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Lecture 7

lec7 the genus homo.doc

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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT101H5
Professor
Dax Urbszat

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ANT101 THE GENUS HOMO Early homo 2.5-1.6 mya • Louis Leakey (1960) • Olduvai Gorge, Northern Tanzania • 1.8 mya • Homo habilis Significance of the name Early tool makers Ancestors to modern humans Other Plio-Pleistocene sites EAST AFRICA • Omo, Southern Ethiopia • Koobi Fora, • KMN-ER 1470 – Richard Leakey • Olduvai Gorge SOUTH AFRICA • Sterkfontein • Swartkrans General trends of early homo in comparison to Australopithecines CRANIAL ANATOMY • Brain expansion 600-800 cc • Thin walled – no crests • Rounded vault • Weakly projecting ridges • Variable facial proportions between individuals KNM ER 1470 (homo rudolfensis?) • Koobi Fora, Richard Leakey (1972) • 1.9 mya • 752 cc • Rounded cranial vault • No heavy crests • Robust face • Back teeth still quite large (but < australopithecines) Associated crude stone tools More human like brain organization Evolutionary Role played by early homo TRENDS: Increased encephalization Dental reduction Tool making Opportunistic tools 5 – 2.5 mya Manuports: Unaltered objects carried some distance before use LOWER PALEOLITHIC (old stone age) Approx. 2.5 mya – to 200 kya 1. Important in brain evolution 2. Emphasizes manual dexterity 3. Requires a complex, abstract thought process OLDOWAN INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX Earliest identifiable stone tools 2.5 mya – 1.4 mya Sites: • lake Turkana • Olduvai Gorge • Hadar • Omo Characterized by Oldowan Chopping Tool (Oldowan Chopper) • All purpose chopping tool • Made from smooth water worn cobbles • Multi-purpose • Butcher meat, split bones, defense Hard hammer / PERCUSSION METHOD Hammerstone – Bipolar Percussion • Rock used to strike flakes off cobble Anvil – Direct Percussion • Large rock that you strike the cobble against or place the cobble on Concoidal fracture • Produced by striking one stone against another Flake • Chip of rock off the cobble • Sharp, useful edges • scrapers Cultural Significance of Oldowan tool tradition • New additions to diet: Meat • group sharing • scavenging • Saved time & labor for food acquisition Probably resulted from an adaptation to a new environment Bipedalism freed hands Large predatory carnivores Significance of Oldowan tool tradition • Evolution of brain • Manual dexterity • Fine motor manipulation • Set stage for language acquisition • Brain lateralization • handedness Homo erectus 1. 1st hominin species to exist outside of Africa 2. an African origin 3. an impressive longevity 4. Extensive geographical spread t/o Old World First Find: • Eugene Dubois, 1891 • Trinil, Java • Femur • Pithecanthropus erectus JAVA SITES (1.8 mya – 500,000 ya) ZHOUKOUDIAN, China (600 – 400 kya) • Gunnar Andersson • Pei Wenshong • Davidson Black • Franz Weinreich • Best collection of 600,000 – 300,000 yr old hominids ever found • Minimum 40 individuals – adult male, female & subadults • 1000cc aver  100,000 artifacts East African H. erectus (h.ergaster) • Nariokotome, West Turkana • 1984 Kamoya Kimeu • WT 15000 (Nariokotome boy) • 1.6 mya • Boy approx. 12 y.o. • Stature 5’3” • Postcranial similar to modern humans • 880 cc Issues at Turkana – h. ergaster or h. erectus? Large amount of variation Too large for one species? Groves & Mazak (1975) African specimens • Bones thinner • Smaller brow ridges Asian specimens • Shorter & stockier • Larger brow ridges 2. Temporal relationships • inconsistencies in the chronological transition of morphological changes from h. habilis to h. ergaster to h. erectus General Characteristics of Homo erectus Cranial anatomy • 780 – 1225 cc • (1000 cc average) • Wide at base from behind • Low cranial vault • Sagittal keel • Nuchal torus • Supraorbital torus • Robust jaw • Teeth larger than modern human, but smaller than h. habilis Homo erectus postcranial anatomy • Postcranial skeleton similar to modern humans • Robust limb bones • Conical rib cage • Narrow hips • Stature: human range • < sex dimorphism than h. habilis H. erectus in Europe or Northern Africa? Dmanisi, Georgia • North of the Levantine Corridor • Approx 1.8 mya • 5 individuals • Average 650 cc • Homo georgicus or erectus? (Gabounia et. al., 2002) • Skull vault elongated, narrow, low • From behind skull widest at base • Sagittal keel • Postorbital constriction • Supraorbital torus Differences from Homo erectus • small face • More prognathic • Reminiscent of early homo Homo erectus culture Transition from Oldowan to Acheulean @ Olduvai Three stage transition (Mary Leakey, 1975) 1. Increased sophistication in Oldowan - Protobiface 2. Coexistence of Oldowan & Acheulea 3. Disappearance of Oldowan & further development of Acheulean Diversified function - Symbolism? Punctuated transition (not gradual) (Issac 1969) ACHEULEAN TOOL TRADITION 1 appeared 1.7 mya in East Africa Spreads to Middle East & Europe 750,000 ya HANDAXE (biface) • pear shaped/pointed • First fully conceived implements • Significant step in conceptualization • More standardized form TOOL DIVERSIFICATION CLEAVERS - Handaxes with a straight cutting edge • Butcher meat, chopping, breaking bones FLAKE TOOLS • Strike a flint core with hammerstone Retouched to make A. side scraper B. point C. end scraper D. burin SOFT HAMMER PERCUSSION (baton) LATE ACHEULEAN: NEW TECHNIQUE Involved using a bone or antler punch to hit the edge of the flint core producing shallow flake scars Longevity of Acheulean tool tradition • originated in Africa - approx 1.7 mya • Disappeared about 250,000 ya • Middle East (Ubeidiya, Israel) - 1 mya • Europe - 500,000 – 600,000 ya • NE Pakistan - 400,000 – 730,000 ya The CHOPPING TOOL TRADITION • developed by H. erectus in ASIA • 460,000 – 230,000 ya • More reminiscent of Oldowan • Probably grew out of Oldowan
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