A morphometric analysis of maxillary molar crowns of Middle-Late Pleistocene hominins

Shara E. Bailey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This study explores the significance of shape differences in the maxillary first molar crowns of Neandertals and anatomically modern humans. It uses morphometric analysis to quantify these differences and to investigate how the orientation of major cusps, relative cusp base areas and occlusal polygon area influence crown shape. The aims of this study were to 1) quantify these data to test whether the tooth shapes of Neandertals and anatomically modern humans differ significantly and 2) to explore if either of the shapes is derived relative to earlier fossil hominins. Data were collected from digital occlusal photographs using image-processing software. Cusp angles, relative cusp base areas and occlusal polygon areas were measured on Neandertals (n = 15), contemporary modern humans (n = 62), Upper Paleolithic humans (n = 6), early anatomically modern humans (n = 3) and Homo erectus (n = 3). Univariate and multivariate statistical tests were used to evaluate the differences between contemporary modern humans and Neandertals, while the much sparser data sets from the other fossil samples were included primarily for comparison.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)183-198
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Human Evolution
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2004



    • Anatomically modern humans
    • Maxillary molars
    • Morphometrics
    • Neandertals
    • Postcanine dental morphology
    • Teeth

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Anthropology

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