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Research Article

Lakeside Cemeteries in the Sahara: 5000 Years of Holocene Population and Environmental Change

  • Paul C. Sereno mail,

    dinosaur@uchicago.edu

    Affiliation: Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

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  • Elena A. A. Garcea,

    Affiliation: Dipartimento di Filologia e Storia, University of Cassino, Cassino, Italy

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  • Hélène Jousse,

    Affiliation: Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Wien, Austria

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  • Christopher M. Stojanowski,

    Affiliation: School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America

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  • Jean-François Saliège,

    Affiliation: Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat Expérimentations et Approches Numériques, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

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  • Abdoulaye Maga,

    Affiliations: Direction de L'Education, Culture, Science et Technologie, Economic Community of West African States Commission, Abuja, Nigeria, Institut des Sciences Humaines, Université de Niamey, Niamey, République du Niger

    X
  • Oumarou A. Ide,

    Affiliation: Institut des Sciences Humaines, Université de Niamey, Niamey, République du Niger

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  • Kelly J. Knudson,

    Affiliation: School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America

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  • Anna Maria Mercuri,

    Affiliation: Dipartimento del Museo di Paleobiologia e dell'Orto Botanico, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

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  • Thomas W. Stafford Jr.,

    Affiliation: Stafford Research Laboratories, Inc., Lafayette, Colorado, United States of America

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  • Thomas G. Kaye,

    Affiliation: Burke Museum of Natural History, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America

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  • Carlo Giraudi,

    Affiliation: Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie, l'Energia e l'Ambiente, Rome, Italy

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  • Isabella Massamba N'siala,

    Affiliation: Dipartimento del Museo di Paleobiologia e dell'Orto Botanico, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

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  • Enzo Cocca,

    Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche, Antropologiche e Archeologiche dell'Antichità, University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Rome, Italy

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  • Hannah M. Moots,

    Affiliation: Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

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  • Didier B. Dutheil,

    Affiliation: Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, France

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  • Jeffrey P. Stivers

    Affiliation: Federal Way, Washington, United States of America

    Current address: North Bend, Washington, United States of America

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  • Published: August 14, 2008
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002995

Reader Comments (3)

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Fructured skulls?

Posted by amosor on 29 Aug 2008 at 12:01 GMT

All these skulls: "(D)-Skull of early Holocene adult male (as in C) . (E)-Skull of an early Holocene juvenile (G3B17b; ~7630 B.C.E; " are fragmentated. Why? The rest of the skeleton looks perfect.


Author's response:

BoraZivkovic replied to amosor on 31 Aug 2008 at 20:46 GMT

Good question. The skull caps (calvaria) of the skeletons are often the highest point and thus the first to appear during erosion. We spotted dozens of burials in this way. If you look at the two skulls you mention, there is a yellow area on the calvarium of the adult and a reddish area on the juvenile. These were exposed to sand blasting and sun.

When they become exposed, the skull parts break and deflate. We took great care in saving and reconstructing all pieces, because Gobero offers the rare opportunity for quantitative study of skull form. When we did need a little supporting epoxy, we left it a different color. When we sampled teeth for bioapatite 14C dating, we replaced the original with exact epoxy casts, so as not to dimiish the study of wear etc.

Thanks for your interest.

Paul Sereno