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Arch 131 3rd chunk

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Simon Fraser University
ARCH 131
Dennis Sandgathe

Unit 11: The First Hominins in Europe Homo Erectus and H. Heidelbergensis What about Europe? - Some form of H. erectus arrives by 1,400,000 bp. - Then H. heidelbergensis arrives around 500,000 - And eventually Modern Humans arrive 40,000 bp. o Gran Dolina & Sima del Elefante, Atapuerca, Spain o Orce, Spain Orce Spain - Venta Micena (1.6 mya) o Cranial fragments o But open to question whether bones are hominin or not o No stone tools - Barranco Leon (1.4 mya) o No hominin remains but stone tools o Dated by various methods Small mammal biochronology Paleomagnetism Atapuerca Hills, Spain - A rail line was cut through the hill in the late 1800s o Gran Dolina 1993 Test evacuation 2002 Formal excavations at Gran Dolina, Atapuerca Layer 6: Radiometric (absolute) dates and paleomagnetism suggest these remains are 800-875,000 years old But stone tools from older layer approx. 1 mya Paleomagnitism How can we use this to date sites? Sediments settle on ground- iron-based particles align with current magnetic pole When sediments become compacted their orientation becomes locked in o Sima del Elefante Mandible Very well dated Layer 9 is 10 levels below(older than) the Bruhnes/Matuyama boundary (780 kya) Small mammals from level 9 are species well dated to between 1-1.5 mya Optical stimulation date for level 9 is 1.22 +/- 0.16 mya. Later European Homo Fossils (600-200 kya) - These late hominin fossils probably represent a new wave of arrivals from Africa c. 600 kya. - They look most like Africa hominins dating to after 700 kya e.g., the 600 kya Bodo cranium in Ethiopia and the Kabwe cranium from Zambia (well see this below) Most researchers put these fossils into the species designation Homo Heidelbergensis European Homo Heidelbergensis Mauer, Germany - type fossil of H. Heidelbergensis - massive lower jaw with moderate-sized teeth - approx.. 600,000 years old Caune de lArago, France - On Mediterranean coast near Perpignan - Cranium; deformed post-depositionally o Cranial capacity approx. 1100-1150 cc o Approx. 400,000 ya Petralona, Greece - Cranial capacity 1230 cc - 300-200,000 ya - Petralona and Kabwe are 6000 km and 2 continents apart Back to Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos Pit of the Bones - 400,000 bp - 10 crania and 5500 other skeletal fragments - MNI (Minimum Number of Individuals)= 28 - At least 12 females and 8 males - One individual <10 years old and three >35, but majority are adolescents or young adults - Clearly the ancestors of the later Neandertals o Double-arched browridge o mid-facial pragnathism - Cranial capacities range from 1125-1390 cc o Mean for modern humans is 1350 cc. - SH 5 - What Can the Bones Tell Us? o (1) How did these peoples remains get here Living in the cave? Poor access to cave Almost no stone tools Faunal remains not typical of people food Dragged there by cave bears or cave lions? Maybe; carnivore tooth marks on over 50% of bones o But, age profile of the hominin remains is not right Very odd age at death profile Not representative of predators selecting prey (e.g. bears or lions) Were they thrown into the pit? Why? Just disposing of corpses? Was it funerary ritual? o (2) What did they look? Bone lengths suggest similar stature to modern humans: Average 59 males 57 females Some males weighed 200 lbs and were 511 Much more robust and muscular Predominately Right handed like modern-humans Regularly used their teeth as tools Arthritis of temporomandibular joints Careful to take care of their teeth o (3) How healthy were they? Teeth can tell us a lot about an individuals health 1/3 of the individuals at Sima had enamel hypoplasia (EH) interrupted-growth lines due to nutritional stress Among Sima fossils EH occurred at ages 3-4- normal H-G weaning age Overall they appear quite healthy o BUT.. SH 5 Miguelon Died of septicemia (blood poisoning) Infection in his jaw spread to his eye SH 4 Agamenon Ear canals were closed off from otitis- severe ear infection This person would have been deaf o (4) Any evidence of violence? Many skulls had old (healed) impact scars 3-4 on most skulls Miguelon had 13 Violence? Normal product of cave life Unit 12: Homo (sapiens) neanderthalensis Earliest Discoveries 1839 Engis Cave, Belgium 1848 Forbes Quarry, Gibraltar 1856 Feldhofer Cave, Neandertal, Germany 1886 Spy dOrneau, Belgium (2 Skeletons) Finding a number of similar fossils proved they were members of an ancient population, not diseased modern humans
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