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Title: The upper limb skeleton and behavioral lateralization of modern humans from Zhaoguo Cave, southwestern China
Authors: Wei, Pianpian
Lu, Hongliang
Carlson, Kristian J.
Zhang, Handong
Hui, Jiaming
Zhu, Mei
He, Kunyu ‎
Jashashvili, Tea
Zhang, Xinglong
Yuan, Haibing
Xing, Song
Keywords: Humeral asymmetry;Pleistocene–Holocene transition, East Asia;Upper limb functional adaptation;Upper Paleolithic
Issue Date: Dec-2020
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2020, 173 (4), 671-696
Abstract: Objectives: Aims of the study are to initially describe and comparatively evaluate the morphology of the new Zhaoguo M1 upper limb remains, and contextualize upper limb functional adaptations among those of other worldwide Upper Paleolithic (UP) humans to make inferences about subsistence‐related activity patterns in southwestern China at the Pleistocene–Holocene boundary. Materials and methods: The preserved Zhaoguo M1 skeletal remains include paired humeri, ulnae, and radii, among others. These specimens were scanned using micro‐computed tomography to evaluate internal structural properties, while external osteometric dimensions of the Zhaoguo M1 upper limb elements also were acquired. Both sets of measurements were compared to published data on Neandertals, and Middle and Upper Paleolithic modern humans. Results: The upper limb elements of Zhaoguo M1 display a suite of characteristics that generally resemble those of other contemporary Late UP (LUP) modern humans, while robusticity indices generally fall within the upper range of LUP variation. The Zhaoguo M1 upper limb elements display fewer traits resembling those of late archaic humans. The Zhaoguo M1 individual exhibits diaphyseal asymmetry in several upper limb elements suggesting left hand dominance. When evaluating the full range of magnitudes of humeral bilateral asymmetry in the comparative sample, Zhaoguo M1 falls at the lower end overall, but yet is relatively higher than contemporary LUP modern humans specifically from East Eurasia. Discussion: The Zhaoguo M1 individual suggests typical LUP modern human upper limb morphology persisted in southwest China until the end of the last glacial period. Upper limb bone asymmetry of Zhaoguo M1 also indicates that behavioral activities attributed to a hunter‐gatherer tradition apparently extended through the Pleistocene–Holocene transition in this region.
ISSN: 0002-9483
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24147
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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