Appendicular robusticity and the paleobiology of modern human emergence
Department of Anthropology, Campus Box 1114, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63141, and Unité de Recherche Associée 376 du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire d'Anthropologie, Université de Bordeaux I, 33405 Talence, France
The emergence of modern humans in the Late Pleistocene, whatever its phylogenetic history, was characterized by a series of behaviorally important shifts reflected in aspects of human hard tissue biology and the archeological record. To elucidate these shifts further, diaphyseal cross-sectional morphology was analyzed by using cross-sectional areas and second moments of area of the mid-distal humerus and midshaft femur. The humeral diaphysis indicates a gradual reduction in habitual load levels from Eurasian late archaic, to Early Upper Paleolithic early modern, to Middle Upper Paleolithic early modern hominids, with the Levantine Middle Paleolithic early modern humans being a gracile anomalous outlier. The femoral diaphysis, once variation in ecogeographically patterned body proportions is taken into account, indicates no changes across the pre-30,000 years B.P. samples in habitual locomotor load levels, followed by a modest decrease through the Middle Upper Paleolithic.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 94, pp. 13367-13373, November 1997 .