If you want to discover your genetic history and where you came from... you’ve found the right place!


review of scientific and news articles on dna testing and popular genetics

Do You Have a Mental Foramen? You Might be Part Neanderthal

Thursday, November 10, 2011
A mental foramen is a small hole in the mandible whose purpose is to allow passage of nerves and vessels to the brain and probably also to relieve tension during chewing and gnawing. It has been identified as a sign of archaic humans, including Neanderthals. Do you have one?

I asked my dentist to look at my X rays on file and he confirmed I have a mental foramen. He has often told me I have "powerful" jaws. It is unclear whether there are normally two of them and what their typical positions are.

In a previous blog post, "Neanderthals in America," we discussed mental foramina (the plural of foramen), occipital bulges or bumps and other archaic skeletal traits. Melungeons seem to have many of these ancestral marks.

Do you? You might want to check with your dentist.

Studies show that Europeans have, on average, between 1 and 4 percent Neanderthal genes from an early out-of-Africa interbreeding period in the Middle East. Science has not decided to consider Neanderthals a separate species or sub-species in relation to H. sapiens sapiens (humans).

DNA Consultants offers an estimate of Neanderthal ancestry based on matches with other archaic humans called Neanderthal Index.

Line drawing of Neanderthal male ©DNA Consultants.

More information about Melungeons
Toward a Genetic Profile of Melungeons in Southern Appalachia
Melungeon Studies
Melungeon Match


Anonymous commented on 27-Dec-2011 06:06 PM

Apparently everybody has two mental foramina, one on each jaw, but the position and size are different for different people.

Please tell us what you think

Name, website, and email are optional; if we publish your comment, your name will be shown, and may be linked to your website if provided, but the email you enter will not be published.

Captcha Image

Recent Posts


Bureau of Indian Affairs Olmec Horatio Cushman Keros Ostenaco Elzina Grimwood Chris Tyler-Smith Indo-Europeans King Arthur, Tintagel, The Earliest Jews and Muslims of England and Wales Virginia DeMarce rapid DNA testing genomics labs Moundbuilders Les Miserables Shlomo Sand Arizona State University Austro-Hungary Magdalenian culture Discovery Channel Melungeon Heritage Association Maui genetics genealogy Holocaust Database Oxford Journal of Evolution Israel, Shlomo Sand Melungeon Movement Cooper surname North African DNA Cree Indians Brian Wilkes Solutreans Roberta Estes Miguel Gonzalez Richmond California Y chromosome DNA Mexico Ron Janke personal genomics mitochondrial DNA Mary Kugler Elizabeth C. Hirschman megapopulations Old World Roots of the Cherokee Texas A&M University Lab Corp Melungeons Mark Stoneking 23andme Hispanic ancestry Charlotte Harris Reese New York Academy of Sciences DNA security When Scotland Was Jewish ged.com El Castillo cave paintings Population genetics Russia El Paso Phoenix BATWING clinical chemistry Luca Pagani Epigraphic Society Ethel Cox palatal tori human leukocyte antigens Wikipedia Zuni Indians Dienekes Anthropology Blog genetic determinism Michoacan Alec Jeffreys methylation Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama Tifaneg Cismaru Lebanon Dragging Canoe haplogroup E Victor Hugo Erika Chek Hayden art history Sea Peoples Stacy Schiff Taino Indians mutation rate Sizemore Indians Iran Smithsonian Magazine John Wilwol Melba Ketchum haplogroup U Irish history Helladic art Nova Scotia Italy Timothy Bestor Melungeon Union Cancer Genome Atlas African DNA Hertfordshire Neanderthals hoaxes Nadia Abu El-Haj Great Goddess Panther's Lodge Havasupai Indians Walter Plecker GlobalFiler Michael Schwartz Central Band of Cherokees anthropology health and medicine Genex Diagnostics Britain Romania Life Technologies Nancy Gentry Illumina Kitty Prince of the Bear River Athabaskans Peter Martyr Joseph Jacobs Cismar Columbia University haplogroup W Leicester London prehistory Rutgers University Sam Kean University of Leicester Jim Bentley Stephen Oppenheimer Indian Territory Puerto Rico Native American DNA Phillipe Charlier Arabic ISOGG George van der Merwede Nature Genetics Henriette Mertz Navajo Akhenaten Comanche Indians DNA Fingerprint Test Tintagel FDA Irish DNA human leukocyte testing Gypsies haplogroup R MHC Hohokam Indians Colin Pitchfork N. Brent Kennedy haplogroup B Bentley surname research Nephilim, Fritz Zimmerman Black Irish Pima Indians medicine National Museum of Natural History Promega Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Sorbs Ananya Mandal Beringia Khoisan Hadassah Magazine China Abenaki Indians Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act single nucleotide polymorphism DNA Fingerprint Test Genie Milgrom immunology Eske Willerslev Plato Middle Ages Tennessee forensics Current Anthropology seafaring evolution prehistoric art Pomponia Graecina David Cornish DNA Forums Riane Eisler Turkic DNA Discover magazine genetic memory Greeks Odessa Shields Cox Freemont Indians religion New Mexico Micmac Indians Yates surname NPR corn metis Bill Tiffee Kentucky Arabia James Shoemaker Gravettian culture King Arthur alleles Genome Sciences Building Maronites Sarmatians Algonquian Indians statistics Bryan Sykes Ancient Giantns Who Ruled America Sasquatch haplogroup C Myra Nichols Bradshaw Foundation Robinson Crusoe Ziesmer, Zizmor mental foramen Scientific American Caucasian Normans Waynesboro Pennsylvania Patagonia Kurgan Culture Zionism Sinti Douglas Owsley Bryony Jones Svante Paabo Phoenicians Mark Thomas Y chromosomal haplogroups ethnic markers microsatellites giants New York Times archeology gedmatch far from the tree Telltown powwows Richard Lewontin Finnish people Navajo Indians Anglo-Saxons England Cherokee DNA Lithuania Colin Renfrew Barack Obama Cherokee DNA Project First Peoples CODIS markers clan symbols Patrick Henry North Carolina Barnard College BBCNews David Reich American history human migrations university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Silverbell Artifacts Ripan Malhi Bigfoot Jews Patrick Pynes John Ruskamp George Starr-Bresette Cherokee Freedmen Juanita Sims research news private allele origins of art Ukraine ancient DNA Nikola Tesla B'nai Abraham Anne Marie Fine FBI PNAS Science Daily, Genome Biol. Evol., Eran Elhaik, Khazarian Hypothesis, Rhineland Hypothesis Oxford Nanopore Holocaust Marie Cheng Carl Zimmer Black Dutch Sinaloa Rich Crankshaw Gustavo Ramirez Calderon education Choctaw Indians Austronesian, Filipinos, Australoid Mildred Gentry X chromosome haplogroup H Daily News and Analysis haplogroup D race Terry Gross Fritz Zimmerman Cornwall ENFSI surnames Anasazi Richard III Pueblo Grande Museum Smithsonian Institution Henry IV climate change Neolithic Revolution Janet Lewis Crain ethics Bulgaria horizontal inheritance Harold Sterling Gladwin Wendy Roth Alia Garcia-Ureste Colima Charles Darwin Thuya Israel Jalisco Cleopatra Jewish GenWeb Gila River population genetics Constantine Rafinesque Antonio Torroni Rafael Falk Abraham Lincoln Teresa Panther-Yates National Geographic Daily News bar mitzvah Richard Buckley Rush Limbaugh haplogroup T Bering Land Bridge consanguinity Belgium bloviators Michael Grant Cajuns Peter Parham Mucogee Creeks Stan Steiner Sonora American Journal of Human Genetics Maya Philippa Langley Gregory Mendel Mohawk oncology Virginia genealogy Cave art Early Jews of England and Wales Alabama DNA magazine hominids Douglas C. Wallace Muslims in American history Isabel Allende cannibalism epigenetics FOX News Grim Sleeper aliyah mummies Melanesians Chauvet cave paintings Stephen A. Leon Harry Ostrer Jewish contribution to world literature District of Columbia Salt River Rare Genes Nature Communications Douglas Preston Thruston Tablet The Nation magazine Sizemore surname Jon Entine Monya Baker Hopi Indians Asiatic Echoes Applied Epistemology Native American DNA Test Elizabeth DeLand b'nei anousim Bode Technology Majorca Jesse Montes Celts DNA testing companies Zizmer Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma autosomal DNA phenotype Jewish novelists ethnicity haplogroup M crypto-Jews Panther's Lodge Publishers occipital bun admixture familial Mediterranean fever Tutankamun Central Band of Cherokee Charles Perou Paleolithic Age Penny Ferguson Rebecca L. Cann haplogroup G Richard Dewhurst Nayarit The Calalus Texts Anne C. Stone Egyptians European DNA Irish Central Arizona Old Souls in a New World Scotland haplogroup X Chris Stringer Stony Creek Baptist Church Joseph Andrew Park Wilson polydactylism Hohokam Tucson Kari Schroeder Acadians haplogroup J Altai Turks John Butler linguistics Albert Einstein College of Medicine Basques Cohen Modal Haplotype Kennewick Man Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America IntegenX Russell Belk Chromosomal Labs Bode Technology Mother Qualla Ireland AP New York Review of Books Khazars Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies Phyllis Starnes andrew solomon history of science Gunnar Thompson Amy Harmon Henry VII Europe Wendell Paulson William Byrd peopling of the Americas Clovis cancer Jack Goins Hawaii Donald N. Yates Johnny Depp haplogroup Z DNA Diagnostics Center EURO DNA Fingerprint Test Middle Eastern DNA Washington D.C. haplogroup L Eric Wayner Ari Plost Chuetas Secret History of the Cherokee Indians pheromones Asian DNA population isolates Monica Sanowar Asiatic Fathers of America Marija Gimbutas Joel E. Harris National Health Laboratories James Stritzel haplogroup N India Germany Kate Wong Anacostia Indians DNA databases pipe carving Etruscans Stone Age Denisovans Family Tree DNA French DNA Sir Joshua Reynolds Daniel Defoe Jan Ravenspirit Franz rock art Louis XVI M. J. Harper Valparaiso University Jewish genetics Science magazine Theodore Steinberg Tucson crosses Mary Settegast Ashkenazi Jews French Canadians INORA Elvis Presley DNA Ancestry.com Pueblo Indians Roma People Tom Martin Scroft Slovakia myths HapMap family history breast cancer Satoshi Horai Kari Carpenter Wales Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales (book)