Introduction to Paleoanthropology
Introduction to Paleoanthropology ANTH 196
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Date Created: 02/12/16
Introduction to Paleoanthropology (1) 1. Paleoanthropology- the study of human evolution as a biological and cultural process (mostly a historical science) a. Major types of data- fossil bearing sites, fossils, artifacts b. Major theoretical sources- geology, paleoecology, chemistry, evolutionary theory, primatology, anatomy, archaeology, culture anthropology, psychology c. Key features- evolutionary, multidisciplinary, mercurial (new species constantly being discovered), Disproportionately represented in popular media, contentious (creationism, egos, fringe science) 2. Early Hominid sites- found in EAST AFRICA 3. Hominid- a bipedal member of the evolutionary lineage leading to modern humans a. Phylogenetic definition- any species that evolved after the human linage split off from the evolutionary lineage leading to chimpanzees 4. Fossils- happenstance material evidence of past life – a fragmentary “window” into the past a. Extremely biased sample of past life 5. Two basic types of dating techniques to find out how old fossil is: a. RELATIVE- This fossil is younger than that fossil in that strata (using stratigraphy) i. Strata- when layers pile up on top of each other b. CHRONOMETRIC- this fossil is 3.6 to 0.2 million years old (absolute dating) i. Isotopes- many naturally occurring elements come in different varieties. Over time radioactive atoms n the isotope change into stable atoms in the isotope ii. Half life- the time it takes to reduce the number of radioactive atoms by 50% 6. Behavioral features likely to be found in hominids (chimps) a. Cultural Attributes b. Tool Use c. Warfare d. Hunting 7. Lithic (stone) tool technology – 2 basic ways of modifying stones a. PRESSURE FLAKING b. DIRECT PERCUSSION Primate Evolution (2) 1. Primate Evolution is largely confined to the Cenozoic Era 2. The Paleocene a. 65-53mya: Pleasiadapiforms – diverse, successful group of early primates that is found in North America and Europe during Paleocene b. Very small body size, many species, some primate features, mostly insectivores 3. The Eocene a. Two major groups of fossil primates: i. Adapoids- found in North America / Europe 1. Diurnal 2. Quadrupedalism / leaping 3. Lemur- like ii. Omomyids- Found in North America / Europe 4. The Oligocene a. First really good evidence of fossil anthropoids b. Origin of new world monkeys is mysterious c. Reconstruction of the fayum environment (Crawling and climbing trees) d. African anthropoids show up in in South America 5. The Miocene a. Three major groups of fossil hominoids appear i. African forms- 23-14 mya (Genus- Proconsul) ii. European forms 16-11mya (Genus- Dyropithecus) iii. Asian forms 16-7mya (Genus- Sivapithecus) COULD BE ANCESTRAL TO MODERN ORANGUATANGS iv. A trend toward cooler temperatures as new interesting creatures evolved Introduction to Australopithecines (3) 1. Bipedalism- is a major anatomical innovation involving the reorganization of several anatomical regions pelvis, femur, vertebrae, foot, and skull base. (used as a diagnostic trait that defines all hominids) a. Pelvis i. Gluteus maximus- helps stabilize our trunk since it has a tendency to pitch forward during walking b. Femur i. Biocondylar angle- or carrying angle helps to position lower leg directly under the body, limb is longer overall to increase stride c. Vertebrae i. SPINAL CURVES- to keep weight centered above pelvis / lower (lumbar) are very large in humans in order to support weight of trunk arms and head d. Foot i. Longitudinal arch- helps to absorb shock and add spring to each step e. Skull base i. In humans the head is centered on the spine ii. The spinal cord leaves through a downward facing foramen magnum 1. In quadrupeds, the foramen magnum faces posteriorly and is further back 2. Bipedal hominids HAVE- a. Broad, curved ilia b. Shorter public bones c. Overall shape is bowl shaped 3. Chimp and human split 6-8 millions years ago 4. Three genera of early hominid a. Sahelanthropus b. Orrorin i. Orrorin Tugenensis- teeth show chimp like features (honing complex) ii. Honing complex- upper canine rubs against lower first premolar— sharpening function c. Ardipithecus i. 4.4mya / found by Tim White ii. Pelvis and toe bones suggest bipedalism / foramen magnum is anterior iii. DIVERGENTLY BIG TOE Introduction to Australopithecines II (4) 1. Australopithecines- Genus Australopithecus and Paranthropus a. Date from 4.2-1.2 mya b. Mix of bipedal locomotion and ape like features c. Small brained creates with lots of sexual dimorphism in body mass and little canine size d. FOUND IN EAST AND SOUTH AFRICA e. Herbivores + possible some meat eating f. Small incisors / canines relative to body size 2. Australopithecines two major groups: a. Gracile and robust i. Difference between them is in aspects of dental and jaw morphology- dietary adaptations 3. Australopithecus apheresis a. Unquestionably bipedal but had some adaptations to climbing b. Mix of ape-like and later human like traits (prognathism) c. Difficult births 4. Australopithecus africanus a. South Africa, faster maturation than modern humans, foramen magnum anterior 5. Australopithecus ghari a. ASSOCIATED WITH PRIMITIVE TOOLS b. RECEIVED VIEW PRIOR TO DISCOVERY: AUSTRALOPITHECINES DIDN’T MAKE STONE TOOLS 6. Robust vs. Gracile Australopithecines a. Most of the differences are related to cranial and dental adaptations b. Robust i. Larger cheek teeth/ very reduced anterior teeth ii. Larger attachment sites for muscles involved in chewing iii. Sagittal crest iv. Broad, flaring cheek bones v. Large infratemporal fossae, postorbital construction, highly derived “chewing machines” 7. Behavioral patterns of Australopithecines a. Locomotion- All have bipedal adaptations but also retain adaptations for climbing b. Sexual Dimorphism- Moderate canine dimorphism, moderate to high size dimorphism c. Development- Faster to reach sexual maturity, less infant dependency d. Diet- Herbivory and hard seeds in robust forms, a bit more omnivory in gracile forms e. Tool use- TOOLS ASSOCIATED AUSTRALOPITHECUS GHARI AND RECENTLY EVEN OLDER TOOLS FOUND IN KENYA DATING TO 3.3mya f. Brain size- No dramatic increase in brain size when compared to chimps. Brain size overlaps with chimps Introduction to the genus Homo I (5) 1. Homo habilis (handyman because of the use of tools) a. LOUIS LEAKEY found the first homo habilis fossil Olduvai Gorge in the 1960’s (same site where P. boisei is found) b. However convinced that it was not P. boisei because i. No sagittal crest ii. Smaller molar teeth iii. Found close in association with tools c. Two major things to know about homo habilis i. Brain Size- have larger brain than australopithecine ii. Tool Use- they made tools d. Characteristics i. Modern bipedal gait (fully terrestrial) ii. Mixed diet – meat and veggies iii. Evidence of hunting / likely scavenging iv. Increased manipulated ability in the hands v. 2.4 to 1.5 mya vi. FOUND IN EAST AND SOUTH AFRICA 2. Distinctions between Australopithecines and Homo Habilis a. Australopithecines i. Less rounded skull / smaller brain b. Homo Habilis i. Skull more rounded / larger brain 3. The olduwan industry a. Discovery and named by Louis Leakey ‘ 4. Early Hominids were SCAVENGERS not hunters 5. TAPHONOMY- study of what happens to something after it dies 6. Dart is convinced that A. Africanus is a human ancestor however most researches do not accept his conclusion- use of tools is a HUMAN LIKE QUALITY a. He argued that A. Africanus had an OSTEODONTOKERATIC (a bone tooth horn “tool box”) tool culture 7. CK Brain- an archaeologist and taphonomist concluded that bones, teeth and horns not those of animals killed by humans, bones teeth and horns are not used as tools a. Humans were hunted rather than the hunters 8. Taphonomy and tool us in South Africa a. Patterns of breakage in bones, both hominid and other animal, are caused by leopard predation and hyena foraging 9. Homo habilis as A SCAVENGER a. Brain Expansion: observation, learning, and memory. Need to learn large carnivore habits b. Bipedalism, Terrestriality, and Free Hands: carrying tools, carrying SCAVENGED MEAT 10. Multiple species in homo habilis due to variability in their fossils Introduction to the genus Homo II (6) 1. Homo Erectus (1.8mya) a. First found by EUGENE DUBOIS in 1981 in Java in a village near Trinil along banks of Solo River as found a skull cap and a femur b. Characteristics i. It is both bigger and bigger brained ii. It is found in sites OUTSIDE OF AFRICA iii. It has more advanced tools iv. Many of its features approximate modern human traits c. Behaviors i. First widespread species colonizing seasonal habitats ii. Used and possibly controlled fire iii. Tools used in butchering big game iv. May have embraced culture as an adaptive strategy 2. Homo Erectus vs. Homo Habilis a. Brain Size i. Bigger b. Body Size i. As tall as modern humans c. Cranial Shape i. Large brow ridges and broad at skull base d. Dentition i. SHOVEL SHAPED INCISORS (also found in some modern populations) 3. Homo Erectus at Zhoukoudian a. Davidson Black, Franz Weidenreich, and Pei Wenshong began to excavate at Zhoukoudian (china) uncovering 100 fossils of H. erectus b. Evidence of fire control, cooking, and hunting 4. Homo Erectus Fossils found in Africa a. Discovery made by ALAN WALKER and Richard Leakey b. “Turkana boy”- 11 years old, 1.6mya, very complete skeleton and cranium c. AFRICAN FORMS OF Homo Erectus ======= HOMO ERGASTER 5. Acheulian tool industry in Homo erectus a. Larger and more symmetrical than Oldowan tools found in Africa, Asia, and Western Europe b. Characteristics- i. Tear dropped shaped hand axes as standardize forms and design consistent over 1 million years ii. Chipped / flaked on all sides to create a biface 6. Homo erectus and later Hominids occupying 800kya to 200kya a. Homo heidelbergenis (archaic homo sapiens) i. Inhabited Africa Asia and Europe ii. Was Middle Pleistocene species iii. Larger cranial capacity (1200cc) iv. There is prominent brow ridge but the brow ridges are round v. Technology: 1. Very likely controlled and used fire 2. Built shelters and structures 3. Exploited many different food sources 4. Possibly hunted large game but this is disputed 5. LEVALLOIS TOOLS- more complex design MOVIE NOTES o Near what village did these researchers find? – Ethiopian Village ARAMIS Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens I (7) 1. Neandertals a. Are found between 130kya and 30kya b. Distributed across the western part of Eurasia c. MOSTLY FOSSILS SITES ARE FOUND IN EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST d. Anatomy i. Rounded, thin walled cranium ii. Low foreheads iii. Endocrinal capacity 1245-1740cc iv. Large rounded brow ridges (pneumatized) v. Mid-face prognathism (unique) vi. Large nasal opening vii. Occipital bun / no chin viii. Very worn anterior teeth / taurodont tooth roots--- CHIPPED TEETH since they used it at as a tool ix. Short robust / heavy muscled x. Thick long xi. ** were in cold environments so their bodies were an adaption of their environment e. Neandertals at Shanidar Cave i. Found in NE Iraq ii. One male 30-45 years old iii. 1600cc brain size iv. Interpreted as evidence of compassion f. Neandertals associated with Mousterian Tools i. Thinner blades, more complex tools, with more cutting edge ii. Evidence of hafted spear-heads iii. Evidence for “glue” to secure arrowheads onto spears iv. Strong evidence for foresight, planning, and mental templates v. Non-stone materials such as bone, wood, ivory g. Neandertals behavior i. Incorporated large quantities of meat into their diet ii. Evidence of hunting big game / cannibalism iii. Hearths, cooking, wind breaks, clothing/skins iv. CHATELPERRONIAN- tool industry at these sites, lots of fine blades and even adornments. Found between 35-29kya, derived from earlier Mousterian industry v. Had enhanced communication skills h. Evidence of language in Neandertals i. HYPOGLOSSAL CANAL- hole where cranial nerve passes through from brain to tongue ii. Neandertals and humans have large hypoglossal Canal, other hominids do not Neandertals and Homo Sapiens II (8)
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