ANTA01 Introduction to Anthropology
Lecture 7 Archaic Homo
Focus most study attention on the lectures.
For the mock question, the picture is Twiggy, Homo habilis.
For the primate information, know the classification of apes and focus on specialized locomotion and
We are solid on Neanderthals, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens, as well as Australopithecine.
Homo sapiens developed 200,000 years ago.
We sometimes refer to species as Archaic Homos, we use to call Neanderthals, Homo sapiens
neandertalensis, meaning we are same species that can interbreed, but recently we have called
Neanderthals their own species.
Homo erectus belongs to the lower Pleistocene 1.6 million years ago to 780,000 years ago.
Then the planet gets warmer again, and we have middle Pleistocene, where we have later, more
advance erectus forms and early archaics.
At the ends of Pleistocene known as Upper Pleistocene do we see late archaics, Neanderthals and
Variability because Pleistocene is known as the Great Ice Age.
Green band is warm ages, and white band is cold ages.
There is extreme fluctuations and rapid environmental change leads to species developing.
Java man was recognized to be a homo erectus.
It is only in Asia they seem to have continued unaffected by other species.
The earliest of Homo erectus in Asia have brain sizes of about 850-1000 cubic centimeters.
There is one site which has produced a wealth of remains of Homo erectus and much more advanced
Zhoukoudian Cave was excavated by professor of U of T.
At first, doctors thought these bones were dragon bones and crushed them up in potions, so they had
been destroying Homo erectus bones.
At the Same Time
Meanwhile in Africa, specimens found that look more primitive than Homo erectus forms in Asia.
They are a little bit more robust than later erectus forms but definitely much bigger brained than
Homo habilis forms.
Homo ergaster called because they look slightly different and it means working man, but they are
very similar and basically are Homo erectus.
In East Africa found in Koobi-Fora and Olduvai George.
In South Africa at Swartkrans they found the first evidence of fire.
What is special about fire? And why did it transform our lineage?
o We can cook our food and do not have to rely on having big teeth
o We can start moving up and out of Africa due to heat
o Light at night!
o Up until the development of fire, everyday life would have been getting up at the sun and
going to bed come the night.
o But with fire you can stay up within the night. Nariokatome Boy
Most famous Homo erectus/Homo ergaster
Pretty much nearly complete
Has characteristics of a biped
Modifications of back of the neck, extra muscle attachments
o Suggests long distance runners
Probably they live in equatorial Africa
You want to increase surface area of skin so you can sweat more – why long and tall in equatorial
This is when we think they lost hair except on head and developed sweat glands
We think he is 12 years old when he died.
We know the age due to fusion of his long bones.
When you date tools, you are just dating the sediment lying around the tool.
Achelian industry is much more advanced than Olduwan.
Now there is introduction of fossil dexterous hands, and bifacial hand axes made with direct
percussion and soft hammering. Instead of small flakes there are hundreds of flakes.
Is still an industry where the core is the primary tool and flakes are being removed.
You have to hold abstract idea, and sculpt and shape form and show someone how to do it.
Seems to have lasted unchanged over a million years.
In Oldewan there were 5 types of stone tools, in Achelian there is about 10.
We think they were clearly hunting, there were butcher sites, and we see them not scavenging from
Out of Africa I
Starting to see beginning of species not needed to evolve biologically to adapt and using their social
lives to help them adapt to changing environments.
Out of Africa I is based on Saharan pump. We assume now that they have fire and the environment is
fluctuating, there would have been times where it was particularly wet. Therefore what we call the
Sahara would have been vast grasslands. And the Middle East would also have vast grasslands. The
population probably went through an explosion and if they had to move to new areas, we thought
they would have made it to the Sahara and migrate back and forwards to Asia. The key of the
Pleistocene is rapid change. When we see another movement to cool and dry, the grass is going to dry
and development of deserts again. Once you get herbivores and hunters into Sahara moving back and
forward to Asia, it is pumping Homo erectus and herbivores into Asia where they stay or migrate
further into Asia than staying in Africa.
Evidence for Movement
Coming from East Africa across Egypt and Middle East to Asia and down into Java. We don’t see them
move into Europe much later.
The oldest evidence of Homo ergaster is in the country of Georgie and a site called Dminisi
The Dminisi fossils look more primitive than early Homo ergasters.
It is SOUTH EAST Asia not South West Asia. By 1.6 mya we are finding tools that look like hand axes,
and the fossils themselves date to much later.
By 2 million to 1.6 million years ago we are finding tools but the dates are questionable because the
fossils are only half that old.
The guys found in Europe look like East African forms not Asian forms so referred to as Homo
antecessor, found in Spain. Behavior
There is the remains of a kill site, where they hunted huge species and remains of butchered animals
and tools are left.
The bone is beautifully preserved.
There are herds of mega fauna.
They made a conscious effort to carry tools a long distance (raw materials from other areas) or
The tips of wooden shafts have been ground down to a point.
These wooden javelins are 2 meters tall.
Stripes on bones, means they are drying meat and can take the food with them and giving them hope
for the future.
In Eastern Asia, the Homo erectus forms continue.
However, in Europe transition from Homo erectus to Homo heidelbergensis.
In Africa transition to Homo rhodesiensis.
Map of early archaic Homo
Early Archaic Homos
Gracile, and has a bigger brain than ergaster
Same height as ergaster
Form primarily in Europe
They are in a pit of bones due to burial or swept to corner of cave by a flood
They look a lot more like Neanderthals than anything else
Homo erectus skulls have funny points at the back, whereas Neanderthals and heidelbergensis have
an occipital bun.
Humans on the other hand have big globular brains.
Found in same regions as Neanderthals just found before Neanderthals.
One skull found in Zambia in a mind in Southern Africa.
A bit more gracile than ergaster.
Bigger brain than ergaster.
Looks just like a heidelbergensis without the big bun and found in Africa.
Many people have decided that there since there is only one, that it may be a heidelbergensis.
Still use Achelian-like tool industry.
May be evidence for cannibalism, as some skulls have marks on the skulls.
They are right handed meaning lateralization of the brain. (Homo habilis is handed as well)
Inner ear bones are identical to Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.
Red ochre is found in caves in France, red ochre is used by Homo sapiens for paintings in caves.
Have thousands of them all over Europe and in the Middle East
Thought the two forms were early and later forms, but they date back to the same time.
First were found in Neander valley in Germany
The first full skeleton of Neanderthal was an old man with arthritis.
The oldest of Neanderthals seem to carry on in Spain, a lot of debate if they were able to breed with
humans. Comparative anatomy
If would be able to give pictures of fossils, sh