The Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene hominin site (Burgos, Spain). Estimation of the number of individuals



Downloads per month over past year

Bermúdez de Castro, José María and Martínez Mendizábal, Ignacio and Gracia Téllez, Ana and Martinón Torres, María and Arsuaga, Juan Luis (2021) The Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene hominin site (Burgos, Spain). Estimation of the number of individuals. The Anatomical Record, 304 (7). pp. 1463-1477. ISSN 1932-8486

[thumbnail of The Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene hominin site(Burgos, Spain).pdf] PDF
Restringido a Repository staff only


Official URL:


After 34 years of research and findings in the Middle Pleistocene site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain), we present an update of the estimation of the number of individuals (ENI) identified in the SH hominin assemblage. The last ENI, published in 2004, was 28. Although the number of specimens recovered has almost doubled since then and more complete information is now available, this new analysis suggests that the ENI is 29. Some individuals are still represented by only one or a few teeth and the upper and lower jaws of various individuals have not been completed. We suggest that the amateur cavers, who accessed the SH site for years looking for bear fossils, destroyed a significant number of hominin fossils. Despite this, we have a good picture of the group of hominins represented in the SH assemblage. Because complete corpses were accumulated in SH and it is a closed cavity, it is expected that a significant number of hominin fossils remains to be discovered. According to the previous estimates, the representation of females is greater than that of males. However, the observed sex ratio is not significantly different from the 1:1 ratio. With the exception of the possible presence of a child individual, most of the remaining 28 individuals are teenagers or young adults (24/28 = 0.857). The ages of death of SH hominins appear to conform to a catastrophic profile.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:age at death, hominins, number of individuals, sex, Sierra de Atapuerca, Sima de los Huesos
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:69064
Deposited On:03 Dec 2021 18:04
Last Modified:13 Dec 2021 09:57

Origin of downloads

Repository Staff Only: item control page