Chapter 7: THE EMERGENCE OF HOMOSAPIENS
- HOMO SAPIENS perhaps 160 kya
- completely modern human looking beings, HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS, appeared 50 kya
- most paleoanthropologists agree that homo erectus evolved into homo sapiens, but how and
where this happened is in great debate.
- controversial "transitional" species (or not) between homo erectus and homo sapien
● smaller teeth and jaws
● much larger brains (1300 cc)
● skull lacks sagittal keel and occipital torus
● more robust skeleton
● browridge that divides into separate arches above each eye
NEANDERTALS: HOMO SAPIENS OR HOMO NEANDERTALENSIS?
- disagreement about how to classify mixed-trait fossils from 500-200 kya
- for neandertal fossils after 200kya huge argument about whether they are a distinct species
(homo neandertalensis), some argue they are homo sapiens
● more robust skeleton
● a little shorter
● larger brains on average than modern humans
● almost no chin
● swet back cheek bones
● occipital bun
● rounded orbits
● massive face with much larger nasal opening
- mtDNAexaminations suggest modern humans and acestors diverged from a common ancestor
roughly 600 kya
- so new information seems to confirm that we were different species though there may have
been modest interbreeding.
- these two types of hominid clearly existed at one and the same time, coexisting.
- caves in mount carmel region contain both modern human and neandertal occupations.
- the fact that these two groups coinhabited teh near east for perhaps as much as 30,000 years and
didn't interbreed much or share much in the way of tool technology stronly suggest that the two
are different species.
MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC CULTURES
- period associated with the Neandertals is traditionally called the MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC.
- inAfrica the term used is MIDDLE STONEAGE instead of middle paleolithic
THE TOOLS THAT DEFINE THE MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC: in European regions : MOUSTERIAN
in near-East and th eAfrican regions: POST -ACHEULIAN
- compared withAcheulian assemblage, Mousteriean tools have smaller proportion of large core
tools such as hand axes and cleavers and a bigger proportion of small flake tools such as
- before, the flakes struck from the core were used 'as-is'. Mousterian has flakes that are often
altered or 'retouched' even finer
- used for scraping hides or working wood
- that many were thinned or shaped on only one side suggests they were attached (or "hafted")
to a shaft or handle.
- LEVALLOISIAN METHOD - flakes of predetermined and standard sizes could be knocked off
a core. found more frequently in the Mousterian toolkit.
- like Mousterian, many of these tools were struck off prepared cores in the Levalloisian way.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE. doesn't really say.
- Caves and rock shelters over represtented in the archaeological record because tehy are more
likely to be found than open sites.
- middle paleolithic humans seem to have relied more on fire that their predecessors
- at the Moldova site there had been river valley houses framed with wood and covered with
animal skins. bones of mammoths apparently helped hold the skins in place.
- at Drachenloch cave in the SwissAlps, a stone-lined pit holding the stacked skulls of seven
cave bears was found in association with a Neandertal habitation. Why preserve these skulls?
● rituals to placate or control bears?
- impossible to say whether or not neandertals engaged in ritual behaviour. we hang antlers and
such in our homes too without strong ritual overtones
THE EMERGENCE OF MODERN HUMANS
- appear in western Europe about 35,000 years ago.
- once thought to be earliest homo sapiens sapiens.
- we now know that modern looking humans appeared earlier outside of Europe
* the oldest unambiguous fossils classified as HOMO SAPIENS come from ETHIOPIA and date to perhaps 160,000 years ago.
cromagnon man differed from neandertals:
● higher more bulging foreheads
● thinner lighter bones
● smaller faces and jaws
● chins (the bony protuberances that remain after projecting faces recedes)
● only slight browridges (or none at all)
THEORIESABOUT THE ORIGINS OF MODERN HUMANS
- neandertals did not evolve into modern humans
- neandertals were rather replaced by modern humans around 30,000 ya
- think that originally small pop of h. sapiens sapiens had some bio or cultural advantage that
allowed them to spread and replace neandertals
- evidence from mitochondrial dna analysis points to modern human origins in EastAfrica and a
subsequent spread out of that region
- similar analysis of the Y chromosome present only in men reflects findings of mtDNA anayses.
- the mtDNAstudies also show that the most recent shared ancestor of peoples as far flung as
new guinae, africa, etc. is 200,000 years ago whereas the Y chromosome studies show 100,000
- believes Homo Erectus pops in various parts of the old world gradually evolved into
anatomically modern looking humans.
- believe that homo erectus should be homo sapiens erectus, see too much anatomical continuity
to imagine it being a different species
- homo erectus fossils in different territories of earth have notable differences
- multiregional theorists believed that homo erectus populations the world over developed into
homo sapiens where they were, not homo sapiens spreading out from africa and supplanting the
homo erectus populations
(my thought: perhaps homo sapiens spread from africa and mated into the homo erectus
populations native to the regions they went, especially if they were in fact a compatible species)
- purport that the data found in mtDNAanalyses may only support the common emigration of
original homo erectus populations, not homo sapiens sapiens. this would mean that the accepted
rates of mutation in both mtDNAand Y chro,osome are wrong. that both mutate much more
slowly than currently thought.
- maybe there was some replacement of one pop by another, some local continuous evolution, and some interbreeding between early modern jumans who spread from africa with the
populations they encounter upon arrival (that's what i was talking about above).
- data on genetic diversity of human body lice sems to support the intermediate theory
WHAT HAPPENED TO NEANDERTALS
- INTERBREEDING scenario seems most probably but evidence supporting it is weak.
- GENOCIDE scenario has modern humans killing off neandertals. little evidence here as well.
not a single "murdered" neandertal skeleton has ever been found. plus, neandertals were more
powerful than the gracile homo sapiens.
- EXTINCTION scenario says that neandertals just couldn't compete with modern humans for
food resources. this has the best archaeological support. there appeared to be "refugee'
populations of neandertals in Iberia as recently as perhaps 30kya. their retreat seems to follow
the homo sapiens advance from middle east to western europe. Evidence seems to point to
Neadnertals being less efficient hunters and gatherers than modern humans. and they may have
needed more food for thei stocky bodies.
THE UPPER PALEOLITHIC
- THE PERIOD OF CULTURAL HISTORY IN EUROPE, NEAR EAST,AND ASIAKNOWN
AS UPPER PALEOLITHIC DATES FROMABOUT 40,000 YEARSAGO to 10,000 YEARS
AGO (neolithic period)
- In Africa the cultural period comparable to upper paleolithic is known as the LATER STONE
- LATER STONEAGE may have begun much earlier
- in north and south america, the period begins when humans first entered the New World,
sometime before 12kya (called PALEO-INDIANS) and continues until 10kya when
"ARCHAIC TRADITIONS" emerge.
***for simplification we will use the term UPPER PALEOLITHIC to refer to cultural
developments in all areas of the old world during this period.
- similar lyfestyles as before: small mobile bands of hunters/gatherers/fishers
- continued to produce smaller and smaller stone tools
- variety of new developments characterise upper paleolithic:
● emergence of art: painting on cave walls and stone slabs, carving tools, decorative
objects, personal ornaments out of bone, antler, shell, stone
● human population seems to have increased considerably during this time
● new inventions: bow and arrow, spear thrower, tiny replaceable blades that could be fitted
THE LAST ICE AGE - ENVIRONMENTAT THIS TIME VERY DIFFERENT FROM TODAY'S:
- earth was gripped by the last ice age with glaciers covering Europe as far south as Berlin and in
the americas as far south as Chicago!
- south of glaciers was tundra zone extending to alps in europe and ozark in america
- annual temperatures were as much as 10 degrees celsius below todays (50 degrees F)
- climate highly variable as well
- plants and animals of upper paleolithic world were adapted to these extreme conditions
- large game animals collectively know as PLEISTOCENE MEGAFAUNA roamed, huge
animals like giant ground sloths 8-10 feet tall, siberian mammoths 14 feet tall.
UPPER PALEOLITHIC EUROPE
- with vast supplies of meat available from megafauna, up pal cultures relied on hunting,
particularily in Europe
- use of local resources allowed up pal groups to become more sedentary than their predecessors
- they began to trade wiht neighoring groups