FINAL EXAM: TUESDAY DEC 21ST GYM 9-11AM
CHAPTER 10: EVOLUTION AND NATURE OF MODERN HUMANITY
The major models in an ongoing debate
Modern looking people first appeared 195 000 to 165 000 ya; showing modern traits as far back as
300 000ya (triats first appeared in Africa)
Two major models for the origin of our species:
1. Multiregional Evolution (MRE) model: single-species model; the hypothesis that h. Sapiens
is about 2 myrs old and that modern human traits evolved in geographically diverse locations
and then spread through the species
Claims that h. Sapiens rose in Africa about 2 mya; when we see anatomical and
behavioural characteristics that define out type of primate). Members of this
species (h. Erectus) spread throughout the Old World, evolving genetic and
phenotypic regional difference. Degree of species mobility resulted in sufficient
gene flow to maintain a single species resulting in no speciation. Successful
adaptive features were dispersed across the species through gene flow. Premodern
species are members of our species.
Homo sapiens were not a separate species, they did not rise in the recent past, and
that it did not spread and replace other species of homo.
If this model is correct then there should be no evidence that modern h. Sapiens
is a separate species from premodern groups. That is there should be no traits that
is found among all populations classified as modern that is lacking among all
premodern populations. There should be some evidence of interbreeding. There
should be regional continuity of traits – features of geographic areas that appear
in modern and premodern populations.
•No biological meaningful definition of modernity
•Populations with transitional sets of traits be found in many locations
•Regional continuity of traits
2. Out of Africa model aka Recent African Origin (RAO): hypothesis that h. Sapiens evolved
recently as a separate species in Africa and then spread to replace more archaic populations.
View that modern h. Sapiens as separate species that branched from a pre-
existing archaic homo species in Africa around 200 000 to 150 000 ya. These
species then spread over the Old World replacing archaic populations.
If this model is correct then there must be a clear distinguishing feature between
modern species and premodern (archaic) humans. There must be traits that all
homo sapiens share that are not found in premoderns and vice versa. There
should be genetic distinction.
•Anatomical definition to distinguish modern from premodern
•Transitional forms appearl only in a single region in which modern
1. Fossil Record:
Trasition al forms b etwe e n archaic spe cies (h. Heidelbergensis an d H. Ne a drathalensis) and H
Sapiens are o nly fou n d in Afric a .
Fossil re c ord of ho mo d o es no t sh ow division into separate spe cies. That, H sapiens and H.
Erectus are h te same spe cies. Mod ern trait s did n ot all arise in o n e loc a tio n b u t in man y an d
spre a d thro u g h o u t the speic e s thro u g h g ene flow to b e ex pres s ed differnelt y in different
geo g rap hic loc a tio n s. Su p p orts MRE mo d el – that trasitio n al forms are fou n d in man y loc a tio
Ne a n d rathals’ large co n tin o u s b row rid g es are a major fe a ture distinguishing them from mo
h u mans. Indigenous p eo ple in austraili a (fully mo d ern p eo ple) h ave large co n tin o u s brow rid
Wolpoff an d colle a g u es fou n d simil ariti es an d differenc e s of sk uls from b o th mo d ern an d arc
from different p arts of Euro p e, Afric a, asia; this p ointed to a mixed anc e stry of the mo d ern
population. Also evidenc e for MRE.
2. Cultural Evidence:
oEarly modern human sites in Africa show more sophisticated technology than
contemporary tool assemblages in Europe and asia associated with premodern humans.
oWorld oldest blade tools discovered in Kenya, recovered near Lake Baringo and dated
about 240 000ya. Makers of this tool careful prepared the stone cores from which they
were struck to ensure the tools’ precision and consistency. This kind of preparation
involves high level of abstraction and planning; an intellectual advance of hominids in
oAt Klasies River Mouth (south Africa), there are long, bifacially worked spera points
made on stone blades detached from cores = a punch technique. Long blades are removed
from stone cores by striking a punch made out of antler with a hamerstone. Longer,
narrower, thinner flakes. Occurs much later in Europe
oKetanda, Democratic Republic of Congo show more evidence for toolmaking in Africa.
Dated 90 000 ya. This sites have produced bone tools – barbed, harpoonlife pericing
tools. Premodern homo sapiens are not known to have produced anything like this.
b) Out of Africa:
oStone tool assemblage of the earlier neandertals of Europe and southwest asia simply do
not look very different from the toolkits (group of tools used together to perform a
particular task) of the early moderns of Africa and SW Asia.
oAurignacian: toolmaking tradition of anatomically modern homo sapiens of the
European Upper Paleolithic.
oThere are evidence of replacement: older Mousterian industry associated with European
Neanderthals and later industry (Chatelperronian = stone tool industry associated with
Chapter 10: evolution and nature of modern humanity. modern looking people first appeared 195 000 to 165 000 ya; showing modern traits as far back as. claims that h. sapiens rose in africa about 2 mya; when we see anatomical and behavioural characteristics that define out type of primate). Members of this species (h. erectus) spread throughout the old world, evolving genetic and phenotypic regional difference. Degree of species mobility resulted in sufficient gene flow to maintain a single species resulting in no speciation. Successful adaptive features were dispersed across the species through gene flow. homo sapiens were not a separate species, they did not rise in the recent past, and that it did not spread and replace other species of homo. If this model is correct then there should be no evidence that modern h. sapiens is a separate species from premodern groups.