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Ternifine

Home Base H. erectus Fossil Sites Ternifine

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  • #313

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Ternifine

    Site Type:
    Fossil Site
    Location:
    Algeria
    Name:
    Ternifine
    Alternative Name/s:
    Tighenif
    Palikao
    Coordinates:
    https://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=35.416667&mlon=0.333333&zoom=12#layers=M
    Notable Discoveries:
    Ternifine 1
    Ternifine 2
    Ternifine 3
    Ternifine 4

    Ternifine 1

    Site:
    Ternifine
    Species:
    H. erectus
    Year of Discovery:
    1954 [4]
    Discovered by:
    Camille Arambourg [4]
    Geological Age:
    700,000 BCE [1]
    Cultural Attribution:
    Lower Paleolithic – Acheulean [1]
    Developmental Age:

    Presumed Sex:
    Male [5]
    Preserved Skeletal Party:
    Mandible [1]
    Preservation:

    Preservation Details:

    Anatomical Description:

    Additional Notes:

    Ternifine 2

    Site:
    Ternifine
    Species:
    H. erectus
    Year of Discovery:
    1954 [3]
    Discovered by:
    Camille Arambourg [2][3]
    B. Hoffstetter [3]
    Geological Age:
    700,000 BCE [1][3]
    Cultural Attribution:
    Lower Paleolithic – Acheulean [1]
    Developmental Age:

    Presumed Sex:
    Female [5]
    Preserved Skeletal Party:
    Mandible [1]
    Preservation:

    Preservation Details:

    Anatomical Description:

    Additional Notes:

    Ternifine 3

    Site:
    Ternifine
    Species:
    H. erectus
    Year of Discovery:
    1954 [3][4]
    Discovered by:
    Camille Arambourg [2][3][4]
    B. Hoffstetter [3]
    Geological Age:
    700,000 BCE [1][3]
    Cultural Attribution:
    Lower Paleolithic – Acheulean [1]
    Developmental Age:

    Presumed Sex:
    Male [1][5]
    Preserved Skeletal Party:
    Mandible [1]
    Preservation:

    Preservation Details:

    Anatomical Description:

    Additional Notes:

     [2]

    Ternifine 4

    Site:
    Ternifine
    Species:
    H. erectus
    Year of Discovery:
    1955 [5]
    Discovered by:
    Camille Arambourg [2][3][4]
    B. Hoffstetter [3]
    Geological Age:
    700,000 BCE [1][3]
    Cultural Attribution:
    Lower Paleolithic – Acheulean [1]
    Developmental Age:

    Presumed Sex:

    Preserved Skeletal Party:
    Right parietal bone [5]
    Preservation:

    Preservation Details:

    Anatomical Description:

    Additional Notes:

    Sources:
    [1] – https://www.britannica.com/place/Ternifine
    [2] – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atlanthropus_mauritanicus.jpg
    [3] – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_evolution_fossils
    [4] – https://web.archive.org/web/20170215012111/http://archaeology.about.com/od/tterms/g/ternifine.htm
    [5] – ‘The Evolution of Homo Erectus – G. Philip Rightmire’

    #314

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atlanthropus_mauritanicus.jpg
    Author: José-Manuel Benito Álvarez


    #315

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: Unknown


    #316

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: The Evolution of Homo Erectus – G. Philip Rightmire






    #317

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: The Evolution of Homo Erectus – G. Philip Rightmire






    #318

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: The Evolution of Homo Erectus – G. Philip Rightmire




    #319

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: The Evolution of Homo Erectus – G. Philip Rightmire

    The Ternifine remains

    The first and second Ternifine mandibles were found in the course of excavations conducted in 1954. The third jaw and the parietal bone were picked up during the following field season. All of this material has been described by Arambourg (1963), who also provides some comparisons with other hominids.

    TERNIFINE I

    Although this mandible was badly cracked and broken when it was recovered, much of the original damage has been skillfully repaired.

    Portions of both rami are still missing. In the right corpus, numerous cracks remain. These have been filled, but in some areas small plates of surface bone have been displaced. There is more damage anteriorly, where the jaw has been broken just to the right of the midline. Here a good deal of bone is missing from the internal aspect of the symphysis. Reconstruction is generally good, but the right and left sides of the mandible have not been perfectly aligned. While the crowns of the anterior teeth are missing or badly damaged, the crowns of P3 to M3 are intact on each side (Table 18). The teeth are set in an arcade which is evenly rounded at the front. In occlusal view, the tooth row passes posteriorly across the long axis of the jaw, so that M2 and M3 are very close to the inner margin of the mandibular contour.

    In lateral view, upper and lower borders of the body are parallel, as in OH 22. Measurements confirm that the Algerian jaw is higher than OH 22 by several millimeters, but Ternifine 1 is similar in this dimension to OH 51 (see Tables 19 and 20). A striking feature is the lateral prominence, which is a well defined bulge extending down and forward from the junction of the anterior border of the ramus with the body. This prominence is somewhat stronger than in OH 22, and as a consequence, the entire jaw is also thicker at this level, below the position of M2. Anteriorly, the prominence is continued toward the mental foramen as a weak superior torus, which fades out below the premolars. Inferiorly, the marginal torus, which is said by Arambourg (1963) to be ‘remarkably developed’ in this individual, is in fact not much more pronounced than that of OH 22. There is definite localized swelling of the torus below P3 and also below M2, to produce anterior and posterior marginal tubercles. These tubercles contribute to a general thickening of the base, so that the inferior aspect of the jaw is broad and rounded, more resembling the base of OH 51 than that of OH 22. Anterior marginal tubercle development is still more exaggerated in OH 51, however.

    The symphyseal profiles of Ternifine 1 and OH 22 are quite similar. In the Ternifine fossil, the symphyseal face is smooth and rounded, and there is no suggestion of an incurvation or depression between the alveolar margin and the base. A mentum osseum as defined by Weidenreich is absent. On either side of the midline, there are regions of very faint depression situated anterior to the canine alveoli, as noted by Arambourg (1963). But true lateral (mental) tubercles are not formed, and Ternifine 1 appears to possess none of the components of a bony chin.

    In internal aspect, differences between the Algerian and East African mandibles are present, but not marked. The alveolar planum of Ternifine 1 is slightly hollowed in the region below the incisors but then curves evenly downward, without any noticeable interruption by a superior transverse torus. Arambourg (1963) does describe a lightly developed transverse crest or margo terminalis delimiting the alveolar plane inferiorly, and his account is followed by Tobias (1971a). But careful examination of the lingual symphyseal face does not bear this out, and there is little division of the planum from the region surrounding the ‘foramen supraspinosum’ below. Unfortunately the anatomy of the genial fossa and tubercles is largely destroyed. It is clear that a planum and superior transverse torus are less strongly developed than in OH 22. In its expression of these features, the Ternifine jaw seems more closely to resemble OH 23 or OH 51.

    On the internal surface of the body, the alveolar prominence is comparable in size and form to that of OH 22. This prominence curves back and upward, forming the medial limit to a relatively short retromolar space, before giving rise to a thick triangular torus. This torus and its division into endocoronoid and endocondyloid cristae is preserved for some distance on the internal aspect of the left ascending ramus. On this side and also on the right, much of the buccinator gutter is present, passing as a smooth channel outward between the anterior border of the ramus and the last two molar teeth. Width of the extramolar sulcus is 8mm on the left, 6mm on the right, at the level of M3.

    #320

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: The Evolution of Homo Erectus – G. Philip Rightmire

    TERNIFINE 2

    This specimen consists of the left half of a mandible, complete to a point slightly beyond the symphyseal midline. Sockets for all of the incisor teeth and the left canine are preserved but empty, while P3 to M3 are still in place. The body is generally in good condition, and a transverse fracture between MT and M2 has caused little loss of bone. Relatively more of the ramus is present than in the case of Ternifine 1. As Arambourg points out, this mandible is lighter in construction than the first. It is fully adult, but the unworn state of M3 suggests that this individual was somewhat younger. Dental dimensions are given in Table 18.

    Upper and lower borders of the body are parallel, as in the other jaws, while corpus height is close to that of OH 22 and OH 23. Ternifine 2 thus seems more comparable to the East African fossils in overall proportions, although the latter are substantially thicker and consequently more robust. A lateral prominence is less well defined than in the mandible of Ternifine 1 but stands out in as much or more relief than that of OH 22. Expression of the superior lateral torus and of the marginal torus is not remarkable. Small anterior and posterior tubercles locally accentuate the thickness of the base, but the inferior margin of the jaw is more lightly built than that of Ternifine 1. In basal view, the Ternifine 2 and OH 22 mandibles are similar, while OH 23 is still more gracile in appearance.

    At the symphysis, the profile is flat and receding rather than rounded, and depressions on either side of the midline are a little deeper than in Ternifine 1. Inferiorly, the bone between these depressions broadens to form a triangular eminence which corresponds to the mental trigone described for several of the Zhoukoudian mandibles by Weidenreich. This external profile is closely similar to that of OH 22. Unfortunately the Olduvai fossil is broken just at the midline, but enough of the bone remains to show that the symphysis is again flattened rather than convex. Components of a trigone are less clearly developed than in Ternifine 2, but differences are slight and shouldnot be emphasized.

    An alveolar planum is more extensive on the posterior symphyseal face of Ternifine 2 than in jaw 1. This surface is again slightly hollowed below the roots of the anterior teeth and is divided into two parts by a faint median crest. The planum slopes gently rearward to about the level of the septum between P3 and P4, and then drops more sharply downward. The rounded buttress marking the inferior margin of the alveolar surface may be termed a superior transverse torus (not quite so clearly defined as in OH 22, although the two jaws are again similar in symphyseal construction). Below the torus, there is an oval depression, roughened throughout. Just at the apex of this hollow, in the midline, there is a small foramen, while at the inferior border there is a sharp crest, oriented vertically and partly broken. From this spine, the symphyseal profile curves abruptly forward toward the base. Arambourg comments on the presence of an inferior transverse torus, but a definite lower buttress is not distinct. Digastric impressions are strongly marked, however, and these areas of muscular insertion face posteriorly as well as downward.

    Although the ramus is damaged, and some of the remaining sections are badly cracked and reconstructed, much of the coronoid process and even a part of the mandibular condyle are preserved. All of the angle is missing, and there is some bone lost from the alveolar prominence, where this curves back and upward to merge with the triangular torus. The prominence itself is sharply outlined, and its crest confines the retromolar fossa to a small area immediately behind M3. Width of the extramolar sulcus is only about 5mm. On the internal aspect of the ramus, the triangular torus is as heavily constructed as that of OH 22, and its posterior branch can be followed toward the broken condyle. Behind the torus, and just below its division into endocondyloid and endocoronoid cristae, part of the opening of the mandibular foramen is still filled with sandy matrix. Because the outer rim of this canal is broken, its exact form and that of the lingula cannot be determined.

    #321

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: The Evolution of Homo Erectus – G. Philip Rightmire

    TERNIFINE 3

    Ternifine 3 is the largest of the three mandibles. It is slightly higher in the body than jaw 1 and equally thick at the level of the first molar. Ramus dimensions cannot be compared directly, because of damage to Ternifine 1. In any case, mandible 3 is said by Arambourg to be male, because of its ‘robusticity’ and absolute dimensions, and in these respects it is closer to OH 51 than to other Olduvai individuals. The fossil is quite complete, although there has been considerable crushing of the right corpus. Both internal and external aspects of the body exhibit cracking, and there is an area of heavy reconstruction near the symphysis. The very worn right I2 and C appear to have been inserted into their sockets as part of this reconstructive effort. Both crowns now project well beyond the level of the posterior part of the tooth row, so occlusal relationships are not well preserved. Dental measurements are given in Table 18.

    In side view, the surface of the body is relatively smooth, and the superior lateral torus is only moderately developed. A clear intertoral sulcus can be traced from the level of M2 forward almost to the symphysis. A marginal torus is also present, although expression of the anterior and posterior marginal tubercles is less than in either of the other jaws. The base is thickened, but not to the degree seen in Ternifine 1. Anteriorly, the symphyseal face is flattened, much in the manner of jaw 2. While there is no incurvation of the bone below the alveolar margin, a slight median crest is formed, and this is expanded below to shape a mental trigone. As in the second mandible, the trigone is extended downward just in the midline to produce a basal eminence, flanked on each side by a marked depression following the line of digastric insertion. This mandibular incisure is not characteristic of Ternifine 1, nor does it appear to be prominent on OH 22. An upcurving of the base forward of the anterior marginal tubercle can be seen in OH 51, however, and this suggests that a similar incisure may be present. Unfortunately OH 51 is broken at the canine alveolus, and the symphyseal region is not preserved.

    The posterior aspect of the symphysis is slightly concave above, near the incisor roots, although the alveolar planum is not extensive and slopes downward more steeply than in Ternifine 2. Below the rounded superior transverse torus, a genioglossal fossa is deeply excavated (as is clear to the left of the midline where the bone is intact and has not been reconstructed). Much of the space within the fossa is occupied by a vertical crest, broadened below in the region of the mental spine(s). As is the case with the other jaws, an inferior torus is not prominent, although there is some swelling of the symphyseal wall well below and to one side of the genial structures.

    Arambourg remarks on the presence of a mandibular torus in Ternifine 3, and on the right alveolar border below M1 there is a definite tubercle. Other signs of torus formation are not distinct. However, the alveolar prominence is exceptionally well developed as it passes behind M3 onto the internal face of the ascending ramus. The triangular torus is also quite heavily constructed, and on both sides the lingula is prolonged superiorly to produce a pointed spine. Below and posterior to the mylohyoid groove, the inner aspect of the mandibular angle is roughened to mark insertion of m. pterygoideus medialis.

    The retromolar spaces are again restricted, and in lateral view the leading edge of the ramus rises so as to obscure the rearmost portion of the crown of the third molar tooth. Between the anterior border of the ramus and the triangular torus, the bone is flattened rather then deeply concave or gutter-like, and the extramolar sulcus is wide (8mm on the left, slightly less on the right). The coronoid processesare high and massive in construction, and the entire ramus is large by modern human standards.

    #322

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: The Evolution of Homo Erectus – G. Philip Rightmire

    TERNIFINE 4

    The Ternifine right parietal bone is remarkably complete and well preserved. Several cracks have been repaired, and distortion is not apparent. The borders approaching the thickened mastoid angle do show signs of weathering, while the lambdoid angle seems also to be damaged. According to Arambourg, some bone was lost from this part of the parietal prior to fossilization. This interpretation is probably correct, although the border in this region does show sutural indentations, even if these are not deeply impressed into the compact tables. It may be questioned whether a sutural ossicle was present. Otherwise, the parietal margins are intact.

    On the external surface, close to the sagittal suture, there is hollowing which suggests some heaping up of bone just in the midline. Such keeling could not have been pronounced. The temporal lines are clearly marked. Distance from the superior line to the sagittal border of the bone is minimally 53mm. Arambourg’s description of the division posteriorly to produce two lines is accurate. However, there is no formation of an angular torus. The depression between the superior and inferior lines is very faint, and there is no extension of a supramastoid sulcus (as an angular sulcus) onto the parietal. Although there are signs of weathering along the temporal border, this parietotemporal junction appears to have followed a straight course, as is common in Homo erectus.

    #620

    Story of Sapiens
    Keymaster

    Source: Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory: Second Edition

    Tighenif

    Open-air site of early Middle Pleistocene age (ca. 800-600 Ka) in Algeria, previously known as Ternifine or Palikao. It is known for three mandibles and a parietal fragment attributed to Homo cf. erectus and for assemblages of Acheulean handaxes and flaked pebbles, associated with abundant faunal remains. The artifact and fossil horizons are now submerged under lake waters.

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