ANTH 1120 Fall 2014
Week 4 – Lecture Outline
Tonight – Later hominins (early Homo genus)
- Anatomical characteristics
- 35% increase in cranial capacity fromA. africanus to early Homo
- Significant increases in cranial capacity between H. habilis and H. erectus
- "Handy man"
- EastAfrica, 2.3-1.6 mya
- Cranial capacity estimates ~500-650cc
o Issues of reconstruction error & bias: some of the remains found were wrong. The people
were reconstructing the pieces of the brain into bigger pieces then it should have been.
The brain was found around the same time as the stone tools therefore people thought
that the brain should be bigger than it should.
- Face less prognathic
- Oldowan tool industry association :Other feature of Homo habilis: face less prognathic.
Incisors and canines still large relative to premolars (but still smaller than australopiths). Some
remain associated with rudimentary stone tools -> oldowan industry
- use if tools that could be picked up used and tossed aside. no detail. Tools for convince.
- finding tools made out of stone shows that we started to more complicated and about the world
- The debate about species : are all early homo specimens representative of H. habilis? Or do we
need to incled another designation for seem (H. rudolfensis)/ Larger cranial capacity (752 cc).
Koobi fora fossils. 1.8-2.5 mya. Sexual dimorphism: male is larger than female. argument says
that they might be the same species but just with really big males.
- Not just about brain size: also about the enlargement of specific areas of the brain.
- Brain case-more rounded.
- Enlargement of frontal and parietal lobes of the brain.
- So what? Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area, angular gyrus-> association with language. Language
allow us to express complex ideas that body language cannot.
Another significant jump in cranial capacity (700-1200 cc; average is 871cc)
- More than 40% increase over early Homo
- Unique skull: cranial vault is low, long; sloping forehead, heavy brow ridge; projecting face;
heavy jaw (small molars); sagittal keel (slight raising of sagittal head); occipital torus, shovel
shaped incisors(inside of tooth is curved..like a shovel). 52-63 kg, 148-185 cm. (good chart 10.6
1 - More similar to our skull
- Adifferent grade in evolution: morphology far different from australopiths.
- Increase cranial capacity. ‘Armouring of skull’
- Behaviour changes
- Migration: moved to most parts of the world. moved out ofAfrica and went to other places
- InAfrica by about 1.8 mya
o 1.6 mya in South EastAsia ▯ emerged, and spread out ofAfrica
o Regional variations in fossil morphology (African &Asian fossils)
▪ Homo ergaster (African fossils): Smaller cranial capacities, thinner cranial
bones. smaller + less prognathic faces, smaller brow ridges and occipital torus.
▪ Familiar geography
▪ 1.9-1.0 mya
▪ many sites specimens
▪ Nariokotome boy/Turkana boy (1.6 mya)
▪ Homo erectus (Asian fossils): Indonesia, China, Republic of Georgia
▪ Ngandong site-> astonishing dates
▪ 46000-27000 yrs ago
▪ much later than ever anticipated
▪ why did they survive in Java for so much longer?? Were there encounters with
humans? Why did they die out?
▪ China: Zhoukoudian site 600000-300000 yrs ago.
▪ Less prognathic than Indonesian specimens
▪ Fossils disappearances
▪ Evidence that they used fire
▪ Republic of Georgia: Dmanisi
▪ 4 partial crania, 4 mandibles (lower jaw)
▪ smaller cranial capacity (800cc) look more like early H.ergaster from africa
▪ care for elders?(specimen and teeth)
▪ Tools: more like Oldowan thanAcheulian
▪ some people argue that the homo erectus skull is not even homo erectus. that its a
species that migrated out ofAfrica
- Lower sea levels would have helped this migration and allowed them to move from lace to place.
They were fully developed bipedal.
- Would have walked more like us
- it says something about the complexity of the brain that an individual was cared for by other
female individuals if they were injured
- Things to look for in H. erectus/ergaster cranium
o Thick cranial bones
o Prominent supraorbital tori (brow ridges), with little forehead