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McMaster University
Stephanie Ross

Anthropology 1AA3 Hominids Exam Review Type of Hominid Time Period/Area Qualities Etc Ardipithecus Ramidus ~5.8 ­ 5.2 mya Bipedal Found fossils in 2009 East Africa (Ethiopia) Opposable big toe Last common ancestor between humans One of missing links between apes and and chimps humans Australopithecus ~3-4 mya Bipedal Most complete skeleton of a hominid Afarensis (Lucy) EastAfrica (Ethiopia) Much smaller than modern human (3-4 ft) (40% complete) Hadar and Laetoli Lucy’s skull resembles that of a modern chimp Australopithecus ~2-3 mya Small cranial capacity Foramen magnum was futher forward Africanus South Africa 40- 60 pounds than in modern apes 450 cc 3.5 and 4.75 ft tall Bipdeal Australopithecines 4-1 mya Genus of extinct hominids Sites withAustralopithecus fossils in East and SouthAfrica Bipdeal volcanic or sedimentary caves Fuzzy Small brains Large teeth Mosaic evolution Robust 2.5-1 mya It is probable that the gracile came before and Different types of gracile and robust Australopithecines the robust formed/evolved from one of the Australopithecines: gracile types A. afarensis Larger teeth A. africanus Thicker bone structure A. boisei More muscular A. robustus Pronounced saggital crest A. aethiopicus Gracile 4.5-2 mya Thinner bone Australopithecines Smaller muscles Shorter in Stature Australopithecus 2.3-1.2 mya Brain size of 510 cc Became extinct ~1mya boisei “The Eastern Africa Massive zygomatic arch Nutcracker Man” Large eyebrow bridges Sagittal crest in stocky and robust specimens Genus Homo ~2.5-1.8 mya Rel. larger brain; ~20% larger than Coexisted withAustralopithecus between Australopithecus 2.2 and 1 million years ago Homo Erectus ~1.8-0.4 mya Larger body size Wide array of tools Outside ofAfrica- firstLess sexual dimorphism- less average size First hominids to use fire ones to leaveAfrica to difference between m/f Bigger brains Asia Averaged at 1000 cc Homo Habilis 2.5-1.8 mya Means ‘handy man’ Found in Africa Rel. larger brain thanAustralopithecines First evidence of stone tools Homo Sapiens Expanded out of Don’t have orbital ridges Africa to other areas ofSnout, flat face the Old World Evidence for hunting, stone tools Neanderthals (Late 130,00- 30,000 ya Low forehead 1200-1750 cc (much larger than modern archaic Homo sapiens)Asia, Europe, Middle- Large arching browridges humans) East Projecting midface Lack of chin Large cranial capacity Occipital bun Anthropology 1AA3 Exam Review Hominids How Did Humans Evolve? What did we evolve from? ∙Paleoanthropology – the study of fossil humans and our nearest ancestors- subfield of physical anthropology ∙Dealing with material that is so old that it is rare to find a complete specimen ∙Rely upon on fossilized material and reproductions based on fossilized evidence ∙Hominid – humans and their direct ancestors ∙Members of the order primates ∙Hominids emerged in the late Miocene or early Pliocene time period ∙Bipedalism is the characteristic that separates hominids from other species ∙Australopithecus was first then the genus Homo ∙Diastema- reduction of the face, teeth and jaws Where are the earliest fossils found? ∙Earliest hominid fossils found inAfrica in parts of EastAfrica and SouthAfrica- Ethiopia, Tanzania ∙Apes and Humans shared a common ancestor- similar to the chimpanzee, after 6 million years humans and apes started to transition ∙Constantly updating the fossil records What does a hominid look like? ∙Small front teeth & large molars o Indicates a transition away from a carnivore diet o More grain and plant based diet ∙Bipedalism & associated anatomical adaptations o We have more flexible hands ∙↑ manual dexterity Major Features of Bipedalism: ∙ Position of foramen magnum (opening in the base on bottom of the skull through which the spinal cord passes) ∙ Hominid spine has two distinctive curves (S-shaped) ∙ Shape of pelvis- broad and low ∙ Length of lower limbs ∙ Structure of femur and knee Major Features of Bipedalism ∙Position of foramen magnum between a human and ape ∙Hominid spine has two distinctive curves (S-shaped) ∙Shape of the pelvis (most important with distinctions)– overtime it becomes broad and low, also provides strength and cushioning for organs- long pelvis becomes shorter over time ∙Length of lower limbs- bipedal species have long limbs (humans 20%) ∙Structure of femur and knee- human femur is located more inward and in the front, ape’s have ‘bow-leg’ ∙Shape and structure of the foot (arch)- human feet have a pronounced arch and important to absorb shock when walking longer distances Why Did Bipedalism Develop? ∙Tool-use? They would need to use their hands that would allow bipedalism to develop o NOT TRUE – earliest tools date to 2.5 mya, came after the advent of bipedalism ∙Long distance travel? In terms of energy expenditure and calories that are burnt, bipedalism is more efficient- use less energy when you walk on 2 feet ∙Efficient scavenging? Diet varied, plants, berries, nuts and animals- variety of animals (carnivores, rabbits, rodents, never found any tools with earliest ancestors) Therefore they weren’t hunting big animals- they were probably scavengers ∙Predator avoidance? Bipedalism gives you height, to look for predators- this would’ve allowed the hominids to look for predators above tall grass- we know that large carnivores ate early hominids ∙Sexual division of labor- developed in response for hunting? ∙Provisioning - Food-sharing and carrying- you’d be on the move no matter what type of food you eat- two hands allow you to carry more and walk back to your home base ∙Enhanced heat loss- limit hominids direct exposure to sun, it would help facilitate heat loss in a really hot climate- Thermoregulation models ∙There is more than one reason for the emergence of bipedalism Intentional Use of Fire ∙780,000-400,000 ya ∙Originally found in 1920’s ∙40-50 H. erectus bodies found ∙Tools were found ∙Zhoukoudian (China) partial cave site- preserves material well ∙First intentional use of fire by hominids in Zhoukoudian ∙Burned animal bones, seeds, ash- cut marks in the bones Richard Wrangham: Catching Fire- How Cooking Made Us Human Allows for food to last longer- storage Wrangham argues that this allowed for the development of larger brains Larger brain would lead to better food gathering, cooking, hunting Argues that cooking is one component which made us more human like Laetoli footprints- found in Tanzania (1978) Found by Mary Leakey Hominid footprints date to the time of Lucy Examples ofAustralopithecus afarensis Fossilized in volcanic ash 3 hominids who were walking on volcanic ash and left footprints 4 million years ago, we have evidence that hominids were walking upright Replacement Model (pp. 242-243) Put forth by Chris Stringer Modern humans evolve and disperse throughoutAfrica ~ 200,000 ya ~ 50,000 ya – gradually oneAfrican population migrated to Eurasia andAustralasia (genetic drift; founder effect) Replaced other local H. erectus populations (no gene flow) Multi-regional Model (p. 243) Put forth by Milford Wolpoff H. erectus disperses early from Africa, ~1.25 mya ∙Each population evolved independently into homo sapiens ∙Archaic homo was transformed into modern humans in several regions of the Old World ∙Populations linked by gene flow ∙Single hominid species since then ∙Modern populations arose from ancient, local lineages Hybridization andAssimilation Model ∙Modern humans originated inAfrica ∙When populations increased, expanded out ofAfrica into other areas of the Old World ∙Gene flow occurred between emigratingAfricans and resident premodern populations (i.e., Neandertals) Neanderthals – Various Interpretations! ∙Transitional species between H. erectus and H. sapiens (us) – discarded. Why? Because they have a restricted geographical range (Europe and Middle East) and distinct physical characteristics. They also co-existed with us. o Modern Humans found in Europe around the same time- coexisted (Neanderthals didn’t evolve into us) ∙Aseparate species from us that was well adapted to cold environments. – larger teeth, jaws, and more prognathic (protruding) face than H. sapiens sapiens (us) ∙Most interpretations favour #2. Other features of Neanderthals: ∙First to intentionally bury their dead? ∙France – 50,000 year old burial at site of La Chapelle aux Saints (evidence of intentional burial) ∙Reported Dec. 2013; evidence of burials from 20 other sites From burial: flexed position, learn that they took care of elderly and sick Relationship of Neanderthals and Modern Humans? Most humans have a little Neanderthal in them 60% of Neanderthal genome sequenced 1-4% of nuclear DNA is shared Main Points All models support the idea that our origins lie inAfrica Debates center on timing and process New DNA evidence suggests that modern humans have a bit of Neanderthal DNA New fossil discoveries permit revised/new interpretations Food 99% of human history as foragers Aband or a hunting and gathering society You don’t grow your own food, not domesticated any animals Up until 10,000 years ago, ancestors survived by collecting wild foods They don’t stay in one place for a long period of time Can’t support a large population Utilitarian items- everyday use Slowly developed agriculture Evidence for plant crops/food in archaeology: Residue on pots Seeds – can use FLOTATION (screening device- take soil and you screen it through 4 levels of siv- technique used to find very small seeds) or SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE Phytoliths – “plant stones” – some plants deposit pieces of silica on stone tools and other surfaces. Eg. the grittiness of pears – these are phytoliths. Representations in art Remnants of meals in hearths/fire pits Definition ofAgriculture Involves only some members in food production (= specialization) Plow agriculture- necessary to prepare soil for planting Irrigation- effective way to bring water to large parts of field Emergence of a class of producers whose surplus benefits a ruling class Development of agriculture: The ‘Fertile Crescent’ Earliest evidence of agriculture: c. 11,000-10,000 years ago Near Syria, Iran, Iraq, Turkey Domesticated wheat / barley The Impact ofAgriculture ∙Fundamental change in the way humans interact with their environment ∙From dependency on natural resources to control over domesticated resources ∙Major changes in diet ∙Less active in an agricultural society ∙Development in specialization ∙Changes in demography, economy, urbanization Influences on Determining Diets ∙ Geography ∙ Environmental factors ∙ Broadening Horizons Subsistence Patterns ∙ Foraging versus food production o Hunting and gathering are foragers o People who grow crops or manage herds are food producers Horticulture ∙ Horticulture refers to small-scale farming with a relatively simple technology consisting of digging sticks, hoes and other handheld tools ∙ Agriculture refers to large-scale farming and the use of more complex technology, which can include draft animals Beginning ofAgriculture ∙ Originates in Middle East 12 000 years ago ∙ Earliest crops were wheat and barley ∙ Gradually spreading farming knowledge to other communities ∙ Result of food production was a general decline in health standards ∙ Intensive agriculture involves the use of the plow, draft animals, and irrigation ∙ Agricultural societies have larger populations and greater division of labour, along with more centralization and wider disparity of wealth and power ∙ Food production has been a phenomenon of the last 12 000 years of human existence Agriculture: Health implications – zoonoses (infectious diseases acquired from animals like influenza (from birds, swine), cattle (bovine tuberculosis) Less physical activity – onset and proliferation of diabetes Social implications – social inequalities Village Life Domestication = sedentism Investment in architecture Decreased infant mortality = increased population Larger social groups Potential for greater social complexity (>200 people) Many populations did not adopt agriculture Ecology more suited to foraging E.g. Inuit Health implications: zoonoses (infectious diseases acquired from animals like influenza (from birds. swines), cattle (bovine tuberculosis) Less physical activity- onset and proliferation of diabetes Social implications- social inequalities Food Taboos: Marvin Harris asks why there are food taboos Analysis of food consumption should consider ecological and material factors of production Food taboo defined: the deliberate avoidance of a food for reasons other than simple dislike Pigs- Muslim, Jewish, Ethiopian Cows-Hindu Carnivores eaten in certain cultures Almost universal taboo against eating humans Mary Douglas argues that what people eat has to do with the value of food as a way of communicating symbolic meaning as well as with the material conditions of life How do we explain food taboos? 1.Amarker of a group; a way of separating your group from others (identity) 2. Protection against diseases 3. Ecological theories (e.g. Marvin Harris) Explanations For Religious Prohibition against Pork Symbolic/interpretive perspective- for ancient Hebrews pigs were classified as unclean Adaptive/materialist perspective- environment of the middle east raising pigs maladaptive (pigs take up human resources and they need a fair amount of land, maintaining pigs were too high) Consequences of breaking a food taboo are harsher than for breaking a food restriction Two types of food taboos: Applies to everyone Applies to the subset (e.g. women) Most food taboos apply to animal resources Example- Women in Papua New Guinea Women cannot eat: Fresh meat Fruits that are red in colour Fish Eggs All these foods are classified as masculine in their culture Reason for Food Taboos ∙Early anthropologist- quirk of culture ∙Environment- not suitable for area or it is scarce ∙Medical reasons- unhealthy especially if from over seas ∙Economic reasons- the animal is more valuable alive ∙Symbolic reasons- unnatural ∙Social reasons- to increase cohesion or reinforce differences Example: Dogs ∙Marvin Harris-Dogs used for transport, hunting, protection, warmth, companionship ∙Services are more valuable than meat ∙Therefore dogs will be eaten in cultures where their services are not needed and/or resources are scarce Summary: ∙Food is more than just nutrition ∙As in other cultural areas, food is an expression of our culture ∙Food is symbolic and ritualized ∙Food is a form of Material Culture The Case of Sugar ∙ Private economic interests, along with economic policies of the nation-state and changes in the structure of society combined to convert commodity from a luxury good believed to have health benefits into a necessity ∙ Increases exploitation of labour ∙ Millions of acres of forest into sugar production and pollution ∙ Changed dietary habits ∙ Sugarcane was first domesticated in New Guinea, India and Middle East ∙ By 1000AD sugar was a highly valued trade item and luxury ∙ Slave trade was a major factor in the expansion of sugar industries ∙ During the 16th and 17th century that sugar became the focus of an industry ∙ One reason prices remained as high as they did was the imposition of high import tariffs on sugar produced in other countries ∙ Second, the benefits of sugar were widely touted by various authorities (doctors) ∙ Third, sugar consumption increased in the 18th century was its use as a sweetener for three substances (tea, coffee, cocoa) ∙ Fourth, sugar’s reputation as a luxury good inspired the middle classes to use it to emulate the wealthy Story of Beef ∙ Even greater environmental damage than sugar production largely because of the vast amount of land needed to raise cattle ∙ The amount of beefAmericans consume is unhealthy ∙ Began with the Spanish colonization of the New World ∙ Marvin Harris noted that we can eat ground pork and ground beef but we can’t combine them and call it a hamburger ∙ Beef industry and corn are linked to cattle production Global Effects: Beef and the Environment: We have desire for beef (burgers, steaks), Many of our beef comes from SouthAmerica because beef too expensive in NorthAmerica Sugar and the Environment: Exploitation of environment and labour in colonial and contemporary contexts 1985, “Sweetness and power” Sidney Mintz - history of sugar consumption in Europe and its economic and cultural impact Through slave labour, Sugar was made and processed in the Caribbean and brought over to Europe Only the high status individuals would have sugar Countries like Britain lowered their import taxes and increased sugar plantations Sugar was an item of status and class but exploited many people Now, too much sugar symbolizes an unhealthy diet, unmaintained diet/body Film: “Big Sugar” What does it mean to study our food consumption habits from a holistic perspective? In what ways has the sugar industry been exploitative? o Workers being paid low wages- exploitative labour o Labour practices- work in poor conditions, forced to buy their meals and items at the stores on the plantations, can’t leave and cross borders freely o Massive amounts of pollution (Hawaii, Florida) Food and Globalization Most of the foods we consume are the by-product of cross-cultural trade and contact Most of our “staples” are not originally from this part of the world and/or they cannot be grown here – sugar, coffee, tomatoes What is globalization? The intensification of worldwide interconnectedness and exchanges at economic, political and/or social levels What fuels globalization? o Started with colonialism- increasing interconnectedness o Intensified over the last 50 years o Social media, new communications, internet o Changes in transportation, commercial airlines- domestication of airlines Globalization results in: 1) Increasing cross-cultural contact and circulation– both in terms of people and in terms of material culture (objects, food), virtual contact, increasing circulation of people 2) Syncretism/hybridization – the blending of cultural traditions (music, food) How Sushi Went Global – T. Bestor Example of the globalization of a regional industry Localized Japanese food item, symbol of Japan to something that has become normative food item that is available everywhere Between 1960’s and 1990’s, sushi went “…from an exotic, almost unpalatable ethnic specialty, then to haute cui
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