The Bau de l'Aubesier has yielded two series of human remains. From the Late Pleistocene Middle Paleolithic level IV, there are eight isolated deciduous and permanent teeth, which derive from Neandertals (12-15). These teeth are notable relative to other Neandertals by the modest dimensions of the permanent teeth, their dearth of hypoplastic lesions, and the presence of caries on two of them. The second series consists of two isolated teeth (Aubesier 4 and 10) and a mature mandible (Aubesier 11) from the Middle Pleistocene layers K-1, I-3, and I-2, respectively. It is these latter remains that are of concern here.
Aubesier 4 consists of most of the crown and root of a moderately worn left I2, and Aubesier 10 is a slightly worn right M1 or M2 with minimal marginal postmortem erosion (Fig. 2). The Aubesier 11 mandible (Figs. 3-5) is largely complete from the left C1 alveolus to the right condylar margins, but it has lost most of the coronoid process and sustained minor damage to the symphysis and the right gonial region. There is little damage to the alveoli or the remainder of the corpus; the only teeth remaining are the apices of the right C1 and P3 roots.
Based on dental wear compared with other Neandertal lineage specimens, it is likely that Aubesier 4 and 10 represent prime age adults. The age at death of Aubesier 11, although fully mature, is less certain; the advanced tooth loss and alveolar lesions, if associated with extensive antemortem dental attrition, could indicate an advanced age at death.
The Aubesier 4, 10, and 11 remains are compared principally to those of northwestern Old World (European and Near Eastern) temporal groups of archaic Homo. These have been divided into three temporal samples, during which the Neandertal morphological pattern emerged in this region. The first consists of remains between 500 and 300 ka B.P., the second of remains from between 300 and 100 ka B.P., and the third of Neandertals between 100 and 28 ka B.P. The first two samples are dominated by the large samples from Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos (AT-SH) and Krapina respectively. Limited additional data are included for African Middle Pleistocene mandibles. Mandibular comparisons are limited to late adolescent and mature specimens.