Dynamic bone remodeling in Later Pleistocene fossil hominids

Stephen Abbott, Erik Trinkaus, David B. Burr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Histomorphometric analysis of femoral and tibial diaphyseal fragments from seven Late Archaic and three Early Modern humans are compared with those of the Pecos, a pre-Columbian Native American population. The ten samples, from Broken Hill (EM-793), Shanidar 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, Tabun 1, and Skhul 3, 6, and 7, provide age-at-death results consistent with earlier estimates for most individuals. The Pleistocene groups exhibit less bone turnover and smaller osteons than Recent populations. Resorption and formation were both coupled and balanced in these Pleistocene populations, but the overall vigor of individual cells from both the osteoclast and osteoblast cell lines was less than in Recent populations. Thus the greater bone mass in Later Pleistocene members of the genus Homo is not the result of higher levels of bone turnover, at least among adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-601
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1996


  • Aging
  • Bone remodeling
  • Histomorphometry
  • Neandertal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

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