FunWere the hominids of Atapuerca left-handed or right-handed?

Were the hominids of Atapuerca left-handed or right-handed?

TheHomo sapiens preferably use one hand over the other: there are 9 right-handers for each left-handed. But we are not the only right-handed human species.At least 500,000 years ago, the Homo heidelbergensis that lived in the Sima de los Huesos, in Atapuerca (Burgos) already preferred the right, a trait that is also later observed in Neanderthals. Both conclusions belong to a work published in the magazineLaterality and signed, among others, by Marina Lozano, researcher at the IPHES (Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution).

The preference for one hand has been determined by analyzing striae present on the labial surfaces of incisors and canines from various populations. “These stretch marks are cuts that have been produced by the use of a technique that consists of holding between the anterior teeth (incisors and canines) some type of material and tightening it with one hand, with the free hand that material is cut with the help of a lithic tool. In this process accidental cuts are produced on dental surfaces “, explains Marina Lozano. “It has been possible to determine that these grooves or cuts have one or another orientation depending on the hand used to hold the lithic tools,” he adds. Thus, it has been found that the right hand was the one used preferentially in a very high percentage (93.1%) among theHomo heidelbergensisfrom the Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos) and various European Neanderthals (Krapina, Vindija, La Quina etc). That is, the manual laterality of humans has a minimum age of 500,000 years before the present.

Themanual laterality has been considered a typically human traitor, at least, with a much higher frequency than has been observed in other primates, but in recent years, new research, such as the aforementioned and those jointly developed by the Mona Foundation and the IPHES, have provided data that questions this exclusivity of Homo sapiens.

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