Re: Age of Turkana H. erectus youth

Ralph L Holloway (
Wed, 12 Jul 1995 15:51:01 -0400

On 11 Jul 1995, Jim Foley wrote:

> In article
> <>,
> Ralph L Holloway <> wrote:
> >What bothers me about the poor Homo erectus youth WT 15000 is that it was
> >a youth of about 15-18 years old, and its spinal vertebrae had to have been
> Where does that age figure come from? Everything else I've read says he
> was about 11-12, if his teeth are judged by modern criteria, and there
> is some evidence that he matured somewhat faster than H. sapiens,
> putting his real age at 9. (Origins Rediscovered, Leakey and Lewin,
> 1992)

My apologies to everyone. Foley's point is well taken. The chapter
written by Holly Smith is a long and complicated one, and my post chose
the later skeletal age estimate. In her conclusions, she states"...If one
is convinced that Homo sapiens is the only appropriate model for growth
and development of Homo erectus, then KNM-WT 15000 was circa 11 years of
age at death, with a skeletal age of 13-13.5 years, and a stature more
appropriate to a 15-year-old..." p.219, Holly B. Smith The physiological
age of KNM-WT 15000. In:The Nariokotome Homo erectus Skeleton, Ed. by A.
Walker and Richard Leakey, 1993. Harvard Univ. Press.>
I personally believe his "real age at 9" is a bizarre guess.
Whatever, he lived for quite some time without suffocating... Ralph Holloway.