Class Notes (835,600)
Canada (509,275)
Archaeology (315)
ARCH 100 (120)
Lecture

ARCH 100 - January 24, 2011.docx

5 Pages
111 Views
Unlock Document

Department
Archaeology
Course
ARCH 100
Professor
Ross Jamieson
Semester
Winter

Description
ARCH 100 – January 24, 2011 “Out of Africa”: Homo erectus - The first hominin to leave Africa - Picture this as a gradual expansion of ecological territory, rather than a footrace across continents - First question is WHEN Dating volcanic events - Most dates you will see for early hominins come from dating the volcanic deposits that are deposited above or below the fossil beds - Lucky for us that East Africa (and many other important fossil sites) have volcanic activity - Potassium-Argon (40K/40Ar) dating - Radioactive 40K atoms decay at steady rate, forming 40Ar in rock - When volcano erupts, argo-40 escapes as gas, resetting this clock Mojokerto, Java, Indonesia - 1936 find of a Homo erectus skullcap - In 1990s researchers returned, collected volcanic pumice from same context, dated it to 1.8 mya using Argon-Argon dating (a more accurate variation on K-Ar dating) - Argument is partly about whether the volcanic event occurred much earlier, redeposited sediment (?) - Has become a debate among geologists Dmanisi, Georgia - Ongoing excavations since 1991 in medieval village - Paleomagnetic dating of several volcanic ash falls indicate 1.7-1.8 mya - Now have four craniz, parts of five postcranial skeletons (found 2006) - 700-775 cc cranial capacities - Stone tools, cut marks, and carnivore teeth marks suggest kill site, hominins maybe brought to deposit by carnivores? Ecological concerns - The move of Homo erectus across southern Asian and into Europe means movement into more temperate zones - Implies more complex material culture, such as control of fire, tailored clothing, etc - There is, however, no unequivocal archaeological evidence of this Acheulean Tools - Associated with Homo erectus, found throughout their range, Europe, Asia and Africa - “handaxe” is most famous part of “toolkit”, but had many stone tools - Incredibly uniform design from 1.5 mya to 150 kya, very ODD Acheulian Handaxe - What were handaxes used for? - Use-wear analysis looks at microscopic wear on edges, compares to modern examples of hide-working, bone cutting, plant processing, etc - Only clear conclusion is that, unlike early archaeologists’ assumptions, there is none of the wear pattern associated with being “hafted” (attached to a handle”) and thus they are NOT “axes” Acheulian handaxe - Some suggest hurled like Frisbees into herd of animals to create chaos at watering holes - Calmer suggestions include hand-held tools for digging, stripping bark, butchering animals - Basically multi-purpose objects The interesting thing about Acheulian handaxe - Why did their shape stay the same for over 1 mya – aerodynamics? - There is no evidence of ANY type of hafted tools before about 400 kya in the world - What does this say about Homo erectus cognitive capacity? Does innovation make us human? - Lack of hafted tools, incredible monotony of Acheulian handaxe over 50,000 generations - This lack of innovation implies that Homo erectus cognition was far more complex than a chimp, yet at the same time, far simpler than modern humans Archaic Homo sapiens - In Africa 500,000 BP - Brain 1200 cc - Burial ritual, Bodo, Ethiopia defleshing 250,000BP Terra Amata, France - Archaic Homo sapiens camp, brush shelters, 350 kya - Shellfish, sea turtle, birds - Torralba and Ambrona sites, Spain – elephant hunters Middle and Upper Paleolithic - Middle Paleolithic (120-40 kya): Levallois tools, Neandertals - Upper Paleolithic (40-12 kya): Modern humans, Creative explosion, Galciation and movement between continents Levallois - Middle Paleolithic, 120-40 kya - Flakes used for varied tool kit -
More Less

Related notes for ARCH 100

Log In


OR

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit