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Lecture 19

ANTH 1013 Lecture 19: The Piltdown Hoax and Defining Early Hominins

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University of Arkansas
ANTH 1013

Lecture 19 Lecture 19 The Piltdown Hoax and Defining Early Hominins What Makes a Hominin? Phylogenetic definition: any relative of humans since the last common ancestor with chimpanzees Scala Naturae: humans are the pinnacle of creation Early evolutionists believes humans are the most highly evolved species BIG BRAINS Early Fossil Discoveries 1. Engis, BelgiumNeanderthal1829ignored until 1900s 2. Gibraltor, SpainNeanderthal1848largely ignored 3. Neander Valley, Felfhoffer Grotto, 1856described 1857 4. Spy, BelgiumNeanderthal2 nearly complete skeletons 1886stone tools 5. La Chapelle aux Saints, France1908Neanderthal 6. La Chapelle aux Saints, Franceelderlymissing postcanine teethAlveolie resorbedArthiritic Reactions to Neanderthals Ernst Haekel: Homo stupidus Marceline Boule: Brutish cave man British Neanderthals found on continental Europe, not in England Brits didnt see Neanderthals as human ancestor People wanted human evolution to happen in their own backyard (as a matter of pride and justification for racialethnic superiority) The Piltdown Hoax Partial brain case: indicated a large brain (like modern Homo) Apelike jaw Orangutanlike teeth (suggested an Ape) missing link between humans and apes intelligence evolved first, everything else followed confirmed notions as to how humans mustve evolved (evidence) Eanthropus dawsoni: no front jaw, no articulation Accepted in Great Britainquestioned by other scientists Fossil missing parts that link jaw to skull Parts began to show up at convenient timeshad files marked on them Proved a forgery by Flourine dating (Piltdown specimens were recent with other ancient fossils) Solution (1996): museum volunteer in British Museum of Natural History: Martin Hinton South Africa Raymond Dart (anatomist) was given a peculiar skull found in a mine Australopithecus africanus 1925 The Taung Child humanlike teeth with thick enamel
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