Anthropology Final Exam Study Noteshb
Chapter 9 Textbook Notes
To New Lands
- First fossils of Homo species= Homo erectus, widely debated
- Splitters making it into two species, Erectus and Ergaster
- Dubois= discoverer of Homo Erectus, Java, 1891, at this point most people thought
that humans first evolved in Asia at this time, hence the reason for looking there,
also he was serving in the military there. Found skullcap and diseased femur,
thought it was missing link. Named it Pithecanthropus Erectus aka Java Man
( upright ape man). After his work researches then accredit it to Homo Erectus.
Similar to Erectus found in Africa and other Asian specimens, average brain size is
larger than other earlier fossils. 1000 ml brain size.
- Most famous =Zhoukoudian cave, Beijing China. Occupied from 460 000 ya- 230
000 ya. 6 complete skulls, 12 cranial and mandible fragments, 100+ teeth,
postcranial pieces, stone tools, animal bones (horse and hyena). Most of the
remains= remains from hyenas meals. Peking Man= missing, casts made though.
-Ergaster ( Working Man), tools found in association. Oldest find= East Turkana,
1.78 mya, female. Typical Erectus crania = heavy brow ridges, prognathous face,
sloping forward, elongated profile, saggital keel, sharply angled occipital bone,
receding chin, pronounced torus, post orbital constriction. C.c= 850 ml. Average
cc= 980. Average early Homo= 680. Differs from Erectus = thinner, higher in
profile, smaller facial bones. Another found there = male at 1.57 mya. Definitions=
Sagitaal keel= sloping of the sides of the skull toward the top as viewed from the
front, Occipital= The rear portion of the skull, Torus= A bony ridge at the back of
the skull where neck muscles attatch, sagitaal crest= ridge of bone for the
attachment of chewing muscles.
- From the Neck up= Erectus/ Ergaster= distinct from early homo , skull retains
primitive features. Neck down= essentially modern.
-Turkana Boy=West Turkana= Nearly whole skeleton, 1.6 mya, shape of pelvis=
male, 5 feet tall, 150 lbs, would have been 6 feet had he lived to adulthood. 12
years of age when he died ( as told from the dental eruption and lack of any
- Homo erectus spread throughout Africa and they remained there for about a
million years ( except OH9). Did not stay there, can be seen in China and South east
asia from at least 1 mya ago, possibly 1.8 mya. Spread due to reproductive success,
big brains allowed them to exploit the savannas, better more varied tools, ability to
learn about environment, reason out problems in their habitat., more complex social organization= rapid increase in population size. Population size= stress on
resources and social harmony, which caused fission. Less competition for food,
water, shelter, and space. Water= scarce in the savannahs b/c theyre seasonal=
dry at months end. Need shelter ( bodies same as ours)= fight with animals for
forms of shelter, also had to ward of herds.
- Fission led to Homo erectus wandering into the old world and ending up in Beijing,
Java, and europe= new climates and contact with the Pleistocene= ice age. For
unknown reasons the worlds climate dropped from 1.6 mya- 10 000 ya = glacial
advances and retreats. May have been caused by a decrease in heat generated by
the sun, interplanetary dust blocking out the suns radiation, increase in volcanic
activity, and deviation in earths orbit.
- Pliocene= initial drop in worldwide temperature 5 mya- 1.6 mya. Pleistocene was
actually a complex time in terms of temperature= lengthy cold spells, seperated by
phases with temperatures as warm as or warmer than todays climate. Ice fields
formed, internal pressures forced the ice to move in frozen rivers and the formation
of glaciers occurred (aka great ice sheets). Non- glacial parts of the world (tropic/
subtropics) also underwent climate change.
- Glacial/ Glacial periods= the periods during which ice- covers expanded.
Interglacials=when glaciers temporarily receded and the temp. warms up.
Stadials= short period of rapid glacial advance and extreme cold. Interstadials=
short period of glacial retreat during a long period of racial advance.
- Holocene= The modern epoch that began 10 000 ya with the retreat of glacial ice,
and worldwide warming. ( Most scientists believe that the epoch is merely and
-Glaciers leave traces of their presence in the form of geological deposits,
diagnostic patterns of erosion, however they are still difficult to study due to the
fact that subsequent movement of ice erases evidence of previous glacial
expansion. We cannot accurately examine ancient temp. from seawater, but we can
examine the indirect effect of temp. variations and the attendant expansion and
melt off of ice in the ratio of two isotopes of oxygen O16 and O18.
Lower Pleistocene= 1.6-780 000 ya= when the earths magnetic field shifted.
Middle Pleistocene= 780 000 ya- 200 000 ya. Upper Pleistocene= 200 000 ya- 10
000 ya. Homo erectus was able to establish themselves and migrate during this
time, we find their remains in some of the far corners of the old world, without a
doubt they lived in between however, there remains have yet to be found there.
The Evolution and Behaviour of Homo Erectus
- The remains of erectus have been redated more precisely with potassium
argon with Sangiran at 1.6 mya, and modjokerto at 1.8 mya, these dates are = to the earliest remains found in africa. This means that Erectus could have
originated outside of africa. However, this is not likely because the majority of
the remains are found in Africa. Two possible explanations is that
1)Erectus/Ergaster first evolved in Africa earlier than earlier than fossils
obtained and the spread. 2) Or there expansion began very shortly after they
- D2700 (specimen)= Dmanisi, 1.75 mya smaller, and more primitive than the
others, provisionally assigned to Homo Erectus ( some features resemble
early Homo, cc of 600)= humans may have ventured out of Africa and at an
earlier evolved stage than previously assumed.
- There is evidence of stone tools found at 1.36 mya in northern China=
evidence for an earlier migration out of Africa.
- Ngandong= evidence of Homo erectus in africa that may be younger than
100 ya, ( possible 27 000- 53 000 ya) this means that Erectus was still around
well after Homo sapiens has been evolved.
- Erectus and Europe= besides the Ceprano find, the only proof that Erectus
existed in europe is the fact that artifacts found there match Erectus artifacts
from other locations. Soheliac ( site)= France, tools and remains dated at 800
000 ya. Terra Amata on the riviera (site)= France, it has been proposed that
erectus built shelters and established a village at around 400 000 ya.
Torralba and Amrona ( site)= Spain, 400 000 ya, remains of large mammals
like elephants as well as stone tools which suggest hunting or scavenging
( more likely). Based on these facts it is assumed that Erectus lived there but
was not widespread OR possibly these artifacts belong to other species.
- The brain size of Homo Erectus is larger to control a larger body= it falls in
line with what would have been expected based on the brain-size-to-body-
size ratio of early Homo. The inside surfaces of skulls often bear evidence of
the external appearance of the brains they housed.
- Endocast= A natural (fine sediments filled in the skull as the brain sediments,
then fosillized) or human-made cast of the inside of the skull ( liquid latex),
produces a model of at least the major features of the exterior surface.
- The brains of Homo erectus= asymmetrical. Endocasts made from the
Sangiran, Ndangong, and the african skulls ( KNM-ER 3733, and 3883 and OH
9) they all show asymmetry= Homo erectus possessed a level of hemispheric
speicialization similar to that of modern humans, at 1.7 mya Homo erectus
possessed linguistic skills and the ability to manipulate symbols, and hand
eye coordination. Cerebral asymmetry is also present in o.w monkeys and
chimps. The greater intellect allowed for elaboration of culture and
innovations in behaviour. Stone tools
- Simple chopping tools created by the removal of a relatively small number of
flakes from a stone cobble are present at many H erectus sites. However, the
middle pleistocene hominids developed a new stone industry which was more
sophisticated. Acheulian tool industry of Homo erectus- hand axes, cleavers,
and flake tools, named after a site in france where it was first identified ( St.
Acheul), even though the tradition is actually older in africa. Involves
elaboration on the removal of a few flakes; resulting in a hand axe= a bifacial
symmetrical, all- purpose tool, (piercing animal flesh, butchering, scraping
hides, cutting woods and digging roots)bifacial= a stone tool that has been
worked on both sides.
- The manufacture of a hand axe occurs in 3 stages 1) a rough form or blank
was produced from a nodule of stone by stricking the nodule directly with a
stone hammer. 2) the rough blank was thinned and shaped by percussion
with a softer tool ( antler). 3) tool is finished with a soft hammer,
straightening the edge of the axe and producing the symmetrical shape.
Evolved from Oldowan tool Industry. The hand axe shows more forethought,
greater skill, and more utility in design. Began in Africa about 1.4 mya and
continued through the middle pleistocene lasting into the upper pleistocene.
It spread to europe after its invention in africa. Not seen in most asian sites.
- The Movius Line= a geographic break between the manufacture of the hand
anxes and that of simple stone chopping tools. Hand axes appear to the west
of this line, located in eastern india, but often not east of