Modern human teeth from Late Pleistocene Luna Cave (Guangxi, China)
We present two previously unreported hominin permanent teeth [one right upper second molar (M2), one left lower second molar (m2)] from Lunadong (“dong” = “cave”), Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. The teeth are important because: 1) they were found in situ; 2) at least one (M2) can be confidently assigned to modern Homo sapiens, while the other (m2) is likely modern H. sapiens; and 3) the teeth can be securely dated between 126.9 ± 1.5 ka and 70.2 ± 1.4 ka, based on multiple MC-ICP-MS uranium-series dates of associated flowstones in clear stratigraphic context. The Lunadong modernH. sapiens teeth contribute to growing evidence (e.g., Callao Cave, Huanglongdong, Zhirendong) that modern and/or transitional humans were likely in eastern Asia between the crucial 120–50 ka time span, a period that some researchers have suggested no hominins were present in the region.