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The Upper Paleolithic fossils of the Mladec caves, South Moravia, excavated at the end of the 19th century, hold a key position in the current discussion on modern human emergence within Europe and the fate of the Neanderthals. Although undoubtedly early modern humans - recently radio carbon dated to 31.000 years BP - their morphological variability and the presence of archaic features are indicative to some degree of regional Neanderthal ancestry. The beautifully illustrated monograph addresses - for the first time - the complete assemblage of the finds, including the human cranial, post cranial, teeth and jaw fragments of several individuals (most of them stored at the Natural History Museum Vienna) as well as the faunal remains and the archaeological objects. Leading scientists present their results, obtained with innovative techniques such as DNA analysis, 3D-morphometry and isotope analysis, which are of great importance for further discussions on both human evolution and archaeological issues.
From the contents: Szombathie's excavations in the Mladec Cave and the first presentations of the results. In search of prototypes ? historical soft-tissue reconstructions of Mladec 1.- The structure of the cave, stratigraphy, and depositional context.- The Upper Paleolithic finds from the Mladec Cave.- Taphonomic aspects of the human remains from the Mladec Caves.- Inventory and photo-documentation of the Mladec hominid remains.- Aurignacian male crania, jaws and teeth from the Mladec Caves, Moravia, Czech Republic.- Aurignacian female crania and teeth from the Mladec Caves, Moravia, Czech Republic.- Electronic segmentation methods reveal the preservation status and otherwise unobservable features of the Mladec I cranium.- The Mladec 3 infant.- The human postcranial remains from Mladec.- Lost, destroyed or misidentified postcranial specimens from Mladec.- External geometry of Mladec neurocrania compared with anatomically modern humans and Neandertals.- Pathological alterations and traumas in the human skeletal remains from Mladec.- No evidence of Neandertal mtDNA contribution to early modern humans.-