Anthropology 1025F/G Lecture Notes - Venus Figurines, Neanderthal, Homo Sapiens

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The Beginning of Human Culture Jan.14
non-human primates are not miniture images of us
part of the tree in which humans stem from
use them to try and figure out the behaviour of our previous ancestors
comparative method
how we are the same, how we are different
causes of similarities and differences
Primate Traits
dentition – enspecialized
hominid dental formula – each quarter of the mouth includes two incisors, one canine, two
premolars, three molars
sense organs – arboreal lifestyle encourages emphasis on vision or vinocular vision so that you
can just movement, depth etc.
brain – increase in cerebral hemispheres, the areas of conscious thought
skeleton – what are the changes: hands are free, disproportionate arms, no tail
monkeys have nails, not claws
bi-pedalism – can walk on two feet, often don't
apes have opposable thumbs and flexible fingers
shoulder joints provide movement all the way around, clavicle holds arms at side for
not born with instinct, but are taught
problems with the comparative method
simplify complex behaviour
eg. nurturing females, aggressive males etc.
Biased selection of examples
eg. don't go out looking for examples that only support your hypothesis, over emphasis on
though there are limitations, the comparative method can shine light on social life
sexually dimorphic, the males are larger and therefore garner more attention
primates are so varied that its not difficult to find one or several examples of almost any point
one wishes to make
First Hominins
fragmentary remains
more chimp like than other hominin
sahelanthropus tchadensis
nearly complete cranium
reduced canine
derived traits of a hominin
bipedal?? - not bipedal, then considered hominin
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