The Right Hand: Left-Handedness
Throughout history, left-handedness has been viewed as being the mark of the devil, as evidence of mental retardation or neurosis, as showing a predisposition to criminality, or as being linked to every perceived social ill. Even into the nineteenth century, many scientists were of the opinion that left-handedness was the sign of a sinister personality. An eminent ethnologist and one of the first scientific archaeologists, Daniel Wilson (1816–92), who introduced into English the word 'prehistoric', became aware of the fact that there were as many left-handed Stone Age implements as right. As a left-hander himself, he was fascinated by these discoveries. Published in 1891, his last major work gives the results of his studies of left-handedness, which he concludes is hereditary and relates to the dominance of one hemisphere of the brain.