Locomotion and body proportions of the Saint-Césaire 1 Châtelperronian Neandertal

Erik Trinkaus, Christopher B. Ruff, Steven E. Churchill, Bernard Vandermeersch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The initial Upper Paleolithic (Châtelperronian) of western Europe was associated with late European Neandertals, best known through the Saint-Césaire 1 partial skeleton. Biomechanical cross-sectional analysis of the Saint-Césaire 1 femoral diaphysis at the subtrochanteric and midshaft levels, given the plasticity of mammalian diaphyseal cortical bone, provides insights into the habitual levels and patterns of loading on the lower limbs from body mass, proportions, and locomotion. The overall robustnesses of the femoral diaphyses of European Neandertals and early modern humans are similar once contrasts in body proportions are incorporated into the body size scaling. Saint-Césaire 1 matches these samples only if it is provided with Neandertallike hyperarctic body proportions. And the rounded proximal femoral diaphysis of Saint-Césaire 1 is similar to those of earlier Neandertals, likely also reflecting similar cold-adapted broad pelvic regions. However, although morphologically similar to those of archaic Homo, the Saint-Césaire 1 femoral midshaft exhibits the anteroposterior reinforcement characteristic of early modern humans. Consequently, Saint-Césaire 1 appears as a morphological Neandertal with hyperarctic body proportions who nonetheless had shifted locomotor patterns to more closely resemble those of other Upper Paleolithic humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5836-5840
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 12 1998


  • Biomechanics
  • Early modern humans
  • Postcrania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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