Introduction to Biological Anthropology and Archaeology
Pre-Modern Humans (Continued)
FROM LAST CLASS
Early Archaic homo sapiens
• Middle Pleistocene ( 780- 1530 KYA)
• Mixture of “ erecuts” and “ modern” traits
• May represent one or several extinct specieis ( lumpers vs splitters)
o Homo antecessor ( 750 KYA in Spain)
o Homo heidelbergensis ( 600 KYA – 125 KYS in Africa, Asia and Europe)
o Possibly persistent in homo erectus in Asia
Diagnostic Features: early Archaic Homo sapiens
Taller, leaner bodies. Less robust
Reduction in cranial & postcranial robusticity
Size in the bones of the skull ar3 getting smaller
Increase in brain size (average of 1283cm )...
Widest part of brain case shifted to parietal regions.
Shifting closer to the front of the skull
Rear of cranial vault becomes more vertical
• Gran Dolina, Spain
o 750,000 years ago
o last common ancestor to Neandertals and modern humans?
850 – 200 kya
C.C. = 1300 cc
less robust than H. erectus; more robust than modern Homo.
Associated with both Acheulean-type technology and later lithic industries
African Archaic Homo sapiens
Broken Hill (Kabwe), Africa (600,000 – 125,000 ya)
Mixture of older & more recent traits:
◦ Supraorbital torus (brow ridge)
◦ Low cranial vault
◦ Thinner cranial bones
◦ Brain size – 1300 cc THIS CLASS
Late archaic Homo sapiens – The Neandertals
About 130,000 to 28,000 ya
First found in Neander Valley in Germany – 1856
evolved from H. heidelbergensis (?)
Early Neandertal Finds: La Chapelle-aux-Saints (France)
The first discoveries were not typical Neandertals’ they were all distinct in one way or
Discovered in 1908
50-yr old male
◦ No teeth – cared for
◦ had spinal arthritis (= stooped posture)
Extremely robust; bent leg bones
M. Boule emphasized differences compared to modern humans
Early interpretations influenced ideas about Neandertals for some time:
◦ fossils were deformed or aberrant
“Cave man” idea that was popular until the 1970s
Neandertals: New Perspectives
Not as brutish as previously thought
“classic” Neandertal traits also found in medieval skulls from N. Europe
The Neandertals – cranial characteristics
Cranial .Capacity. = 1520 cm
◦ Greatly exceeds average human C.C.
Slightly projecting nose and teeth (prognathism)
Prominent brow ridges (double-arched)
“swollen” appearance to mid face
◦ large front teeth (heavily used)
◦ large noses (needed to warm cold air)
The Neandertals – post-cranial features
◦ highly active, & athletic
◦ Arms exceptionally powerful
Robust & dense limb bones
Relatively short limbs (adaptation to cold climates)
◦ Allen’s Rule!
Very demanding lifestyle... Neandertal Hunting
Hunting style implied from skeletal trauma:
◦ Most adult Neandertal specimens exhibit healed fractures or broken bones.
◦ Injuries most consistent with rodeo cowboys.
◦ Few specimens exist of people over the age of 30.
Close-range hunting – thrusting spears, clubs, rocks
Hypotheses About Distinctive “Classic” Morphology?
Adaptation to cold climate (glacial period)
Cranium reflects “industrial use of the teeth”
Isolation from gene flow with other contemporaneous populations because of glacial
Combination of all three
Neandertals – Anterior tooth wear
Wear on front teeth – used as a tool
Manufacture clothing, to hold on to things they are working on with their hands
◦ Fully modern Broca’s Area