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Chapter 5

Chapter 5

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Michael Chazan

Chapter 5 The Origin of Modern Humans 51 What is a Modern HumanModern humansmembers of the species Homo sapiens which includes all living humansSkull traits that distinguish modern humans large brain 12001700 cc globular braincase vertical forehead reduced brow ridges pronounced chinalso have reduced body mass narrow trunk and unique pelvic shape tooth size reduced52 Early Modern Humans in AfricaFirst appeared in Africa 200000 to 100000 years ago during Oxygen Isotope Stages 63Hertosite in Ethiopia oldest known fossil of modern humans found there dated between 160000 and 154000 years agoone adult skull partial juvenile skull fragmentary adult skullKlasies River Mouth and Border CaveSouth Africa fossils of modern humans dated to between 120000 and 70000 years ago discovered at these sitesbits of a skull jaw arm foot The African Middle Stone AgeAcheulian industries replaced by Middle Stone Age industries 300000 to 200000 years ago ended roughly 40000 years ago is the archaeological context for the earliest modern humans Stone Tools y Levallois method was used during this time also included a number of distinct industries tooy Aterian north African stone tool distinguished by presence of points with a small projection located at the base of the point used to secure the point to a spearhandlealso include finely made bifacial ones that served as knifes or hunting points y SangoanLupemban found in Central and East Africa characterized by very crude heavyduty toolsmight be indicative of an adaptation to a heavily wooded environment y Howiesons Poort South Africa include small crescentshaped implements known as microlithsmost likely function is as an element of spears or arrows Bone Tools y Katandabone harpoons found at Middle Stone Age site in Democratic Republic of Congoearlier than 75000 years ago uncovered barbed bone points a bone knife Adaptation y Use of marine resources is high compared to Neanderthals where it is rare have found shellfish and seal bones in many Middle Stone Age sites y Impressive evidence of fishing found adapted to living near the water Art yBlombos Cavepiece of ochre with incised decoration found dated to 77000 years agoearliest evidence in the archaeological record of a hominin making a patternsuggests they were meant to represent y Unknown what the objects areSymbolic behavioursomething while artwork implies they were incised with an aesthetic goal in mind
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