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Lecture 10

ANT100Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Neanderthal, Homo Habilis, Homo ErectusPremium


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT100Y1
Professor
Shawn Lehman
Lecture
10

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InterpretationandAnalysis:Archaeology’sreallybiggoalistoexplainculturechange
● muchoftherestofthiscoursewillbeaboutculturechange,sothiswillbebrief.
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MechanismsofChange:
● innovation
● anewlydiscoveredorinventedthing,ideaorwayofbehaving
● canhappenrapidlyduetodeliberateeffortorslowlyandalmostunconsciously
● diffusion
● borrowingbyonesocietyofatrait(idea,object,technology,etc.)presentin
anothersociety,duetothecontactbetweenthesocieties
● willoccuronlywhentheborrowingcultureseesandadvantage,andcandevelop
anunderstandingofit
● acculturation
● aprocessofextensiveculturalborrowingbetweentwosocieties,ofteninthe
contextofunequalpowerrelationships
● particularlyassociatedwithcolonialism
● adaptationtoenvironment/environmentalchange
● usingculture,notbiologicalchange,toadapt
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Finalnote:mostcasesofculturechangearecomplexandinvolvemorethanonemechanism.it
isimportanttorememberthathumansocietiesaremadeupofcomplexindividualsandthat
historyandpoliticsarecriticalinanyinstanceofculturechange.
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TheEarliestTracesofHumanBehaviour
Threetimeframes:
LowerPalaeolithic(3.3)2.6MYA–200KYA
MiddlePalaeolithic20040KYA
UpperPalaeolithic5010KYA
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StoneTools:Theearliestindicationsofmaterialculture
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Culture
● thesystemofsharedbeliefs,values,customs,behavioursandartifactsthatthe
membersofsocietyusetocopewiththeirworldandwithoneanother,andthatare
transmittedfromgenerationtogenerationthroughlearning(BatesandPlog,1976)
● cultureistheprimaryavenuethroughwhichhumansadapttotheirenvironment
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Oneofthemajorbehaviouraltraitswhichsetshumansapartfromotheranimalsisthevariety
andfrequencyofourmanufactureanduseoftoolsandourdependenceonthem.Toolsare
madeofstone,wood,bone,antler,skin,bark,leaves,etc.,butstonetoolsarebyfarthemost
likelytobepreservedfromallperiods,sincetheyareresistanttodestruction.
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FlakedStoneTools:thebasics
● basedonfracture,notgroundor“carved”
● requireshomogeneousmaterial(nonaturalgrain),e.g.flint,obsidian
● whenforceisappliedaflakeisdetachedfromthecore
○ areaonthecorefromwhichflakewasremovedisthe“flakescar”
● eithertheflakeorthecoreisusedtoproduceatool(“coretool”vs“flaketool”)
● platform:thepointofimpactwheretheflakeisdetachedfromthecore
● cortex:theoriginalexteriorofthestonecore
● PercussionFlaking(removalofflakesbyimpact)vs.PressureFlaking(removalofflakes
bypressing,ratherthanstriking)
● DirectPercussion(hammerstrikescore)vs.IndirectPercussion(hammerstrikespunch
whichisplacedagainstcore)
● Retouch:additionalflakingalongtheedgeofaflaketoaltertheshape,makingitintoa
tool
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OldowanToolTradition
● Earliestwelldescribedstonetooltradition(2.61.8MYAinAfrica)
● Simpleartifacts:4types
1. Manuports:piecesofrocktransportedbutnotmodified
2. Hammerstones:rocksbatteredorpitted
3. Coretools:pebblesandrockfragmentsfromwhichflakeshavebeenstruck
4. Flakes:thinflakesofrockstruckfromcores
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