Véra Eisenmann

Oum Qatafa, Introduction

Tuesday 27 March 2012 by Véra Eisenmann

The cave of Oum Qatafa, situated South-East of Jerusalem, was excavated by Neuville (1931). Vaufey (in Neuvile 1931) studied the fauna. Part of the material is said to be preserved at the Institut de Paléontologie Humaine in Paris but I was not able to trace it.

Stratigraphy
- Layer A, Eneolithic, blach earth, extant fauna, hearths
- Bronze in A2
- Layer B
Clay, grey limestone, Rodents
- Layer C
Clay, brown limestone, Rodents
- Layer D
Light brown clay
- D1, Paleolitic (cf. La Micoque), numerous bones
- D2, Stalactites
- Layer E
Upper Acheulean, silts yellow-green, no hearths, rich fauna, cold and humid.

A distal part of a left tibia, a left calcaneum, and a left talus were found in layer E2. From the same layer come a lower and upper dP4 both almost unworn. Excluding an upper (?) decidual incisor with infundibulum from E2/3, all these fossils have large dimensions. The talus is similar by size and proprtions to those of Gomboré II (Melka Kunturé, Ethiopia).

The teeth coming from layer D belonged probably to a smaller Equus. The lower molar germs OK 14 and OK 15, probably associated, were sectioned at mid-height; unlike in modern Asses, ectoflexids are deep.
Three specimens are very small: the upper molar OK 13, and the fragmentary uppers OK 11 and OK 12; they may be referred to E. cf. hydruntinus.

A beutiful upper premolar, OK 5, is similar to those of E. melkiensis, a fossil Ass (Eisenmann 2006). Unfortunately there is no information on its layer of origin.

References

151.Pliocene and Pleistocene Equids: Paleontology versus Molecular Biology.

Neuville R. 1931. L’Acheuléen supérieur de la grotte d’Oum Qatafa (Palestine). L’Anthroplogie, XLI.


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