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Lecture 16

Lecture 16 - Homo erectus and contemporaries - February 5.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Keriann Mc Googan

February 5, 2013. Lecture 16 - Homo erectus and contemporaries This Class  Finish Australopiths  Early Homo  Behavioural adaptations o Stone Tool Technologies  Homo erectus o Morphology o Africa, Indonesia, China o Comparison of Asian and African Homo erectus o Europe o Technology Homo habilis  East Africa  2.4-1.6 mya  Earliest hominin tool users  Olduvai Gorge  Cranial Characteristics o Relative to earlier hominins:  Slightly increased cranial capacity (500-800cc)  Chimpanzee and Australopithecine 350-400cc  40% bigger  Small brow ridge  Smaller face (rel. to Australopithecus)  Reduced molar size  Same bipedal characteristics as Australopithecines/Paranthropines Tool Kits  Stone tools date to 2.5 mya  Variety of tool industries  Oldowan Tool Industry o 2.5 mya o Simple end of the tool spectrum/scale o Rounded stones that have been flaked a few times to produce some kind of edge o Made using direct percussion methods o Made changes to diet possible; eat more animal proteins, previously could only eat the kinds of foods one could skin using teeth and nails  Could be a reason for reduction in teeth, less need for them o Variation in shape and size  Unrelated to how they were used, made, or toolmakers thought they should look  More due to differences in the raw materials/rocks themselves; fracture and break in different ways o Associated (we think) with Homo habilis; morphologically not adept at meat eating and would therefore need such tools (small tooth size)  Achulean Tool Industry o 1.6 mya o Standardized form  Little “fancier”, less crude than Oldowan  E.g. hand axes, most famous example  Distinctive tear-drop shape  Indicates more effort towards planning in tool-making  Ratio of height, to width, to thickness, etc.  Made with specific uses in mind o Passed from generation to generation  Indicated by those standardized forms  Very little change in Achulean tools across space (Africa, Asia, Europe) AND time  Potential parents teaching offspring o Associated with remains of Homo erectus, primary users of Achulean tools o Flaked on both sides  Levallois tool technique o 300 kya o Associated with later hominins, in particular Homo heidelbergensis o Achulean tools were still also being made o More complex o 3 steps  Make a flat top by flaking around circumference  Point the flat top by flaking at an angle around circumference  Flake off the pointed top, this is the tool o Made from large, symmetrical shapes o Improved spears and knives  Two-step/composite tool  Attaching handles and such o Raw material from further away  Mousterian Tradition o Named after particular French Neandertal site, associated with Neandertals o Lighter, smaller tools  Using Levalloisian techniques o More variety in types of tools being made for the first time  Fixed to handles/wooden shafts  Variety in types and sub-types o Meat eating  Upper Paleolithic Tool Industry o 33 kya o More varieties of tools, e.g. blades  Flakes  Characteristic for being twice as long as they are wide  A lot more preparation/time required to create o Stereotypical pattern o Bone, antler, teeth to make tools  Earlier hominins did make use of bone, but Upper Paleolithic people had far more uses for these materials even aside from spear/arrowheads Homo erectus  Eugene Dubois in Indonesia o Skull cap, teeth, thigh bone  Low forehead, large brow ridges  Large cranial capacity, femur  A new “grade” of hominin o Grade: grouping of organisms sharing a similar adaptive pattern o Homo erectus grade:  Increased body size and robustness  Limb proportions changed  Greater encephalization (larger brain relative to body size)  1. Body Size o Large: 100 pounds, 5’6”  Increase in height and body mass o Sexual dimorphism  Less so than earlier hominins like Australopiths o More robust than earlier hominins  Specifically more heavily muscled  2. Brain Size o 700-1250cc o BUT must consider large body size  3. Cranial Shape o Supraorbital torus (large, heavy brow ridges) o Thick cranial bones o Projected Nuchal Torus (where the occipital protuberance is)  Where neck muscles a
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