SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Homo;
  • Middle Pleistocene;
  • Africa;
  • postcrania

Abstract

The distal half of a right human humerus (E.898), recovered ex situ in 1925 by Hrdlička at the Broken Hill Mine, Kabwe, Zambia, has figured prominently in assessments of Middle Pleistocene Homo postcranial variation and of the phylogenetic polarity and functional anatomy of Pleistocene Homo upper limb morphology. Reassessment of distal humeral features that distinguish modern human and some archaic Homo humeri, especially relative olecranon breadth and medial and lateral pillar thicknesses, confirm previous studies placing it morphologically close to recent humans, as well as possibly to Early Pleistocene Homo. However, it completely lacks stratigraphic context, and there is faunal and archeological evidence for human activity at Broken Hill from the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene. Given its uncertain geological age and modern human morphology, the Broken Hill E.898 humerus should not be used in analyses of Pleistocene humans until it is securely dated. Am J Phys Anthropol 149:312–317, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.