Homo sapiens; Chapter 12 & 13
Anatomically Modern Humans:
∙ Fossils appear ~ 200,000ya.
∙ Eastern and Southern Africa.
∙ Genetics also suggest 200,000ya.
AMHS Early Fossils:
∙ AMHS are in southwest Asia by 100,000ya.
∙ Eventually reaching Europe & Australia by 50,000ya and North America ???
∙ Either through Out of Africa II (Recent African Origin) model or Multiregional hypothesis.
Upper Palaeolithic Revolution?:
∙ By 50,000ya great explosion of artefact types and evidence for abstract thought that expresses cultural
∙ Modern human behaviour.
∙ Upper Palaeolithic Revolution OR,
Great Leap Forward:
∙ Complex artefacts only appear at 40 to 50kya.
∙ Based on a genetic mutation or biological reorganization of the brain in AMHS at this time. ∙ Some claim it is access to shellfish and omega fatty acids.
The list- Assumes Language:
∙ Finely made tools based on blades.
∙ Evidence for fishing and catching birds.
∙ Evidence for long distance trade.
∙ Systematic use of pigment, jewelry for self-ornamentation (non-utilitarian objects).
∙ Works of art.
∙ Game playing.
∙ Elaborate burials.
∙ European forms – animals.
∙ African forms – people.
Located on Ceilings and Walls:
∙ Tend to be placed in caves with little evidence for habitation.
∙ In difficult or dangerous locations.
∙ Lascaux Cave.
Numerous negative & positive hand imprints.
Venus of Willendorf:
∙ Willendorf Austria.
∙ 11cm high.
Venus of Brassempouy:
∙ Earliest depiction of a human face. Male Figures:
∙ In Europe male figures are rare.
∙ Typically wearing costumes depicting shamans or dancers.
∙ Cat and bear costumes are most common.
∙ In Africa they are more common.
∙ In Africa Therianthropes, men with animal bodies and vice versa.
Man Wearing Lion Mark:
∙ Hohlenstien, Germany.
∙ Ivory painted with ochre.
∙ 28cm high.
∙ Tattoos on arm?
Man wearing bear costume?
∙ Mas-D’Azil, France
∙ Ivory plaque.
∙ 8cm high
∙ Man with a springback head and hooves.
∙ Western Cape South Africa. Burial:
Earliest undisputed burial with grave goods is an AMHS at Qafzeh, Israel at 90,000ya.
On the Other Hand...:
∙ Evidence for these traits is found much earlier in Africa.
∙ Gradual accumulation of skills and culture over hundreds of thousands of years.
∙ The fluorescence of these traits (the list) is based on sociocultural evolution.
∙ Bone points and finely made blade industries at 77,000ya at Blombos Cave, South Africa.
∙ Harpoons date to 90,000ya at Katanda, Congo.
∙ Fish bones date to 82,000ya at Blombos.
At Blombos these Nassarius kraussianus beads date to 75,000ya
∙ Neaderthals were burying their dead.
∙ Shanidar & Kebara.
∙ And they may have has a bear cult... earliest form of religion?
Population Movements and Cultures:
∙ By 40,000ya most of the Old World was inhabited, only the Arctic was not.
∙ Upper Palaeolithic cultures. ∙ Typically identified on took types.
∙ Blade based tool industries (length 2x width).
∙ First arrival in Europe-Aurginacian.
Gravettian 27 to 21kya in Western Europe:
∙ Developed in Europe.
∙ Smaller blades.
∙ Denticulate knives cutting tools with pointed projections along their cutting edges.
∙ Also boom in artistic expression.
Solutrean 21 to 16 kya:
Exquisite bifacially flaked, symmetrical, leaf shaped projectile points.
Megdelanian 16 to 11kya:
∙ Very small micro blades.
∙ Bone and antler tools.
∙ Broadening of diet through time to include small meat packages.
∙ More efficient hunting strategies.
∙ Habitual hunters.
∙ Use of nets by 27kya.
∙ Strongest evidence points to 40kya.
∙ Some suggest 60kya.
∙ Early sites are located along the coast.
∙ People moved inland following river valleys.
∙ Inland desert inhabited by 25 to 20 kya.
∙ May have been 2 waves of colonization or else one group evolved substantially.
∙ Earliest skeletons are gracile. ∙ Later skeletons are robust, like modern Aborigines.
∙ Long standing theory was that Asian migrants moved into the Americans in numerous waves alone the
Bering Straight land bridge & through ice free corridor.
∙ During periods of glaciations.
∙ Following herds of mammoths and other large animals.
∙ Roughly 12 to 13kya.
∙ Numerous early sites suggest that perhaps the Americas were inhabited much earlier.
∙ 20 to 50kya.
∙ Following the coastline instead of the land bridge.
∙ Earliest site at 27kya due to inhospitable environment, flourishing at 18kya and again at 13 kya.
∙ They hunter woolly mammoth, bison and reindeer.
∙ Similar tool industries between Siberia and America, but with some time lag.
∙ Bluefish Caves, near Beringia, 15 to 13kya.
∙ Meadowcroft Rockshelter, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 12,800 ya.
∙ Topper in South Carolina, artefacts below the Clovis deposit date to 20kya and charcoal to 50 kya.
∙ Monte Verde, Chile range from 13,500 to 11,800ya.
∙ During glaciations, the continental shelf was exposed.
∙ The modern coastline was inland.
∙ Therefore coastal sites may be present, hundreds of meters below water.
∙ Fedje & Josenhans found stone artefacts that date to 10kya, 53m below the Ocean.
∙ Small sample with only 30 individuals > 8500ya
∙ Oldest are around 11ky old and Kennewick man is 9ky old.
∙ Modern Native Americans share many similarities with modern people from Northeast Asia.
∙ But the earliest Native Americans do not share traits with either of the modern groups.
∙ mtDNA study.
∙ There are 5 haplogroups (A, B, C, D, & X) in North America and all haplogroups are found in northeast
∙ The amount of genetic similarity suggests a split 25 to 20kya between Native Americans and Asians from
the Lake Baikal region.
∙ By 12kya, first truly successful groups.
∙ Clovis points (were hafted)
∙ Hunter woolly mammoths, and other large game. ∙ Drove them over cliffs.
∙ Lived in a range of habitats and spread quickly.
Origins of Agriculture; Chapter 14
∙ Extinction of certain species required a shift in subsistence strategies – hunter-gatherers.
∙ The development of localized cultures as different responses to change.
└ Expand and broaden diet to include species previously unavailable.
└ Some regions had great bounty and people became more sedentary based on that food patch.
└ Narrowed diet and focus intensely on a few specific species.
Europe = Mesolithic Period in North America = Archaic period
∙ From Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.
∙ The Great Bison Belt.
∙ Maintained bug game hunting with focus on the last on the megafauna: Bison.
∙ Bison bone bed at Head-Smashed-in near Calgary.
∙ A continuation of the Paleo-Indian culture.
The Desert West:
∙ The Great Basin, west and southwest grasslands, very few if any Bison.
∙ Small bands using temporary sites, highly mobile, true desert adaptation, based on water.
∙ Relied heavily on vegetation, using basketry and grinding stones.
Coastal groups focused on shellfish and riverine fish – i.e. the Northwestern Coast.
Eastern North America:
∙ Woodlands and forests, from Nova Scotia to Florida (Shell Mound Archaic).
∙ Broad variety of resources from acorns, squirrels, white tailed deer, cotton tailed rabbits, shellfish, and
∙ As the environment continues to get better, resources were abundant.
∙ Populations grew, became more sedentary and society become more complex.
Inuit & Aleuts:
∙ Relatively recent migration into North America eventually reaching Greenland by 2000BC.
∙ Lived by sea mammal exploitation mainly whales and seals.
∙ Range of artefact types, including umiaks, kayaks, and various harpoon technologies.
Meanwhile in Africa & Middle East:
∙ Increased use of plant species.
∙ Hunting less important that it has been.
∙ Abundance of sickles and grindstones for processing grasses.
∙ The presence of carbonized wild barley, oats, wheat, and rye.
∙ Actually a slow process, not a revolution.
∙ Shift from hunting and gathering to food production (agriculture & pastoralism).
∙ Includes domestication of plants and animals. ∙ To ensure a constant, reliable, and expanded food supply.
∙ Allowed for increase sedentism, population growth, and new social structures.
∙ One of the earliest species to be domesticated, probably used as hunting companions.
∙ Domesticated from Wolves.
∙ Nature selects wolves with big teeth and aggressive natures but there is still variation within the
population, some are timid.
∙ People may have cares for orphaned pups and the timid ones would have been artificially selected and
Domestication = Artificial Selection:
∙ Domestication uses artificial Selection to change an animal or plant to suit human needs.
∙ Usually not the same traits that are naturally selected.
∙ They survive because individual plants or animals are cared for.
∙ Early domestication was probably not intentional.
∙ Select the berries with the largest fruit.
∙ Latrine effect, plants with large berries near to camp.
∙ Domesticated berries have larger fruit.
Signs of Domestication:
In plants we see changes from will to domestic forms
└ Seed size
└ Sees coat thickness
└ Seed dispersal mechanism
∙ Latrine effect.
∙ Larger seeds germinate faster and so are not weeded out, while the plants of slower germinating seeds.
(smaller seeds) are removed during weeding.
∙ Over numerous generations the mean size of the plants gets bigger.
Seed Coat Thickness:
∙ In nature it is advantageous to have a thick seed coat.
∙ To forestall germination until the last killing frosts are over.
∙ To prevent digestion if consumed by birds *some species have co-evolved.
∙ But late germination is disadvantageous in a human controlled environment because early germination
and vigorous growth is selected.
∙ So individuals with thing seed coats are inadvertently selected by humans.
Seed Dispersal Mechanisms:
∙ In nature it is advantageous to have ripe seeds that are easily dispersed by the wind or passing animals.
∙ But easily detached seeds make human harvesting difficult as seeds fall to the round.
∙ We have inadvertently selected for seeds with greater adherence to the stalk.
Geographic Distribution: ∙ When people more around on the landscape, we typically take things of important with us.
∙ If plants are identified in an archeological assemblage hat are not native to the area, they were likely
introduced as domesticated species.
Domestication of Animals:
∙ Tethered of penned.
∙ Acclimatize to human presence.
∙ Eventually domesticated forms rely on humans for survival.
Recognizing Domesticated Animals:
∙ Size selection.
∙ Smaller wolves were initially selected for as seen in the archaeological record with early domestic dogs
having smaller jaws.
∙ Wild Cattle were also selected for smaller size, while horses got bigger.
∙ Any change in size from a wild form is most likely due to domestication.
∙ Just like plants, when animals are found outside of their native regions it is most likely due to people
taking domestic forms with them as they more across the landscape.
∙ Different selection pressures in new regions may further alter their appearance.
∙ Hunting wild animals is difficult and specific individuals are not always obtained i.e. prime adults vs old
∙ However in domestication, people can select which individuals are consumed.
∙ Typical pastoralist practice preserves the females to produce more young while males are culled for
∙ You only need a few males to continue the population.
∙ Based on lifestyle as opposed to genetics.