Just a quick post to announce that the latest edition of Current Anthropology is now online, and here’s a list of the articles included…

Cori Hayden
A Generic Solution? Pharmaceuticals and the Politics of the Similar in Mexico

Carlos Fausto
Feasting on People: Eating Animals and Humans In Amazonia

Maria Gropas
The Repatriotization of Revolutionary Ideology
and Mnemonic Landscape in Present-Day Havana

Charles L. Briggs
Anthropology, Interviewing, and Communicability
in Contemporary Society

John Parkington/Judith Sealy
On Diet and Settlement in Holocene South Africa

Bruce Albert and François-Michel Le Tourneau
Ethnogeography and Resource Use among the Yanomami: Toward a Model of “Reticular Space”

Flora Lu
Integration into the Market among Indigenous Peoples: A Cross-Cultural Perspective from the Ecuadorian Amazon

Gregory S. Gullette
Migration and Tourism Development in Huatulco, Oaxaca

Andrei Soficaru, Catalin Petrea, Adrian Dobos, and Erik Trinkaus
The Human Cranium from the Pestera Cioclovina Uscata, Romania: Context, Age, Taphonomy, Morphology, and Paleopathology

All of which looks like a fairly impressive set of papers over an extensive range of topics, and although a subscription is required for full access, it’s not vastly expensive and gives very good value for money, especially as you also get access to at least 60 of the most recent issues dating back to Spring 1996.

One excellent feature is that in many of the presented papers, peers of the authors are invited to submit their own comments, and in some cases these can be just as illuminating as the papers themselves.

The paper that has caught my eye in thus issue is the last one mentioned in the list above, and concerns the research of Erik Trinkaus et al., discussing the possibility that cranial features in the specimen discussed display a mosaic of Neanderthal and modern features, which has prompted speculation that interbreeding between the two populations was occurring at various times in the Upper Palaeolithic of Romania, c. 30,000-36,000 bp. This interpretation would appear to lend support to suggestions that other hybridisation events were similarly occurring elsewhere in Europe, as evidenced by the find at Lagar Velho, Portugal, with the later date of 24,500 bp, where an ochred skeleton of a child showing strong traces of cranial and skeletal admixture between Neanderthal and moderns, were found. Anyway here’s the abstract to the paper by Trinkaus et al

Reanalysis and direct dating of an early modern human neurocranium from the Pestera Cioclovina Uscata (Cioclovina 1), in combination with excavation and reanalysis of the remaining deposits in the cave, establish Cioclovina 1 as one of a small number of European early modern humans securely dated prior to ca. 28,000 14C BP (ca. 32,500 cal BP). The original stratigraphic context and archeological association of Cioclovina 1 are unknown (and probably unknowable), but sedimentological analysis and dating of cave bear remains suggests substantial Late Pleistocene geological reworking of deposits within the cave, which probably altered its context prior to the mining operations which unearthed the neurocranium.

The otherwise excellent (if incomplete) preservation of Cioclovina 1 raises questions as to what, if any, human behaviors resulted in its burial within the Pestera Cioclovina Uscata. Lesions are limited to the minor exocranial traumatic changes common among Late Pleistocene humans. Morphologically, Cioclovina 1 presents a suite of distinctive, derived modern human neurocranial features, associated with aspects of the superior nuchal morphology best known for European Neandertals, a mosaic pattern increasingly in evidence among early modern humans in Europe.

Once I’ve read through the rest of this, plus another couple in this same issue, I’ll try and post something more in the way of comment. (TJ)

See also: 2003 – ‘Earliest Modern Humans In Europe Found‘, from which the image at top, skull from Pestera cu Oase, was taken.