Cro-Magnon and Qafzeh - Vive La Differences

Main Article Content

C. Loring Brace


The obligatory use of cooking by the Mousterian occupants of the north temperate zone relaxed the forces of selection maintaining archaic tooth size and led to the reductions that shaped modern human face form from the Middle East to the Atlantic coast. The delay in the spread of cooking techniques accounts for the later onset of dental reduction to the south. The development and use of projectiles in the African Middle Stone Age led to gracilization and the earlier appearance of "modern" post-cranial and reflected cranial form in Africa. The subsequent adoption of the use of projectiles elsewhere was followed by gracilization and the appearance of "modern" post-cranial morphology. The craniofacial form of Cro-Magnon allies it with the living populations of northwestern Europe, specifically with the fringes in Scandinavia and England, but not with the European continent. Qafzeh represents the pattern still found in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly West Africa. Although the craniofacial configuration in both is "modern," the dentition of Qafzeh is archaic in size and form. Qafzeh is a logical representative of the ancestral form for sub-Saharan Africans but not for Cro-Magnon and subsequent Europeans.