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Anthro 1Z03- The Origins and Evolution of Early Homo.docx

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McMaster University
Hendrik Poinar

The Origins and Evolution of Early Homo Anthropology 1Z03- March 17 , 2010 Progression of Homo Ancestors  Upper Paleolithic (Newest ancestors) o “Later” H.sapiens (40,000-10,000 ya)  Middle Paleolithic o “Early” Homo Sapiens o Homo neaderthalensis o Homo heidelbergensis  Lower Palaeolithic (Oldest ancestors) o Homo erectus o Homo habilis o Australopithecus gahri (2.6-2.5 mya – Oldowan area) Tool Makers  Earliest found in East Africa (2.5 mya)  Homo habilis often associated with the Oldowan tool/stone industry  Other data has proven wrong: Australopithicus gahri (2.5 mya) o Most likely an ancestor of Homo sapiens (due to the cranial capacity) o Cut marks seen on fossil bones o Indicates that tools existed o Thus, Oldowan in association with Early Homo and some Australopithecines Note the following:  Cenozoic ERA= AGE OF MAMMALS  Plieocine epoch (5.2-1.6 mya) = AGE OF HUMANITY o Ice Age, development of bipedalism and Out of Africa by H. Erectus  Miocene= AGE OF APES  Paleolithic = Old stone tools age (Oldowan and Acheulian) Homo Species Note: Characteristics of Early Homo Species  Small face, jaws and teeth  Large brow ridges  More varied diet  Long Skull with small cranial capacity  Homo habilis and Homo rudofensis (2.5-2.8 mya) o May have been tree climbers o Short legs and a non-steady gait pattern o More like Australapithecines (slightly larger brains) o Characteristics  Planning/memory  Carrying both stone and meat to certain locations (“curation”)  Division of labour (i.e. grandmothering)  Homo erectus (1.8 mya – 300,000 ya) o Found in Africa, Asia and Europe o Type of upright walking (hu)man o Bones of H.erectus date back to 1.78 mya- 800,000 ya o Homo eragaster  Earliest form of H.erectus  Developed in East Africa  Derived from H.habilis and was a fast runner  Reduced sexual dimorphism between genders The Origins and Evolution of Early Homo (cond’t) Anthropology 1Z03- March 17 , 2010  Homo erectus (1.8 mya – 300,000 ya)- continued… o Homo eragaster  Fossils found in Kenya called “Turkana Man”- 11 yrs old  Most complete skeleton of this species (2m tall)  Age traced through amount of enamel on tooth (called Perikymata)  Baked clay found (Kenya) = indicative of control of fire via. Homo egaster  Earliest fire evi
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