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Lecture 17

Lecture 17 - Premodern Humans - February 12.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Keriann Mc Googan

February 12, 2013. Lecture 17 - Premodern humans  Apparently February 12 is Darwin’s birthday This Class  Hominins in the Pleistocene  Localities o Africa, Europe, Asia  Hominins in the middle Pleistocene  Neandertals  Neandertal culture  Genetic evidence The Pleistocene  Middle Pleistocene 780 – 125 kya  The “Ice Age”  Glaciations: climatic intervals when continental ice sheets cover much of northern continents o More arid climates in the south o Cooler temperatures in the north  Interglacials: climatic intervals when continental ice sheets are retreating, eventually becoming reduced in size o Warmer temperatures in the north o Wetter climates in the south o Essentially the opposite of Glaciations  Changing Pleistocene Environments o Interglacial in Africa  Increased rainfall  Therefore increased forest area o Glacial in Africa  Reduced rainfall  Increased aridity  Expansion of desert/savanna areas  Far less likely for hominin migration to occur o Interglacial in Europe/Scandinavia  Warmer temperatures, lack of huge glaciers  Easier to migrate throughout Europe and especially Northern Europe/Scandinavia o Glacial in Europe/Scandinavia  Large glacier covering Scandinavia  Colder throughout Europe  Migration occurring mostly in the south of Europe Who were the Middle Pleistocene Hominins?  Premodern humans succeeded Homo erectus o EXCEPT or coexistence in Asia  Homo heidelbergensis vs. Homo erectus o H. heidelbergensis  1100 – 1450 cc (brain capacity)  Broad parietal bones  Enlarged upper portion of occipital bone  Reduce postorbital constriction  Broad frontal bone  … o H. erectus  ….  ….  ….  …. Middle Pleistocene Hominins  Premodern humans from Africa and Europe resemble each other more than they do Asian hominins from this time  Africa: o Homo heidelbergensis  Homo sapiens  Europe: o Homo heidelbergensis  Neandertals  Asia: o Homo heidelbergensis  Extinction?? Middle Pleistocene Culture  Acheulean tool technology persists  Levallois technique emerges  Hafting o Fancy way of saying they were attached to a handle o Stone tool or a flake attached to a handle is called a “HAFTED” tool  Intraregional diversity in tool sites o Achulean found in African and European sites o In Europe, evidence of tools that were different from the Achulean, as well as different form the tools found in Africa  Temporary structures  Exploited a variety of foods  Hunting? o Island of Jersey off coast of France – large game with evidence of butchering o Schoningen Germany – throwing spears Neandertals  130 – 30 kya  Classifications o Subspecies of Homo sapiens o Homo neanderthalensis  Homo heidelbergensis was an ancestor of both Neandertals and Homo sapiens  Evidence suggests that they should probably belong to their own species  Remains discovered in 1856 Neander Valley, Germany o Three years before Darwin published On the Origin of Species  Bones found looked very human, but still not quite right  Some thought they belonged to contemporary humans that were merely sick, malnourished, or deformed in some way  Morphology o 1. Large Cranial Capacity  1245 – 1740 cc, average of 1500 cc  Larger than modern humans as well as H. heidelbergensis  Cold climate o 2. Rounded Crania  Occipital bun  Unique to Neandertals o 3. Big Faces  Brow ridges were larger and rounder  Stuck
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