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The partial skeletons


Ward, Carol V; Haeusler, Martin; Zipfel, Bernhard (2020). The partial skeletons. In: Zipfel, Bernhard; Richmond, Brian; Ward, Carol. Hominin Postcranial Remains from Sterkfontein, South Africa, 1936-1995. Oxford: Oxford Scholarship Online, 33-36.

Abstract

<p>Sterkfontein is notable not only for its wealth of isolated bones but also for the fortuitous preservation of two partial skeletons, both attributed to <italic>Australopithecus africanus</italic>, Sts 14 and StW 431 from Member 4. This short chapter reviews the history of recovery and preservation of these skeletons. Sts 14 was the first partial skeleton of any australopith ever found, including 19 associated bones recovered in a single block of breccia in 1947. The skeleton was too fragile to be removed by mechanical preparation techniques, so was only removed from the block using acid preparation in the late 1960s. Additional rib fragments were only recently identified and accessioned with this skeleton. StW 431 was recovered in 1987, with four additional elements identified and published in 2003. Although this skeleton did not derive from a single block of breccia, their proximity within the sediments and similar preservation indicate that these bones are associated. Given the small size of Sts 14 and compared to the much larger size of StW 431, they are likely female and male individuals respectively. Subsequent chapters describe individual skeletal elements by anatomical region.</p>

Abstract

<p>Sterkfontein is notable not only for its wealth of isolated bones but also for the fortuitous preservation of two partial skeletons, both attributed to <italic>Australopithecus africanus</italic>, Sts 14 and StW 431 from Member 4. This short chapter reviews the history of recovery and preservation of these skeletons. Sts 14 was the first partial skeleton of any australopith ever found, including 19 associated bones recovered in a single block of breccia in 1947. The skeleton was too fragile to be removed by mechanical preparation techniques, so was only removed from the block using acid preparation in the late 1960s. Additional rib fragments were only recently identified and accessioned with this skeleton. StW 431 was recovered in 1987, with four additional elements identified and published in 2003. Although this skeleton did not derive from a single block of breccia, their proximity within the sediments and similar preservation indicate that these bones are associated. Given the small size of Sts 14 and compared to the much larger size of StW 431, they are likely female and male individuals respectively. Subsequent chapters describe individual skeletal elements by anatomical region.</p>

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Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2 April 2020
Deposited On:16 Nov 2020 16:31
Last Modified:16 Nov 2020 16:44
Publisher:Oxford Scholarship Online
ISBN:9780197507667
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780197507667.003.0004

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