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Title: More than 500,000 years of right-handedness in Europe
Authors: Frayer, David
Lozano Ruiz, Marina
Bermúdez de Castro, José María
Carbonell, Eudald
Arsuaga, Juan Luis
Radovčić, Jakov
Fiore, Ivana
Bondioli, Luca
Keywords: Tooth scratches;Neanderthals;Atapuerca;Lateralisation;Language
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 2012, 17 (1), 51-69
Abstract: Considerable research supports the high frequency of right-handedness in living Homo sapiens, with worldwide rates of approximately nine right- for every one left-hander. Right-handedness appears to be a uniquely human trait, as no other primate species, no matter how proficient in tool use, shows frequencies even close to the strong right bias typical of humans (Cashmore, Uomini, & Chapelain, 2008; McGrew & Marchant 1997; Steele & Uomini, 2009). Here we review our research on human fossils from Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) and their likely descendants, the European Neandertals. We document hand preference in fossils by scratch patterns that occur on the labial (lip) face of incisors and canines, and contend that these patterns provide a reliable means for identifying predominant hand use in these samples. Manipulatory marks on the anterior teeth show a persistent pattern of right-handed actions, implying that the modern human pattern of dominant right-handedness extends deep into the European past.
ISSN: 1357-650X
DOI: 10.1080/1357650X.2010.529451
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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