Description of Parts of a Human Skeleton from Pleistocene (Paleolithic) Bed, Tilbury, Essex

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                                shaft, is continued narrower or sharper to the back and outer 
border of the outer condyle; and, though less produced on the inner branch,
to the inner condyle, is sufficiently so to give a flattened surface 
to the intervening triangular popliteal space. The inner surface of 
the proximal (upper) half or third of the shaft is divided into two facets 
by an obtuse low longitudinal prominence of the femoral wall. The entire 
shaft of the bone is relatively thicker and stronger than that of the average 
of modern male thigh-bones with which I have compared it.
The length of the part of the femur above described is 1 foot, 9 lines,
the total length of the bone with the extremities restored would be 
1 foot, 4 inches. The circumference of the middle of the shaft is 3 
inches, 9 lines.
The depression on the outer side of the outer (fibular) condyle,
usually described as the ‘popliteal groove’ affording origin to the popli-
teal muscle, is both longer and broader than in recent european femora, indica-
tive of a thicker tendon and more powerful muscle.
Par) The ‘glutei 
maximi’, I need hardly remark, are the main ones which move 
or work the body upon the legs, and reciprocally. The unusual 
addition of leverage to these muscles, supplied by the ‘third trochanter’
in the Tilbury skeleton, bespeaks the frequency and force of that muscle’s action in both loco-
motion and in grappling with an enemy, and in all the movements 
and actions of trunk and upper limbs requiring an adequate fulcrum 
and support from the lower limbs.
I may add, although I hope the figures of the natural size will give 
them, that the [insert above paragraph “The length of the part ... 3 inches, 9 lines.”?]
Par) The usual indications of muscular attachments in both tibia 
and fibula, are given in corresponding force with those of the femur.
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Manuscript details

Richard Owen
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Cite as

Description of Parts of a Human Skeleton from Pleistocene (Paleolithic) Bed, Tilbury, Essex, 1883. From The Royal Society, AP/62/6



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