OH-65: The earliest evidence for right-handedness in the fossil record

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Frayer, David W.; Clarke, Ronald J.; Fiore, Ivana; Blumenschine, Robert J.; Pérez-Pérez, Alejandro; Martinez, Laura M.; Estebaranz, Ferran; Holloway, Ralph; Bondioli, Luca
Year of Publication: 2016
Journal: Journal of Human Evolution
Volume: 100
Pagination: 65 - 72
Date Published: 2016/11
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 0047-2484
Keywords: Brain lateralization, Labial tooth striations, tool use

Labial striations on the anterior teeth have been documented in numerous European pre-Neandertal and Neandertal fossils and serve as evidence for handedness. OH-65, dated at 1.8 mya, shows a concentration of oblique striations on, especially, the left I1 and right I1, I2 and C1, which signal that it was right-handed. From these patterns we contend that OH-65 was habitually using the right hand, over the left, in manipulating objects during some kind of oral processing. In living humans right-handedness is generally correlated with brain lateralization, although the strength of the association is questioned by some. We propose that as more specimens are found, right-handedness, as seen in living Homo, will most probably be typical of these early hominins.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.07.002
Short Title: Journal of Human Evolution