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Homo sapiens and the Evolution of Modern Human Behaviour
The Road to Homo sapiens?
Homo heidelbergensis evolved into Homo sapiens in Africa
~200,000 years ago
Book’s Accepted hypotheses
o Anatomically modern humans evolve in Africa between 200 and 100 kya
Culture either gradually evolved or suddenly changed at 60 kya
o Migrated from Africa about 60 kya
Page 316 – from genetic data
o Founding population of 10,000 adults
o Migration along the southern coast of Asia
o Interactions and a small amount of interbreeding with Neanderthals
Multiple species were present outside of Africa 250-50 kya, including H. sapiens
Moreover, H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalis were outside of Africa when H. sapiens evolved
Why then, do we hypothesize that H. sapiens evolved in Africa?
Muddle in the Middle (Figure 12.43)
Different hypotheses from different researchers.
o None completely agree with figure 10.36.
o Argues for a single global species of H. sapiens – large population with much interbreeding.
Homo floresiensis: the “Hobbits”
o 3 feet tall
o ~400 cc (chimpanzee-sized)
Sophisticated stone tools
3 Lines of Evidence
o Fossil Neanderthal DNA
Genetic patterns in current populations**
First, let‟s see what „modern humans‟ are for each, then review the evidence
Morphological Features of Modern Homo sapiens
Large, round skull with high forehead
Small face and teeth
Less robust postcranial skeleton
The Origin and Spread of Modern Humans: Fossils
Oldest Homo sapiens fossils
o 100,000–200,000 years old
o Omo Kibish at 190,000
o Herto at 160,000
Conclusions from Fossil Evidence
Definitely shows modern anatomy at 150-200 kya.
Supports African origin, migration to Asia, then Europe.
Not conclusive because the fossil record is spotty, some fossils ambiguous, dating not always correct.
No information on population size.
Upper Paleolithic Technology and Culture
Mode 4: Blades
Different raw materials
Variation in tool kits
Raw materials transported long distances
Archaeological Evidence for Modern Human Behaviour
o Increase ecological range
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