Lecture 9.pdf

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16 Apr 2012
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Homo erectus and the Archaics 11-09-19 9:18 AM
Adaptation to different aspects: weather, location, biological adjustment
More Human Like
Homo Ergaster
Homo Erectus
1.9 : earliest findings, Lake Turkana, Africa
Long low brain case, prominent brow ridges, large & muscular jaw
Close to human, not quite
Use of fire & control of fire
o Elongates the day for the humans, social aspect of culture,
brings people together in the evenings, protection, place to
cook, development for social behavior
Nariokatome Boy
Most complete skeleton
12 years old approx.
taller than modern humans
well adapted to equatorial life
lived in warm environment, increase area of skin to maximize
release of heat
most of this species are taller than us, efficient running machines,
almost same brain capacity
Tool Industry
Acheulian 1.3 MYA
Development of large ornate, symmetrical by-faces (worked on
both sides, identical)
Leap in cognitive thinking
o Have to imagine final product & execute plan, also need to be
able to teach the next generation
Dexterous hands: precision grips, maybe a soft hammer techniques
(use something in between rock & rock)
Lasted over 1MY with no change; In Africa, Europe & Asia
No idea what they were used for
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Out of Africa
H. Erectus is the first to leave Africa
Evidence of fire is 1.2 MYA
Most sites are from E. Africa to Middle East
Were able to leave Africa all the way to Indonesia
Better hunting
Saharan Pump: followed herds into Asia, following food – herds
which were following grasslands
Move as region becomes dry and non-lithical
Evidence for Movement
Asia
o 1.7
o 1.4 Achulian examples
S.W Asia
o 1.6 Achulian handexes, Flores Island
China
o Longgupo 2 MYA choppers: we have yet to find the earliest
species or they were on both sides of Asia instantaneously
o Skeletal Material 600 000 YA
Europe
o 800 000; no classic H. Erectus, we do find tools, Skeletal
materials, Gran Dolina.
o Suggested that skeletal material should not be considered
Erectus, too recent – H. Antecessor
Behaviour
Shoningen, Germany; 400 000 YA; borders end of erectus period
Kill site: large animals – Big game hunters
Knowledge of raw materials
Wood javelins preserved, throwing spears
Fully hunters now
Dried the meat, to preserve it for a long time (I,e storage)
o Preparations for the future
What Then?
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