ANTH 0780 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Upper Paleolithic, Pleistocene, Hypoglossal Nerve

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6 Feb 2017
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The Hunters
The Rise of Homo-Sapiens:
-Major changes in human behavior took place toward the end of the Pleistocene. For the first time, our
ancestors began to exhibit behaviors that were more than just practical activities, beyond the basic
necessities for survival. The genus and species Homo sapiens took the stage and became fully modern.
-By the end of the Pleistocene, our own species (Homo sapiens sapiens)biologically indistinguishable
from modern humans had created art, invented many new tools, made tailored clothing, started
counting, and spread to almost all parts of the world
-The earliest known example of Homo sapiens has been found at Kibish in southwestern Ethiopia, dating
to 195,000 years ago
-Out of Africa theory involves the evolution of H. sapiens from
H. erectus in Africa and the spread of that species
- The Multiregional theory argues that H. sapiens evolved from
H. erectus in several places and that interbreeding kept them
similar
-Innovations during the Upper Paleolithic, dating from 40,000
to 10,000:
1. The shaping of new materials such as bone, wood, shell,
and ivory into tools
2. The transport or exchange of raw materials, such as flint,
over long distances
3. Great diversity and specialization in artifacts
4. First art
-As fully modern humans evolved in Africa, one assumes that
their skin color was dark, pigmented by the genes for skin
color as protection against the sun
Origins of Language
-Language evolved gradually from the utterances and cries of
early primates to its modern forms.
-Monkeys vocalize to express emotion but do not have voluntary control over vocalization; for one
thing, they lack the vocal apparatus humans have
-The hyoid bone was present in Neanderthals which is a delicate bone in the neck that anchors the
tongue muscles in the throat
-The division in the organization and operation of the brain is called lateralization. One side of the brain
controls language, and the other side regulates motor skills and perception. Lateralization is essential for
language, because the processing of word strings must occur in close proximity in the nerve cells of the
brain
-The hypoglossal nerve, which controls the movement of the tongue, is twice as thick in humans as in
chimpanzees
The Klasies River Mouth Caves
-
Paleolithic Art:
-Emerges by 40,000 30,000 BP
-High point: 10-15,000 BP
-Earliest artistic tradition
1. Mural Art: back (charcoal), yellow/red (iron oxides and clay), and white (clay and calcite)
2. Portable: symbolic (notational), spiritual beliefs
Henri Breuil (1952)
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