Regional variation in the postcranial robusticity of late upper paleolithic humans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Early modern humans from the European Upper Paleolithic (UP) demonstrate trends in postcranial biomechanical features that coincide with the last glacial maximum (LGM). These features have been interpreted as evidence that ecological changes of the LGM played a critical role in cultural and biological adaptation in European UP populations. In areas outside of Europe, similar environmental changes occurred with the LGM. This analysis introduces postcranial material from the Late Upper Paleolithic (LUP) of North Africa and Southeast Asia and tests two related hypotheses: 1) LUP samples across the Old World had similar patterns of postcranial robusticity and 2) relative to an available Early Upper Paleolithic (EUP) sample, regional LUP samples demonstrate similar trends in robusticity that may be attributable to climatic effects of the LGM. Cross-sectional geometric data of the humeri and femora were obtained for 26 EUP and 100 LUP humans from Europe, Africa, and Asia. Despite regional differences, LUP samples are similar relative to the EUP sample. In the humerus, bilateral asymmetry decreases in all LUP samples relative to the EUP sample. In the femur, LUP samples demonstrate increasingly circular femoral mid-shaft sections, reflecting reduced anteroposterior bending strength relative to the EUP sample. These patterns suggest changes in subsistence behavior and mobility after the LGM across the Old World that are most consistent with reduced mobility and broad-spectrum resource exploitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-668
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Volume133
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

Fingerprint

Humerus
regional difference
Femur
Biological Adaptation
Northern Asia
Northern Africa
Southeastern Asia
Thigh
Population
North Africa
trend
Southeast Asia
asymmetry
exploitation

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Cross-sectional geometry
  • Late Pleistocene
  • North Africa
  • Southeast Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Regional variation in the postcranial robusticity of late upper paleolithic humans. / Shackelford, Laura L.

In: American journal of physical anthropology, Vol. 133, No. 1, 01.05.2007, p. 655-668.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{07a8d1abb1da40289604971eb75db9b3,
title = "Regional variation in the postcranial robusticity of late upper paleolithic humans",
abstract = "Early modern humans from the European Upper Paleolithic (UP) demonstrate trends in postcranial biomechanical features that coincide with the last glacial maximum (LGM). These features have been interpreted as evidence that ecological changes of the LGM played a critical role in cultural and biological adaptation in European UP populations. In areas outside of Europe, similar environmental changes occurred with the LGM. This analysis introduces postcranial material from the Late Upper Paleolithic (LUP) of North Africa and Southeast Asia and tests two related hypotheses: 1) LUP samples across the Old World had similar patterns of postcranial robusticity and 2) relative to an available Early Upper Paleolithic (EUP) sample, regional LUP samples demonstrate similar trends in robusticity that may be attributable to climatic effects of the LGM. Cross-sectional geometric data of the humeri and femora were obtained for 26 EUP and 100 LUP humans from Europe, Africa, and Asia. Despite regional differences, LUP samples are similar relative to the EUP sample. In the humerus, bilateral asymmetry decreases in all LUP samples relative to the EUP sample. In the femur, LUP samples demonstrate increasingly circular femoral mid-shaft sections, reflecting reduced anteroposterior bending strength relative to the EUP sample. These patterns suggest changes in subsistence behavior and mobility after the LGM across the Old World that are most consistent with reduced mobility and broad-spectrum resource exploitation.",
keywords = "Biomechanics, Cross-sectional geometry, Late Pleistocene, North Africa, Southeast Asia",
author = "Shackelford, {Laura L.}",
year = "2007",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/ajpa.20567",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "133",
pages = "655--668",
journal = "American Journal of Physical Anthropology",
issn = "0002-9483",
publisher = "Wiley-Liss Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Regional variation in the postcranial robusticity of late upper paleolithic humans

AU - Shackelford, Laura L.

PY - 2007/5/1

Y1 - 2007/5/1

N2 - Early modern humans from the European Upper Paleolithic (UP) demonstrate trends in postcranial biomechanical features that coincide with the last glacial maximum (LGM). These features have been interpreted as evidence that ecological changes of the LGM played a critical role in cultural and biological adaptation in European UP populations. In areas outside of Europe, similar environmental changes occurred with the LGM. This analysis introduces postcranial material from the Late Upper Paleolithic (LUP) of North Africa and Southeast Asia and tests two related hypotheses: 1) LUP samples across the Old World had similar patterns of postcranial robusticity and 2) relative to an available Early Upper Paleolithic (EUP) sample, regional LUP samples demonstrate similar trends in robusticity that may be attributable to climatic effects of the LGM. Cross-sectional geometric data of the humeri and femora were obtained for 26 EUP and 100 LUP humans from Europe, Africa, and Asia. Despite regional differences, LUP samples are similar relative to the EUP sample. In the humerus, bilateral asymmetry decreases in all LUP samples relative to the EUP sample. In the femur, LUP samples demonstrate increasingly circular femoral mid-shaft sections, reflecting reduced anteroposterior bending strength relative to the EUP sample. These patterns suggest changes in subsistence behavior and mobility after the LGM across the Old World that are most consistent with reduced mobility and broad-spectrum resource exploitation.

AB - Early modern humans from the European Upper Paleolithic (UP) demonstrate trends in postcranial biomechanical features that coincide with the last glacial maximum (LGM). These features have been interpreted as evidence that ecological changes of the LGM played a critical role in cultural and biological adaptation in European UP populations. In areas outside of Europe, similar environmental changes occurred with the LGM. This analysis introduces postcranial material from the Late Upper Paleolithic (LUP) of North Africa and Southeast Asia and tests two related hypotheses: 1) LUP samples across the Old World had similar patterns of postcranial robusticity and 2) relative to an available Early Upper Paleolithic (EUP) sample, regional LUP samples demonstrate similar trends in robusticity that may be attributable to climatic effects of the LGM. Cross-sectional geometric data of the humeri and femora were obtained for 26 EUP and 100 LUP humans from Europe, Africa, and Asia. Despite regional differences, LUP samples are similar relative to the EUP sample. In the humerus, bilateral asymmetry decreases in all LUP samples relative to the EUP sample. In the femur, LUP samples demonstrate increasingly circular femoral mid-shaft sections, reflecting reduced anteroposterior bending strength relative to the EUP sample. These patterns suggest changes in subsistence behavior and mobility after the LGM across the Old World that are most consistent with reduced mobility and broad-spectrum resource exploitation.

KW - Biomechanics

KW - Cross-sectional geometry

KW - Late Pleistocene

KW - North Africa

KW - Southeast Asia

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34247614883&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34247614883&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/ajpa.20567

DO - 10.1002/ajpa.20567

M3 - Article

C2 - 17295298

AN - SCOPUS:34247614883

VL - 133

SP - 655

EP - 668

JO - American Journal of Physical Anthropology

JF - American Journal of Physical Anthropology

SN - 0002-9483

IS - 1

ER -