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Anthropology (oct19)
Oxygen isotope tells us age of the earth through temperature
Pleistocene is about the ice age, but also fluctuations between temperatures
Very first fossil that was found of our ancestors was Java Man
oBig femur for a developed pelvis, bipedal
oDeveloped brain
Darwin said that humans first were created in Africa, where the first the oldest fossils were found
Dubois believed that the first man would be found in Asia
oHe did find evidence on Java island, hence Java Man
Piltdown man was found in a mine, under gravel
oMassive cranium, but with an ape like jaw
oForward magnum like a human
oTurned out to be a human skull that was transformed to make it look like an ape jaw
The Taung child was a fossil that suggested an ape that walked on two legs
oNot initially accepted because it was believed that the big brain came before bipedal
Louis and Mary Leakey found Dear Boy 7m below Bed I (2.1-1.7 MYA)
oAlso tools and animals bones
Beds I and II- Homo habilis
oIn between form of Australopithecines and Homo erectus
oStudies of hand bones showed precision grip and true handy man
(OH24) Twiggy
oSo flat and thin
oLacks sagittal crest, and the brain is bigger then Dear Boy”
Olduvai early Homo compared to Australopithecines
oReduced size of back teeth- but still capable of dealing with rough foods (nuts)
oAnterior teeth larger
oMore generalized diet and more human like
oNo sagittal crests
oLarger brains
Homo Erectus
oBigger brains then Twiggy
Homo habilis/ Homo erectus
oLived at the same time, there was overlap
Olduvai early Homo compared to Homo Erectus
oMuch smaller brain
oMaintains ape body proportions
oLong arms and short legs
Early Homo in South Africa
StW 53 & Twiggy
oMore development in the brain in both
Homo Habilis
oKNM-ER 1813
Homo Rudolfensis
oKNM-ER 1470
oMore human like body
oLonger legs
oStill has a large face, thick teeth and thick jaws, which is not so human like
*When dealing with early homo species, what is the difference between Homo Habilis and Homo Rudolfensis
If they were in some ways more primitive than australopithecines? Who was the ancestor of Homo erectus? A.
A. garhi (Ethiopia) has more human like body proportions- Longer legs
Homo Erectus
oTruly larger brains
oAdvanced tool use
oLonger legs than arms
oHuman like teeth and jaws
Oldewan Industry
oFirst at Olduvai Gorge
o7m below Bed I (2.1-1.7 MYA)
oEarly Homo, P. boisei, Homo erectus
oOldest are 2.5 MYA from Hadar
oMicroscopic war patterns show they were used for cutting grasses, meat and wood
Simple tool technology
oHard hammer
oDirect percussion
oLeast effort strategy to produce sharp edges
oOriginally thought- core tools choppers, scrapers
oNow- flakes as sharp edges too
oExcellent method to obtain meat on a consistent basis
oDentition of Australopithecines and Homo are not well suited to eating meat
Why that point in time?
oProbably a result of adaptation to an environment from forests to grasslands, 3-2 MYA
Hunting or Scavenging?
oOlduvai floor
oMary Leakey- Base Camp at Lake Bed
oBinford- Elements present indicated scavenging
oShipman- Cut marks vs Carnivore gnaw marks
We know chimpanzees use tools
oHammer and anvil to crack open nuts
Original Study- Cat in the Human Cradle
oAnatomy suggest both Homo Habilis and A. afarensis were better than us at climbing trees and
oSouth African Leopards practice Tree-Caching
oThe collection of bones at Olduvai Gorge then could be explained by both ground scavenging and the
scavenging leopard tree kills by homo habilis
Man The Hunter Model
oHarvard expedition- Lee, DeVoire
oMan the Hunter Conference
oSexual division of labor
Hominid Brain and Meat Consumption
oIncrease in brain size correlates with appearance of meat in the hominine diet
oThe human brain consumes more than twice the energy of the brains of nonhuman primates
The Earliest Signs of Tools And Culture
oProblem solving- the use of stone tools to butcher and prepare meat
oTool manufacture- emphasizing manual dexterity and find manipulation, resulting in improved
organization of the nervous stem
oAbstract idea of the tool, plus the steps and materials to make it and teach the process
Language Origins
oTeaching tool making requires cooperation, planning, and foresight
oHumans and apes share a gesture-call system
oHumans and apes share language potential
oThese shared abilities must have been possessed by the earliest hominines as well
oDevelopment of the brain, and the development of the larynx
Evidence for Language Origins
oHow do we directly identify language use using fossils?
oWhat parts of the brain are used
L-shaped Vocal Tract
oThe L-shaped tract has been continuously evolving as opposed to appearing suddenly
oSome think the advent of bipedalism 3.5 MYA would have brought changes to the skull, allowing for a
more L-shaped vocal tract
oThe shape of the tract and a larynx positioned relatively low in the neck are prerequisites for humans
sounds, particularly vowels
oSome researches argue the larynx was not yet positioned even in Neanderthals
Language and the Homo habilis Brain
oThe speech area is adjacent to that involved in precise hand control
oManufacture of Oldowan tools require manual skills beyond those of chimpanzees using stones and
anvils for nut cracking
oH. habilis exhibited handedness in tool making which associate with lateralization of the brain
oLateralization is associated with language