Archaeology-Lecture 3-Lower and Middle Paleolithic Lifeways Nov 6 2008

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23 Aug 2010
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ANT100 Introduction to Anthropology 2008
Archaeology Section
Lecture 3 - Lower and Middle Paleolithic Lifeways
November 6, 2008
Major Biological Trends
y Influenced by shift in the mode of locomotion from quadrupedalism to bipedalism
y Major changes
I. Increased cranial capacity/decreased prognathism)
II. Change in shape in pelvis (shorter, broader illium)
III. Shift in position of the foramen magnum
IV. Change in shape of the dental arcade
Homo Habilis
y µHandy personµ- assumed tool making abilities
y First discovered by Louis and Mary Leakey in Bed I at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, in 1960
y Decrease in prognathism; higher, rounder cranium
y Increased in cranial capacity: 600-700 cc
y Thought to correlate with capacity to make stone tools, better exploit landscape
y Bipedal, but retained ability to climb trees
y Similar lengths in humeri/femora
y Similar to chimpanzees, but not like us
Origins of Human Culture
y We see with homo habilis, for the first time, evidence of learned behaviour in the form of:
y Tool use (the Oldowan Tool Tradition)
y Subsistence/Settlement practices (home bases)
y Social Organization
Early Tool Use: The Oldowan
y Earliest (?) µhuman technology- the Oldowan
I. Beginning of the lower Paleolithic Period
y Simple Tools; East Africa (Olduvai Gorge), ca. 2.5 MYA
II. Coincides with the emergence of H. habilis
y Notable for large pebble choppers with flakes removed at one end
Homo Habilis Tool Use
y Percussion flaking
Lifeways
y Oldowan tools found in associated with faunal remains at Olduvai Gorge (DK1)
I. Hunting or scavenging? (Pat Shipman)
II. Product of natural process?
III. Co-operation and food sharing?
Homo Erectus
y Transition to more advanced hominin forms, ex: Homo erectus ca. 1.9 MYA
y Transition coincides, roughly with the start of the Pleistocene
The Pleistocene
y Geological µepoch or time period
I. Aka the ice age; ca. 1.8 MYA- 12, 000 BP
y Characterized by cyclical warm/cold climatic conditions
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Document Summary

First discovered by louis and mary leakey in bed i at olduvai gorge, tanzania, in 1960. Increased in cranial capacity: 600-700 cc: increased cranial capacity/decreased prognathism) Change in shape in pelvis (shorter, broader illium) Lecture 3 - lower and middle paleolithic lifeways. O thought to correlate with capacity to make stone tools, better exploit landscape. O bipedal, but retained ability to climb trees. O similar to chimpanzees, but not like us. O we see with homo habilis, for the first time, evidence of learned behaviour in the form of: human technology- the oldowan: beginning of the lower paleolithic period. O simple tools; east africa (olduvai gorge), ca. O notable for large pebble choppers with flakes removed at one end. O oldowan tools found in associated with faunal remains at olduvai gorge (dk1) O transition to more advanced hominin forms, ex: homo erectus ca. O transition coincides, roughly with the start of the pleistocene.

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