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Lecture 4

Archaeology-Lecture 4-Upper Paleolithic Lifeways and Peopling of the Americas Nov 20 2008


Course Code
Marcel Danesi

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ANT100 Introduction to Anthropology 2008
Archaeology Section
Lecture 4 - Upper Paleolithic Lifeways and Peopling of the Americas
November 20, 2008
Summary of Lecture 4 Content
Summary of Cultural Chronology
x Lower Paleolithic: 2.5 MYA to 300 KYA
o H. Habilis (Oldowan); H. Erectus (Acheliuan)
x Middle Paleolithic: 300 KYA- 40K YA
o Neanderthals
x Upper Paleolithic- 400, 000- 14 KYA
o Modern Human Beings
Modern Human Origins
x Introduction
o Modern humans (H. sapiens sapiens) emerge between 200 and 100 KYA
o Earliest evidence is from Africa
o Some debate with regard to evolutionary mechanism- continuity or replacement
x Models - Multiregional vs. Out of Africa
x mtDNA evidence
o mtDNA evidence goes against the mutliregional model
Modern humans derive from a 200 KYA African population (little or no
interbreeding with Archaic HS)
Genetic material most diverse among African populations; suggest longer
period of development here
8 base pair differences among exact populations (suggests some 30 KYA
development, not 1.8 million)!
Cultural Development - Upper Paleolithic
x New tool kits based on antler, bone and wood
x Development of Aurignacian tool tradition after 25 KYA
o Includes blade tools, burins, and microliths
o Emergence of indirect percussion and pressure flaking techniques
x Blade technology
o Often involved indirect percussion/punch techniques as well as pressure
o Characteristics: long and narrow, parallel sides
o Increased efficiency, decreased waste
x Nature and Extent of Changes in Tool Technology
x Burins**
o Is a chisel like tool used to cut, incise and shape materials like bone, antler and
o It was often made of a flake (or blade)
x Microliths
o Eurasia; essentially hafted blade tools with one blunt edge
o Served as spear barbs, arrow points, small knives and scrapers
x Indirect Percussion / Pressure Flaking
x Atlatl
o Also developed: the Atlatl or spear thrower
Lever used to propel a spear
Greater accuracy, thrust and distance
Attached to the spear with a bone or antler hook
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