Erik Trinkaus derived the dates by analyzing anatomical evidence of early modern humans, which suggests a reduction in the strength of the smaller toes in Upper Paleolithic humans while there was little change in leg strength.
Trinkaus analyzed the foot bones of western Eurasian Middle Paleolithic and middle Upper Paleolithic humans and found the anatomy of their feet began to change starting around 26,000 years ago.
The findings are published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
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