EMG study of hand muscle recruitment during hard hammer percussion manufacture of Oldowan tools

Mary W. Marzke, N. Toth, K. Schick, S. Reece, B. Steinberg, K. Hunt, R. L. Linscheid, K. N. An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The activity of 17 hand muscles was monitored by electromyography (EMG) in three subjects during hard hammer percussion manufacture of Oldowan tools. Two of the subjects were archaeologists experienced in the replication of prehistoric stone tools. Simultaneous videotapes recorded grips associated with the muscle activities. The purpose of the study was to identify the muscles most likely to have been strongly and repeatedly recruited by early hominids during stone tool-making. This information is fundamental to the identification of skeletal features that may reliably predict tool-making capabilities in early hominids. The muscles most frequently recruited at high force levels for strong precision pinch grips required to control the hammerstone and core are the intrinsic muscles of the fifth finger and the thumb/index finger regions. A productive search for skeletal evidence of habitual Oldowan tool-making behavior will therefore be in the regions of the hand stressed by these intrinsic muscles and in the joint configurations affecting the relative lengths of their moment arms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-332
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume105
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1998

Fingerprint

Percussion
electromyography
Electromyography
manufacturing
hands
Hand
Muscles
muscles
Hominidae
Hand Strength
Fingers
Videotape Recording
Thumb
Joints
evidence

Keywords

  • Electromyography
  • Flexor pollicis longus
  • Fossil hominids
  • Stone tool-making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

Cite this

EMG study of hand muscle recruitment during hard hammer percussion manufacture of Oldowan tools. / Marzke, Mary W.; Toth, N.; Schick, K.; Reece, S.; Steinberg, B.; Hunt, K.; Linscheid, R. L.; An, K. N.

In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 105, No. 3, 03.1998, p. 315-332.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marzke, Mary W. ; Toth, N. ; Schick, K. ; Reece, S. ; Steinberg, B. ; Hunt, K. ; Linscheid, R. L. ; An, K. N. / EMG study of hand muscle recruitment during hard hammer percussion manufacture of Oldowan tools. In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 1998 ; Vol. 105, No. 3. pp. 315-332.
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