Minatogawa 1 is one of the rare well-preserved remains of Late Paleolithic Homo sapiens from East Asia, and is central to the investigation on the earlier phase of peopling in this region. In order to test the recent claim that the cranium and mandible of this specimen belong to different individuals, I re-examined its occlusion allowing for minor but significant distortion present in the original fossil specimen. It was confirmed that, when a correction is made for such a distortion, the maxillary and mandibular dentitions occlude perfectly in a normal Class I relation. Thus, the cranium and mandible of Minatogawa 1 no doubt belong to the same individual. A revised description on the state of tooth wear in Minatogawa 1 is also presented. No clear evidence of habitual non-masticatory oral activities is recognized, and the severe occlusal wear in this individual seems to result primarily from the nature of their foods and/or the food preparation techniques they used.
2007 The Anthropological Society of Nippon