neanderthal
valleys
fossils
valley
multidimensional scaling
Paleolithic
West Africa
population development
divergence
Nigeria
Early Holocene

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Craniometrics
  • Human variation
  • Population history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Education

Cite this

@article{7307f18abd594b468a62fbdb91de14ae,
title = "Iwo Eleru's place among Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene populations of North and East Africa",
abstract = "The Iwo Eleru site in Nigeria preserves the only terminal Pleistocene fossil from tropical West Africa. The peoples of this region contributed to significant population movements throughout the continent during the Holocene. As such, characterizing the phenotype of Late Pleistocene West African populations is critical for disentangling the evolutionary signatures of a highly complex African population history and structure. Previous research approached the calvaria's morphology from a paleoanthropological perspective, noting its mosaic of archaic and modern neurocranial features and distinctiveness from Pleistocene fossil taxa and contemporary modern human samples. In this paper, I compare Iwo Eleru with contemporary Late Pleistocene Africans and also consider the specimen's affinities with Holocene populations of the central and western Sahara, Nile Valley, and East Africa. Craniometric data were recorded for 22 neurocranial dimensions and subjected to principal components analysis and Mahalanobis distance estimation. Multidimensional scaling of distances indicated that Iwo Eleru fell outside the observed range of variation of other terminal Pleistocene supra-equatorial African populations, confirming previous results that documented its divergence from Neanderthals, Upper Paleolithic Europeans, and modern Africans. The calvaria was also distinct from Holocene Saharan, Nile Valley, and East African populations, which suggests limited West African input into the Sahara during the African Humid Period. Results presented here bolster previous research that suggested Iwo Eleru's anatomy reflected either admixture with archaic humans or the long-term survival of populations with more archaic neurocranial anatomy until the end of the Pleistocene.",
keywords = "Africa, Craniometrics, Human variation, Population history",
author = "Christopher Stojanowski",
year = "2014",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.02.018",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "75",
pages = "80--89",
journal = "Journal of Human Evolution",
issn = "0047-2484",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Iwo Eleru's place among Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene populations of North and East Africa

AU - Stojanowski, Christopher

PY - 2014/10/1

Y1 - 2014/10/1

N2 - The Iwo Eleru site in Nigeria preserves the only terminal Pleistocene fossil from tropical West Africa. The peoples of this region contributed to significant population movements throughout the continent during the Holocene. As such, characterizing the phenotype of Late Pleistocene West African populations is critical for disentangling the evolutionary signatures of a highly complex African population history and structure. Previous research approached the calvaria's morphology from a paleoanthropological perspective, noting its mosaic of archaic and modern neurocranial features and distinctiveness from Pleistocene fossil taxa and contemporary modern human samples. In this paper, I compare Iwo Eleru with contemporary Late Pleistocene Africans and also consider the specimen's affinities with Holocene populations of the central and western Sahara, Nile Valley, and East Africa. Craniometric data were recorded for 22 neurocranial dimensions and subjected to principal components analysis and Mahalanobis distance estimation. Multidimensional scaling of distances indicated that Iwo Eleru fell outside the observed range of variation of other terminal Pleistocene supra-equatorial African populations, confirming previous results that documented its divergence from Neanderthals, Upper Paleolithic Europeans, and modern Africans. The calvaria was also distinct from Holocene Saharan, Nile Valley, and East African populations, which suggests limited West African input into the Sahara during the African Humid Period. Results presented here bolster previous research that suggested Iwo Eleru's anatomy reflected either admixture with archaic humans or the long-term survival of populations with more archaic neurocranial anatomy until the end of the Pleistocene.

AB - The Iwo Eleru site in Nigeria preserves the only terminal Pleistocene fossil from tropical West Africa. The peoples of this region contributed to significant population movements throughout the continent during the Holocene. As such, characterizing the phenotype of Late Pleistocene West African populations is critical for disentangling the evolutionary signatures of a highly complex African population history and structure. Previous research approached the calvaria's morphology from a paleoanthropological perspective, noting its mosaic of archaic and modern neurocranial features and distinctiveness from Pleistocene fossil taxa and contemporary modern human samples. In this paper, I compare Iwo Eleru with contemporary Late Pleistocene Africans and also consider the specimen's affinities with Holocene populations of the central and western Sahara, Nile Valley, and East Africa. Craniometric data were recorded for 22 neurocranial dimensions and subjected to principal components analysis and Mahalanobis distance estimation. Multidimensional scaling of distances indicated that Iwo Eleru fell outside the observed range of variation of other terminal Pleistocene supra-equatorial African populations, confirming previous results that documented its divergence from Neanderthals, Upper Paleolithic Europeans, and modern Africans. The calvaria was also distinct from Holocene Saharan, Nile Valley, and East African populations, which suggests limited West African input into the Sahara during the African Humid Period. Results presented here bolster previous research that suggested Iwo Eleru's anatomy reflected either admixture with archaic humans or the long-term survival of populations with more archaic neurocranial anatomy until the end of the Pleistocene.

KW - Africa

KW - Craniometrics

KW - Human variation

KW - Population history

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84907299347&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84907299347&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.02.018

DO - 10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.02.018

M3 - Article

C2 - 25065342

AN - SCOPUS:84907299347

VL - 75

SP - 80

EP - 89

JO - Journal of Human Evolution

JF - Journal of Human Evolution

SN - 0047-2484

ER -