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Becoming Human

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University of Toronto St. George
Christopher Watts

November 11 , 2010. Becoming Human Cultural Chronology Lower Paleolithic 2.5 mya to 300 kya - H. habilis (Oldowan); H. erectus (Acheulian) Middle Paleolithic 300 kya to 40,000 ya - Neanderthals (Mousterian) Upper Paleolithic 40,000 ya 14,000 ya - Modern Humans (Aurignacian) Early Tools Use: The Oldowan Earliest (?) human technology - Beginning of the Lower Paleolithic Period Simple tools; East Africa (Olduvai Gorge), ca. 2.5 mya - Coincides with the emergence of H. habilis Consists of large pebble choppers with flakes removed at one end - Flakes could have been used for a variety of tasks Homo erectucergaster Transition to more advanced hominin forms, i.e., H. erectus and H. ergaster ca. 1.9 mya First to use fire - ca. 1.5 mya, swartkrans (South Africa) First to leave Africa - Adapted to a number of environments, e.g. Europe; SE Africa by 1.8 mya The Acheulian Tradition Oldowan technology gives way to Acheulian by 1.5 mya; lasts until ca. 60,000 BP Africa, Western Europe and SW Asia Choppers, flake tools, cleavers and hand axes - Regional variability Acheulian Hand Axe Prepared core technology - Evidence of skill (knapping techniques) Symmetry around long axis - Cognitive development (mental templates)? Bifacially worked, multipurpose tools
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