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Peopling of the Australia and the New World.docx

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Western University
Anthropology 2100
Peter Timmins

Nov, 12, 2012 Peopling of the Australia and the New World -Archaeological hypotheses about the peopling of Australia and the Americas are based on scientific inquiry and are often in conflict with indigenous views and origin stories tell many indigenous people where they came from Modern Humans in East Asia: -H. erectus is in Java as early as 1.8 mya and possibly in China by 1.6 mya -H. erectus fossils from Ngandong Java are associated with very late Electron Spin Resonance dates of 46,000 to 27,000 ya and the dating was done on animal teeth found with the Homo erectus fossils but the association has been questioned as have the dates Flores Man – Homo floresiensis: -On the Island of Flores east of Java and they are 1 metre tall with a brain size of 380 cc from 18,000 – 38,000 years ago and they have a mix of primitive and advanced traits with a prominent brow ridge, no chin, non-prognathic face and small teeth and they are maybe descended from an isolated population of Homo erectus or are the product of isolation and inbreeding leading to their small bodies -The site of Liang Bua has simple flake tools and they hunted pygmy elephants and Komodo dragons New Guinea and the Solomon Islands: -Bobongara on the Huon peninsula has stone axes and flakes dated to 40,000 BP -New Ireland cave sites (32,000 BP) has evidence of subsistence on fish, shellfish, and small game -To get to Kilu Rockshelter on Buka Island (28,000-20,000 ya) required crossing 130-180 km of open water and has Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition: choppers, axes, and scrapers Hunter Gatherers in Australia: -At Nauwalabila I (53-60,000 ya) there are deeply buried stone tools including a scraper and two grinding stones and at Lake Mungo (50,000 ya) has a skeleton from ca 40,000 ya, hearths, stone artifacts, and fish bones -Cuddie Springs (36-27,000 ya) has extinct mega fauna found in association with stone tools but there is controversy over the stratigraphic integrity of the site -Australians had a very conservative technology and Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition (ca. 40,000 – 5000 BP) had choppers, adzes, and simple flake tools and the Australian Small Tool Tradition (5000 BP – historic times) has projectile points, and microliths (Aborigines have an elaborate social/ritual life, mythology, and oral traditions) Tasmania: -Evidence of occupation by 35,000 BP and it was connected to Sahul (Australia) when there were low water levels -The Parmerpar Meethaner site (34,000 BP) and Warreen site (35,000 BP) has evidence of hunting red wallabies using simple stone tool technology and the Tasmanians were cut off from the mainland at the end of the Pleistocene and there were no hafted tools at time of European contact and they have technology similar to ca. 12, 000 BP in Australia and they almost died out in the 19th century 80 years after European settlement Peopling of the New World: Evidence from Physical Anthropology: -Ales Hrdlicka provided a genetic basis for the Asian origins of North American Indians -Christy Turner showed Native American and northern Asian populations share a set of dental characteristics called Sinodonty which is a shovel-shaped incisors, single-rooted 1st premolars, double-rooted 2nd molars (upper jaw) Folsom New Mexico: -In 1927 there was found an association of extinct Late Pleistocene species of bison with fluted projectile point and this provided confirmation of an “American Paleolithic” (confirmed in the field by A.V. Kidder) Paleo-Indian Cultures – Clovis and Folsom: -Radiocarbon dated to 13,500 - 12,500 ya with fluted bifaces, knives, gravers, and end scrapers with blade technology and they were specialized hunters of large mammals including now extinct mega fauna (but they also hunted smaller prey) Nov, 12, 2012 Competing Hypotheses: 1. Clovis First - settlement at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation by Clovis people 13,500 – 12,500 years ago 2. Pre Clovis - settlement during the Wisconsin glaciation, prior to 13,500 years ago 3. Early Arrival - human arrival in the Americas began as early as 30,000 to 40,000 years ago Components of an Explanation: 1. A donor population in north-eastern Asia prior to proposed migration 2. Migration route across Beringia and to the south -Levson and Rutter (1996) demonstrate the ice-free corridor was closed throughout the Late Wisconsin glaciation -Sites in the Queen Charlotte Islands has a west coast route was suggested by Knut Fladmark in the 1970s and Daryl Fedje’s (Parks Canada) recent discovery of
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