ANT200Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Thomas Henry Huxley, Stone Tool, Pandanus

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22 Mar 2015
ANT200 – Lecture 5 – Monday, October 6th, 2014
Notebook Assignment: What strikes you about the chimpanzee videos? What do you see?
Video 1: A mother chimpanzee uses a big, sharp rock to break nuts and dig up soil to get
insects for food. The young chimpanzee learns to do this from the mother.
(The other three videos will be posted on Blackboard soon.)
Chimpanzees use stone tools.
Young chimpanzees learn to use stone tools for a long period of time by staying close to
others, especially the mother.
Is Human Evolution Directional? Progressive?
We are now officially done with looking at archaeological methods, and will now look at
The earliest stone tools are dated around 2.5 million years ago; members of our lineage
were making and using stone tools around that time.
We will be asking, are we adapted for the use of fire? The answer is yes because we
have evidence of this from the Maya.
There is a connection between the biological evolution of humans and the use of fire.
We will also look at the linkage between adaptation and social structure.
Thomas Henry Huxley was a supporter of Darwin.
Darwin’s theory of evolution removes a creator who gives life meaning; it is no surprise
that even Huxley kind of shied away from Darwin.
What is the Relationship between Evolution and Cultural Evolution?
oCultural evolution involves the transmission of information between generations.
oIt turns out that there are other groups of chimpanzees in the Thai forest that do
not use stone tools; so the fact that the chimpanzees in the video we watched
used stone tools is due to cultural evolution – one chimpanzee taught another to
do the same.
oMost learning takes place in social contexts.
oEverything we do in archaeology depends on the transmission information from
one to another.
oCultural evolution follows a different dynamic than biological evolution.
oWhat do we do that chimpanzees do not? We as one individual impute to others
a perspective of our own (reference to the picture of a female teacher holding a
globe in her hands and pointing to it as she teaches the little kids sitting on the
floor around her).
The Origin of Tool Use:
oScientists have established that chimpanzees use stone tools.
oNew Caledonia crows also use tools in a way – they do not use stone tools like
chimpanzees, but they tear off strips off of Pandanus leaves and use the sharp
part to pick out insects and bugs out of wood.
oCapuchin monkeys – they also use stone tools to crack open nuts like
chimpanzees do; they are the funniest stone tool users because they are very
small and the rocks they use are almost as big as them; they sometimes even
run around with their rock like it’s their own personal rock.
Evidence for Hominoid Systematics:
oMolecular clock
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