Diaphyseal cross-sectional geometry of Near Eastern Middle Palaeolithic humans: The Tibia

Erik Trinkaus, Christopher B. Ruff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

External osteometric assessments of Near Eastern Middle Palaeolithic human tibial diaphyseal robusticity have been used to argue for significant differences in locomotor loading regimes between late archaic and early modern humans from the Middle Palaeolithic of that region. Reassessment of tibial diaphyseal strength using cross-sectional geometry of their shafts scaled against biomechanically appropriate measures of body mass and beam length reveals no significant difference between the Near Eastern late archaic human and Qafzeh-Skhul early modern human samples. This is in agreement with other assessments of their comparative levels of locomotor strength and endurance indicating similar levels of summed loads upon their lower limbs once body mass and beam length are appropriately incorporated into the analysis. At the same time, there are no systematic differences in either relative cortical area within cross-sections or the biomechanically relevant distribution of bone (indicated by perpendicular second moments of area) between these samples. What emerges from a consideration of appropriately scaled measures of strength of these NEMP tibiae (however precise the estimates employed) is that, contrary to previous assessments, there are no grounds for inferring a significant change in locomotor activity levels or patterns between late archaic and early modern humans in the Near Eastern Middle Palaeolithic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1300
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume26
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1999

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Human palaeontology
  • Modern humans
  • Neanderthals
  • Tibia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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