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A MICRO COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY (X-RAY MICROSCOPY) OF THE HAND PHALANX OF THE DENISOVA GIRL

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Abstract

In 2010, the complete mitochondrial genome of a fossil hominin from Denisova Cave, Altai was sequenced on the basis of mtDNA extracted from the hand phalanx of a girl. Modern micro tomographic techniques mark a new stage in the morphological study of extant and fossil hominins, offering opportunities to work with fragmentary material. We have used the nondestructive method of micro computerized tomography for a comparative histological assessment of the Denisova girl’s biological age. The diaphyseal and metaphyseal parts of the phalanx, reflecting different ontogenetic stages, were undergoing rapid growth. The histological pattern of the walls of the diaphysis, specifically the lamellar structure with rare osteons, indicates a stage corresponding to 6–7 years in modern children. An altogether different pattern, resembling that of adults, was earlier observed in a Neanderthal child from Okladnikov Cave, Altai. The resemblance between the Denisova individual and extant humans in certain features of growth and skeletal maturation may point to the very early origin of the modern skeletal growth pattern. The Neanderthal pattern is quite distinct and may have originated after these hominins had branched off from the common stem.

About the Authors

M. B. Mednikova
Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dm. Ulyanova 19, Moscow, 117036, Russia
Russian Federation


M. V. Dobrovolskaya
Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dm. Ulyanova 19, Moscow, 117036, Russia
Russian Federation


B. Viola
Max-Planck-Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie, Abteilung für menschliche Evolution, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103, Leipzig, Deutschland
Germany


A. V. Lavrenyuk
LLC “Systems for Microscopy and Analysis,” Leninsky Pr. 42, Moscow, 119119, Russia
Russian Federation


P. R. Kazansky
LLC “Systems for Microscopy and Analysis,” Leninsky Pr. 42, Moscow, 119119, Russia
Russian Federation


V. Y. Shklover
LLC “Systems for Microscopy and Analysis,” Leninsky Pr. 42, Moscow, 119119, Russia
Russian Federation


M. V. Shunkov
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Russian Federation


A. P. Derevianko
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Mednikova M.B., Dobrovolskaya M.V., Viola B., Lavrenyuk A.V., Kazansky P.R., Shklover V.Y., Shunkov M.V., Derevianko A.P. A MICRO COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY (X-RAY MICROSCOPY) OF THE HAND PHALANX OF THE DENISOVA GIRL. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2013;55(3):120-125. (In Russ.)

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