ANT200H5 Lecture Notes - Homo Habilis, Paleomagnetism, Homininae

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31 Mar 2012
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ANT200 lecture 1
January 9, 2011
wonderwerk cave: his research. Excavation area: standing in an excavation pit doing a profile.
Measuring earths magnetic field (paleomagnetic) through various methods shows the last layer was
deposited 1.5 mill years ago.
evidence for use of fire is very important. changed the way society organized itself.
we don’t know when people started controlling fire. (1-1.5 mill years ago)
took out a block of evidence and dump it in fibre glass. wood ashes was found all over the surface. it
has no meaning if the strata graphic context was not controlled. oldest contextual evidence for use of
fire at any site.
by end of today: difference between biological evolution and human evolution (cultural evolution)
origins of art:
the magic is that they were found in situ (in their context), this is the important part.
take home message: we do 2 things. 1: we talk about the big issues. (when did art work begin, when
did language begin, when did domestication begin). large scale questions about human prehistory. 2.
find a way to discover something. Strata graphic data.
test will be short answer. the BOOK should be primary tool.
you have to ask questions. don’t just believe things. testable statements.
the past is in flux. something we know about past now could change in 2 years.
How Human Evolution works:
difference between cultural evolution and biological evolution.
linear process
Teleological process: goal directed. Big problem in studying human evolution. This is not so good.
Darwin talked about variation in the world. Not linear.
We are programmed to see linear progress. but we know it’s not like that.
Species homo sapiens all living humans
genus (pl. genera) homo humans and immediate ancestors
family homonoidea (hominoids) humans, organizations, gorillas, chimpanzees, and gibbons
order primates, hominoids, monkeys and prosimans.
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branching diagram for living species
members of the apes
analysis of genetic similarities between species
our closest biological relatives are chimpanzees. (4-5 mill ya)
Chimpanzees are a threatened species.
what can genetic evidence tell us about extinct fossils?
nothing!
second half
How to take notes: the textbook is a safety net. but if you just read the text book will not be enough.
chimpanzees are discussed often. the split is quite recent.
between 2-5 million years is what we call hominine radiation. several different genera of hominines.
ardipithecus 5.2-5.8 mya. more similar to human ancestors than chimps. chimps are knuckle walkers
but ards cant.
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