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Early Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals.docx

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Anthropology 2100
Peter Timmins

Oct, 29, 2012 Early Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals Early/Archaic Homo Sapiens – ca 400,000-70,000: -Increase in cranial capacity to 1125 to 1400 cc with an average of 1260 cc -Homo erectus’ mean cranial capacity was only 960 cc -Specimens between ca. 400,000 and ca. 200,000 years old are sometimes called Homo heidelbergensis -Archaic Homo sapiens from Greece Petralona 1 (.4 my old?) -Archaic Homo sapiens from France Arago XXI (.4 mya) -Archaic Homo sapiens from Germany Steinheim (.25 mya) -Archaic Homo sapiens from China Dali (.2 mya) -Have a rounded cranial vault and cranial capacity of 1120 cc -Archaic Homo sapiens from Zambia at Broken Hill (.3 mya) Neanderthal Traits: 1. Prognathic lower face, large nasal cavity 2. Large cheekbones, prominent brow ridges 3. Large front teeth, strong chewing apparatus 4. No chin, or a very small chin 5. A long, low cranial vault with a cranial capacity 1250 - 1740 cc (mean 1480 cc) 6. Occipital bun on European specimens 7. Post-cranial skeleton is short but robust with thick, slightly bowed long bones Neanderthal Economy: -Hunted small-medium sized animals (reindeer were a major food source) -Also hunted woolly mammoth and rhinoceros and La Cotte de St. Brelade in the Jersey Islands in the English Channel shows 20 mammoths and 5 woolly rhinos were stampeded off a cliff -We have limited evidence for plant foods -Binford says Neanderthals captured food “on an encounter basis” and there was no planning but others disagree Neanderthal Social Organization: -Lived in small groups at small sites that were usually caves and open air structures -Accumulation of debris suggest they were more sedentary than modern hunter-gatherers -They had band organization and informal leadership -Binford questions evidence
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