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Chapter 10

Chapter 10 Notes

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ANT 301

1 Chapter 10: Pre-modern Humans Neandertals - Quite advanced - Brains as least as large as humans or larger - Their cranium: large, long, low, and bulging at the sides - Their occipital bone is somewhat bun-shaped - Sometimes used pigment (body ornamentation) and wore jewelry - Buried their dead - Showed many sophisticated cultural capabilities - They were capable of articulate speech - Very robust, barrel-chested, and powerfully muscled - They were NOT hunched over but fully erect - Could easily be called human - Classified as: Homo neanderthalensis Middle Pleistocene- the portion of the Pleistocene epoch beginning 780.000 ya and ending 125.000 ya. Late Pleistocene- the portion of the Pleistocene epoch beginning 125.000 ya and ending approximately 10.000 ya. Glaciation- climatic intervals when continental ice sheets cover much of the northern continents; glaciations are associated with colder temperatures in northern latitudes and more arid conditions in southern latitudes, mot notably in Africa. • Affected the availability of food resources AND migration routes o Sahara Desert expanded  blocking migration in and out of sub-SaharanAfrica o Eurasia (key areas blocked by glaciers)  western Europe cut off from the rest of Eurasia Interglacials- climatic intervals when continental ice sheets are retreating, eventually becoming much reduced in size; interglacials in northern latitudes are associated with warmer temperatures, while in southern latitudes the climate becomes wetter. Later hominins were widely distributed in three continents—Africa, Asia, and Europe which became more permanently and densely occupied as Middle Pleistocene hominins have been discovered from: England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Greece. Pre-modern humans of the Middle Pleistocene characteristics: • H. erectus characteristics: large face, brows are projected, the forehead is low, the cranial vault is still thick • Modern condition characteristics: increased brain size, more rounded braincase (maximum breadth is higher up on the sides), a more vertical nose, and a less angled back of the skull (occipital). 2 Key Pre-modern Human (H. heidelbergensis) Fossils from Africa Dates Site Evolutionary Significance 130.000 + ya Kabwe (Broken Hill, Zambia) Nearly complete skull; mosaic of features (brow ridge very robust but braincase expanded) 600.000 ya Bodo (Ethiopia) Earliest example ofAfrican H. heidelbergensis; likely evidence of butchering More fossil hominins of Middle Pleistocene age have been found in Europe than in any other region The Gran Dolina finds from northern Spain are definitely not Homo erectus; they may be members of a new hominin species/members of H. heidelbergensis H. heidelbergensis characteristics: - Increased cranial capacity - Less angled occiput, parietal expansion - Reduced tooth size Key Pre-modern Human (H. heidelbergensis) Fossils from Europe Dates Site Evolutionary Significance 300.000?-259.000? ya Swanscombe (England) Partial skull but shows considerable brain expansion 600.000-530.000 ya Sima de los Huesos Large sample; very early (Atapuerca, northern Spain) evidence of Neandertal ancestry (>500.000 ya): earliest evidence of deliberate disposal of the dead anywhere Some Chinese researchers have argued that anatomically, modern Chinese didn’t evolve from H. sapiens in either Europe or Africa; instead, they evolved locally in China from a separate H. erectus lineage Key Pre-Modern Human (H. heidelbergensis) Fossils fromAsia 3 Dates Site Evolutionary Significance 230.000-180.000 ya Dali (China) Nearly complete skull; best evidence of H. heidelbergensis inAsia 200.000 ya Jinniushan (China) Partial skeleton with cranium showing relatively large brain size; some Chinese scholars suggest it as possible ancestor of early Chinese H. sapiens Pre-modern human fossils from Africa and Europe resemble each other more than they do the hominins from Asia Levallois technique: Pre-modern humans developed this technique to control flake size and shape; required several complex and coordinated steps, suggesting increased cognitive abilities in later pre-modern societies. Middle Pleistocene characteristics: - Ate: fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, birds eggs, and marine life - Built temporary shelters - May have had control of fire - Lived in both caves and in open air sites - They used flakes and bone but NO hand axes TerraAmata- a site in Europe (Nice, southern France) with the most detailed reconstruction of Middle Pleistocene life; provides evidence relating to short-term, seasonal visits by hominin groups who built flimsy shelters, gathered plants, ate food from the ocean, and possibly hunted medium-to large-sized mammals. Flexed- the position of the body in a bent orientation, with arms and legs drawn up to the chest The Moula-Guercy Neandertals provide the best-documented evidence thus far of Neandertal cannibalism Upper Paleolithic- a cultural period usually associated with modern humans but also found with some Neandertals and distinguished by technological innovation in various stone tool industries; best known from western Europe, similar industries are also known from central and eastern Europe and Africa. Chatelperronian- pertaining to an Upper Paleolithic industry found in France and Spain, containing blade tools and associated with Neandertals 4 Kebara (Israel) - site where most complete Neandertal pelvis was found; also found a hyoid—a small bone located in the throat and the first ever
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