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Chapter 12

Chapter 12

5 Pages
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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTB14H3
Professor
Michael Schillaci

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Chapter 12: From Hominin to Homo
Hominins of Lower Pleistocene: Homo Ergaster
Pleistocene epoch began 1.8 mya and saw a cooling of worlds climate
oDivided into 3 parts: Lower, middle, Upper Pleistocene
Lower: 1.8 mya, coincides with sharp cooling of worlds climate
Middle: sharply increase fluctuations in temperature and first appearance of immense continental
glaciers that covered northern Europe 900 kya, end defined by termination of penultimate glacial
period about 130 kya
Upper: ended about 12kya when a warm, interglacial phase of world climate began, this warm
period persisted into present
H. ergaster appears in African fossil record about 1.8 mya and disappears about 0.6 mya
KNM-ER 3733 from Lake Turkana found in 1976, Richard Leakey
oAssociated with oldowan tools
oH. habilis and H. ergaster may have coexisted for almost half a million years in Turkana
basin of Kenya
Morphology
Skulls of Homo Ergaster differ from those of both earlier hominins and modern humans
Marked narrowing behind eyes, receding forehead, no chin
Many derived features shared by modern humans: shorter and less prognathic face, taller skull,
smaller jaws and postcanine teeth, reduction in number of roots on upper premolars
Derived features not seen on earlier hominins/modern humans: has horizontal ridge at back of
skull (occipital torus), large browridges
Better adapted for tearing and biting with canines and incisors, less suited to heavy chewing with
molars- smaller teeth than australopiths and paranthropines, but molars are reduced relatively
more in comparison with incisors
Large browridges and point at back may been needed to buttress skull against movel stresses
created by increased emphasis on tearing and biting
Drier environment
Nostrils face downward like humans and a projecting nose- adaptation for preserving moisture
during periods of physical exertion
Larger brains that earlier hominins 500-700cc
Smallest: KNM-ER 42700 may be size of Homo habilis and australopiths
KNM-WT 15000 was 12 year old boy
oSame body proportions as people who live in tropical savannas: long legs, narrow hips,
narrow shoulders, barrel-shaped cheat
oBoy has short arms, compared with earlier hominins- terrestrial life
Some Ergaster quite tall, boy wouldve been 6 ft tall when fully grown. Robust and heavily muscled
Reduced in sexual dimorphism. Males 20-30% larger than females
May not have spoken language: vertebral canal in thoracic region of back is much larger in humans
than apes
Committed to life on ground and was first hominin that could run for long distances
May developed more slowly than australopiths but faster than humans
oIf correct, then Ergaster did not have long childhood as modern humans- learning not as
important
Tools and Subsistence
Homo Ergaster made fancier tools than earlier hominins
1.6-1.4mya in Africa, they added new and more sophisticated tool to Oldowan tool
Biface: toolmaker strikes large piece of rock from boulder to make a core and then flakes this core
on all sides to create flattened form with sharp edge along entire circumference
www.notesolution.com
oCommon type, hand ax: shaped like teardrop and has sharp point at narrow end
oCleaver is a lozenge-shaped biface with flat, sharp edge on one end
oPick: thicker, more triangular biface
oBiface categorized as mode 2 technology, Acheulean industry
Ideas about what hand axes used for:
oButchering large animals
oDigging up tubers, burrowing animals, water
oStripping bark from trees to get at nutritious cambium layer underneath
oHurling at prey animals
oDispensing flake tools
2 evidence that they were heavy-duty butchery tools:
oSharp end of hand ax easily cuts through meat and separate joints, rounded end provides
secure handle
oMay also be flake dispensers, used hand ax and flakes as butchery tools
Acheulean tool remained unchanged for 1.6 mya til replaced about 300kya
Egraster replied heavily on meat
Dispersal out of Africa
Ergaster occupied almost all of Africa and extended its range into Eurasia
Able to adapt to broad range to environmental conditions
1.8-1.2mya hominins first left Africa
In Dmanisi discovered lower jaw and Oldowan tools
oMix of primitive and derived features
oHave same limb proportions as modern humans and lower limbs and feet well suited for
long-distance walking and running
Eastern Asia: Homo erectus
Homo erectus, hominin similar to Ergaster, probably arrived in eastern Asia during Lower
Pleistocene
In Java, 1.6-1.6 mya
H. erectus, face more massive, walls of cranium thicker, cranium is lower and less domed,
browridges more pronounced, sides of skull slope more steeply, occipital torus more pronounced,
sagittal keel- dont know function
oSagittal crest: expands area of attachment of temporalis muscles in paranthropines
Shorter and stockier than Ergaster, adults males only 53, a head shorter than KNM-WT 15000
Mastered difficult environmental challenges- occupied a cave at Zoukoudian only during warmer
interglacial periods
Acheulean tools rarely found in eastern Asia
Associated with mode 1 tools, simile to Oldowan
Lived in regions that were covered with dense bamboo forests, tools made from bamboo
Hominins of Early Middle Pleistocene (900-300 kya)
Worlds climate become colder and much more variable during Middle Pleistocene
During glacial periods, world was dry, Africa and Eurasia were isolated from each other by massive
desert
During interglacial periods, world was much wetter, animals moved from Africa to Eurasia
Fluctuations had important effects on dispersal of animal species, including hominins, in Middle
and Upper Pleistocene
During glacial periods, deserts spread across northern part of Africa, making region uninhabitable
for most animal species
Corresponds to what we know from fossil record: little movement of animal species between Africa
and Asia during glacial periods
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 12: From Hominin to Homo Hominins of Lower Pleistocene: Homo Ergaster Pleistocene epoch began 1.8 mya and saw a cooling of worlds climate o Divided into 3 parts: Lower, middle, Upper Pleistocene Lower: 1.8 mya, coincides with sharp cooling of worlds climate Middle: sharply increase fluctuations in temperature and first appearance of immense continental glaciers that covered northern Europe 900 kya, end defined by termination of penultimate glacial period about 130 kya Upper: ended about 12kya when a warm, interglacial phase of world climate began, this warm period persisted into present H. ergaster appears in African fossil record about 1.8 mya and disappears about 0.6 mya KNM-ER 3733 from Lake Turkana found in 1976, Richard Leakey o Associated with oldowan tools o H. habilis and H. ergaster may have coexisted for almost half a million years in Turkana basin of Kenya Morphology Skulls of Homo Ergaster differ from those of both earlier hominins and modern humans Marked narrowing behind eyes, receding forehead, no chin Many derived features shared by modern humans: shorter and less prognathic face, taller skull, smaller jaws and postcanine teeth, reduction in number of roots on upper premolars Derived features not seen on earlier homininsmodern humans: has horizontal ridge at back of skull (occipital torus), large browridges Better adapted for tearing and biting with canines and incisors, less suited to heavy chewing with molars- smaller teeth than australopiths and paranthropines, but molars are reduced relatively more in comparison with incisors Large browridges and point at back may been needed to buttress skull against movel stresses created by increased emphasis on tearing and biting Drier environment Nostrils face downward like humans and a projecting nose- adaptation for preserving moisture during periods of physical exertion Larger brains that earlier hominins 500-700cc Smallest: KNM-ER 42700 may be size of Homo habilis and australopiths KNM-WT 15000 was 12 year old boy o Same body proportions as people who live in tropical savannas: long legs, narrow hips, narrow shoulders, barrel-shaped cheat o Boy has short arms, compared with earlier hominins- terrestrial life Some Ergaster quite tall, boy wouldve been 6 ft tall when fully grown. Robust and heavily muscled Reduced in sexual dimorphism. Males 20-30% larger than females May not have spoken language: vertebral canal in thoracic region of back is much larger in humans than apes Committed to life on ground and was first hominin that could run for long distances May developed more slowly than australopiths but faster than humans o If correct, then Ergaster did not have long childhood as modern humans- learning not as important Tools and Subsistence Homo Ergaster made fancier tools than earlier hominins 1.6-1.4mya in Africa, they added new and more sophisticated tool to Oldowan tool Biface: toolmaker strikes large piece of rock from boulder to make a core and then flakes this core on all sides to create flattened form with sharp edge along entire circumference www.notesolution.com
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