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The composition of a Neandertal social group revealed by the hominin footprints at Le Rozel (Normandy, France)

Abstract : Footprints represent a unique snapshot of hominin life. They provide information on the size and composition of groups that differs from osteological and archeological remains, whose contemporaneity is difficult to establish. We report here on the discovery of 257 footprints dated to 80,000 y from the Paleolithic site at Le Rozel (Normandy, France), which represent the largest known Neander-tal ichnological assemblage to date. We investigate the size and composition of a track-maker group from this large set by developing a morphometric method based on experimental footprints. Our analyses indicate that the footprints were made by a small group comprising different age classes, from early childhood to adult, with a majority of children. The Le Rozel footprints thus provide direct evidence for the size and composition of a Neandertal social group. footprints | Neandertals | Le Rozel | morphometry | group composition
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Jérémy Duveau, Gilles Berillon, Christine Verna, Gilles Laisné, Dominique Cliquet. The composition of a Neandertal social group revealed by the hominin footprints at Le Rozel (Normandy, France). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , National Academy of Sciences, 2019, 116 (39), pp.19409-19414. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1901789116⟩. ⟨mnhn-02283707⟩

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