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Homo Erectus, Neanderthals

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael Chazan

Monday November 15, 2010 Prof. Chazan ANT 200 Introduction to Archaeology Homo erectus, neanderthals Review - Hominin Radiation - Oldowan - Choppers and Flakes - Refitted cores - After 200kya the hominin lineage dies away Homo erectus - Substantially larger brain size in hominin lineage - Heaving chewing muscles and brow - How did homo erectus society look? - Characterized as modern societies? - Sharing? - Were they like us or significantly different? - Hunters or scavengers? Acheulian - Handle and cleaver (broad working edge) - Bifacial tools - Handaxes - Soft hammer - Produces shallower fracture that allows you to take thin and long flakes - Cleavers - Bit wider than base - Always on large flakes Monday November 15, 2010 Prof. Chazan ANT 200 Introduction to Archaeology Homo erectus, neanderthals - Mostly found in Africa - Continuation of Oldowan types exist - Chronology - East Africa 1.8 mya to 1.5 mya - Olergesailie, Kenya 400,000 - Near East - Gesher Bento Yaakov, Israel 700,000 - Europe - Box Grove, England 500,000 - Asia - Till quite recently never appeared in Asia - Excavated by Davidson Black - Dated to 500,000 - Hominid Homo erectus - Stone tools: Flake/Core industry - Evidence of Fire? - Upper cave Later (Homo sapiens) - Bose: Southern China - 700,000kay - Dating of Tektites - Dispersal vs. Radiation - Enigma in terms of social structure and adaptation - Clearly creature with larger brain size than any preceding member of lineage - Also capable of producing stone tools of sophistication that have never been produced before - First species in the hominin lineage to spread out of africa - Very rapidly Monday November 15, 2010 Prof. Chazan ANT 200 Introduction to Archaeology Homo erectus, neanderthals - 4 mya to 2 mya was a radiation event - increase of diversity species - Dispersal event is the spread of a single species geographically - Implies erectus is very geographically flexible - Sengiran 1.8 mya appear fossils of Homo Erectus - Very strange, almost immediately after their appearance in africa - Former soviet republic of Georgia, Dmanisi 1.8 mya - Simple stone tools - China, Nihewan basin 1.6 mya - No human remains, simple stone tools - Atapuerca, spain, Western Europe 800,000 BP - Fossils and simple stone tools - Why the explosive spread? - Probably some kind of innovation in technology - Probably fire but no evidence - Chazan predicts that all sites should have acheulian technology which shows new cognitive capacity - Yet no advance stone tool technology - Perhaps a ‘universal’ language The Lower Paleolithic Developing Diversity European Flake industries in LP - Argo, France 470-320kay BP - Vertesszollos, hungary 225k BP - Bilzingsleben, Germany 280-350 k BP - Clactonian, Britain - Boxgrove shows that the acheulian predates the clactonian in England - East Farm Barnham has shown that the clactonian is also contemporary with the Acheulian Monday November 15, 2010 Prof. Chazan ANT 200 Introduction to Archaeology Homo erectus, neanderthals Bone and Wood Tools - Bone tools very rare - Wooden Spears - Shoningen, Germany 400 k BP - Lehringen, Germany 115-125 BP - Most two tipped either short or long - Wide and strong - Lot of work put into it - Very perfectly balanced - Perhaps fire hardened? - No stone tool tips on them/adjustment on them to use stone tools - Used as is - No ornamentation - Are we no understanding Homo erects technology because we lack evi- dence of wooden/bone tools? Thomas Wynn - It would be difficult to overemphasize just how strange the handle is when compared to the products of modern culture. It does not fit easily into our understanding of what tools err, and its makers do not fit easily into our understanding of what humans are. - Basically, we have a shitload of handaxes and don’t get them. - Why did they persist for so long - 1.8 mya to 200k - Dominant technology in world with very litle change - Is this invented many many times or in one place - Where did it first appear and where did it spread vs - Is this response of homo erectus to a particular type of problem/situation and it will pop up any time its met - Social organization Monday November 15, 2010 Prof. Chazan ANT 200 Introduction to Archaeology Homo erectus, neanderthals Neanderthals - Homo Neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis - Date 170-30,00 BP - Cranial Capacity: 1200-1750 cc - Location: Europe and Near East - Characteristics: - Robust - Cold Adapted - La Chapelle aux Saints - One of the first fossils - Heads are elongated - Slightly foreward face - No forehead - Skeleton from israel - Skull never found - Limbs bowed - Wishboned shape bone in larynx - Suggest that larynx is similar to modern humans - Because of cranial structure Neanderthals couldn’t speak - Pelvis: - Theory that neanderthal babies born
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