The TD6-2 level of the Gran Dolina cave site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) has yielded an assemblage of about 170 human fossil remains dated to > 800 ka (probably MIS 21) and assigned to the species Homo antecessor. In this study, we describe for the first time a large portion of a parietal bone (ATD6-100/168). The morphology of the fractures on the bones is compatible with a peri-mortem trauma. The superior parietal areas are flat. There is a large parietal foramen and one smaller accessory parietal foramen. Middle meningeal vessels are not particularly developed, but they are distributed in both anterior and posterior districts, with the parietal vasculature originating from the posterior branch. The meningeal vessels show multiple minor connections with the pericranial and diploic vascular systems. The diploe is not particularly developed, and large diploic channels are not detected. The bone is thin when compared with adult fossil humans, and equivalent to juvenile values. All these characters suggest that the parietal ATD6-100/168 probably belonged to a juvenile individual, with plesiomorphic endocranial traits similar to those described for H. ergaster/erectus. The derived temporal, maxillary and dental traits in Homo antecessor and the primitive parietal morphology further point to distinct (mosaic) patterns of morphological evolution of face and braincase.
Late Early Pleistocene, Parietal bone, Cranial thickness, Craniovascular morphology