Cross-sectional geometric analysis of the early Middle Pleistocene human tibia from Boxgrove, West Sussex, U.K. reveals a mosaic pattern relative to other archaic Homo tibiae. The specimen has relatively low percent cortical area within its cross sections. However, it exhibits the high mediolateral strength characteristic of archaic Homo tibiae. Scaled solely to tibial length it is robust, similar to those of the Neandertals and above those of early modern and pre-Late Pleistocene African and Asian humans. However, given ecogeographically-patterned variance in relative tibial length and body laterality, it is most likely that it exhibits a level of robusticity within the range encompassed by Late Pliocene to Late Pleistocene archaic Homo combined with arctic body proportions. Given its association with late interglacial cool temperate climatic indicators, the inferred body proportions of the Boxgrove hominid were probably promoted by their minimal level of cultural buffering, requiring a significant biological conservation of body heat.
- Middle Pleistocene
- Thermal adaptation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics