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A helping hand: investigating 3D motion of human hand bones during Palaeolithic tool behaviours

Un coup de main : étude du mouvement 3D des os de la main humaine lors de comportements de manipulation d’outils du Paléolithique
Ameline Bardo, Kristiaan D’Aout, Jonathan Özçelebi et Tracy L. Kivell

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1The morphological configuration of the wrist of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals has traditionally been interpreted as biomechanically advantageous for frequent lithic tool use and production. However, this interpretation remains to be demonstrated. We present a proof of concept study that is the first to investigate the 3D kinematics of the hand bones of modern humans during in vivo simulated Palaeolithic tool behaviours. We used the bi-planar X-ray system at the University of Liverpool (UK). Our sample included seven participants (three women and four men, aged 22 to 63 years old), including three novices and four experts in Palaeolithic tool-use behaviours. Each participant performed three experiments (three times each): simulated cutting and scraping using a (1) small and (2) a medium-sized flake, and (3) production of stone flakes from a core. Ethical approval to conduct this research was provided by the NHS (NHS REC reference 19/NW/0537). Analysis of the bi-planar x-ray data revealed that ~20% of the sessions for the simulated cutting and scraping with the small flakes were usable, and 10% for the medium size flakes. Further, we did not have an acceptable session for the knapping experiment, due to this behaviour needing a large range of movement than can be captured within the X-ray volume. We have successfully obtained several usable sessions that provide the first experimental evidence of in vivo bone kinematics during simulated Palaeolithic tool behaviours. The next step is to create highly accurate re-animations of 3D bones moving in 3D space for each research participant, using the state-of-the-art 3D X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology (X-ROMM) technique. With this methodology, we ultimately aim to provide a step-change in our understanding of wrist and hand kinematics and functional morphology in fossil hominins during various tool technologies.

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Ameline Bardo, Kristiaan D’Aout, Jonathan Özçelebi et Tracy L. Kivell, « A helping hand: investigating 3D motion of human hand bones during Palaeolithic tool behaviours »Bulletins et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris [En ligne], 36(S) | 2024, mis en ligne le 22 décembre 2023, consulté le 21 février 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bmsap/12408 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bmsap.12408

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Auteurs

Ameline Bardo

UMR 7194 HNHP, MNHN-CNRS-UPVD, Département Homme et Environnement, Musée de l’Homme, Paris, France ; Department of Human Origins, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany ; ameline.bardo[at]mnhn.fr

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Kristiaan D’Aout

Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom

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Jonathan Özçelebi

UMR 7194 HNHP, MNHN-CNRS-UPVD, Département Homme et Environnement, Musée de l’Homme, Paris, France

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Tracy L. Kivell

Department of Human Origins, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

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Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

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