Chapter 9 Outline: Archaic Homo - Kottak Introduction to Anthropology
Chapter 9 Outline: Archaic Homo - Kottak Introduction to Anthropology SOCA 105
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Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/6/2015 Chapter 9: Archaic Homo EARLY HOMO o At 2 million years ago, there is East African evidence for two hominin groups: Early Homo A. boisei, the hyperrobust australopithecines that became extinct around 1 m.y.a o H. rudolfensis and H. habilis o In 1972, Richard Leakey found the skull KNM-ER 1470 at the site of Koobi For a in Kenya The skull exhibits a mixture of Homo and australopithecine features The cranial capacity is larger than that of the australopithecines The molars are similar to those of the hyperrobust australopithecines o Dating the skull has been problematic, as some researchers date it to 1.8 m.y.a, whereas others believe it to be older, dating to 2.4 m.y.a Some scholars believe that KNM-ER 1470 belongs to its own species, Homo rudolfensis, but others argue that it belongs to H. habilis. Some researchers believe KNM-ER 1470 lived earlier than H. habilis; others think they lived at the same time… Some scholars argue that rudolfensis and habilis are male and female members of the same species, H. habilis. Kottak argues that the only sure conclusion is that there were several x different kinds of hominins in East Africa before and after the advent of Homo... o H. habilis and H. erectus o A team headed by L.S.B and Mary Leakey discovered the first representative of Homo habilis at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in 1960… The fossil (OH7) dates to 1.8 m.y.a. o Another important habilis (OH62) was found in 1986 by Tim White of U.C. Berkeley. OH62 is small (three feet) and has surprisingly apelike limbs that suggest habilis might still have sought refuge in trees o By 1.6 m.y.a., H. erectus had already obtained a cranial capacity of 900 cm3 (compared to the 600–700 cm3 capacity of H. habilis), along with a modern body shape and height. Fossil WT15,000 shows that H. erectus could have grown to a height of six feet Sister Species o Two 2007 fossil finds in Kenya: They show that H. habilis and H. erectus overlapped in time, (rather than being ancestor and descendants like Leakey thought) Demonstrate that sexual dimorphism was much greater than previously thought in H. erectus Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/6/2015 o H. habilis and H. erectus apparently split from a common ancestor prior to 2 m.y.a. and lived side by side in eastern Africa for some 500,000 years Thus, the fossil record for early Homo in East Africa can be revised as follows: H. habilis (1.9 m.y.a.–1.44 m.y.a.) and H. erectus (1.9 m.y.a.–1.0 m.y.a.) Oldest definite H. habilis dates to 1.9 m.y.a., although some fossil fragments with habilis suggest that we should attribute the date to 2.33 m.y.a. o The range in overall body size among H. erectus was much greater than previously imagined, with greater sexual dimorphism than among chimps or humans The Significance of Hunting. o The ecological niche that separated that H. erectus from both H. habilis and Au. boisei involved greater reliance on hunting, along with improved cultural means of adaptation, including better tools… With the emergence of H. erectus, there is a rapid proliferation in the number and diversity of tools being made; the more sophisticated tools aided Homo in hunting and gathering These tools show signs of symmetry, uniformity, and planning… Tools made and used for different jobs, such as smashing bones or digging for tubers... o Cultural treatment of food began to select for smaller dentition o Cultural manipulation of the environment allowed H. erectus to exploit a wider array of ecological zones o With increased hunting of large animals, H. erectus individuals, which had stronger skulls, had better-protected brains and thus better survival rates. In H. erectus, the base of the skull expanded dramatically, with a ridge of spongy bone across the back for the attachment of massive neck muscles o Average cranial capacity increased from about 500 cm3 in the australopithecines to about 1,000 cm3 in H. erectus, which is within the modern range of variation o As hunting became more important, encounters with large prey animals increased. OUT OF AFRICA I: H. ERECTUS o Hominins migrated out of Africa in multiple waves. First to expand was H. erectus around 2 and 1 m.y.a. o Biological and cultural changes allowed H. erectus to gather and hunt, which helped them move out of Africa into Asia and Europe... o Paleolithic Tools Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/6/2015 o Paleolithic: Old Stone Age, including Lower (early), Middle, and Upper (late) o The three Paleolithic divisions are roughly associated with a particular stage in human evolution. Lower Paleolithic: Homo erectus Middle Paleolithic: archaic Homo sapiens, including Neandertals Upper Paleolithic: anatomically modern humans, up to 15,000 years ago o Technique differentiation: Paleolithic stone-tool-making was marked by a refinement of technique and recognizable groupings of toolmaking traditions. b. Dating back at least 1.76 m.y.a., the primary tradition of the Lower Paleolithic is the Acheulian, which is associated with H. erectus. C. Adaptive Strategies of H. erectus 1. Culture/biology synergy: a. Improved tools and essentially modern bipedalism aided H. erectus in increasing its range. b. H. erectus had a much larger and longer-legged body than earlier hominins, permitting long-distance hunting of large prey; as noted, the heavy H. erectus skull also features a bony ridge at the rear and front of the skull, skeletal characteristics which may have protected the brain and provided better survival rates for those hunting large animals. c. H. erectus’s average brain size (1,000 cc) is double that of the average australopithecine. 2. Hunting and gathering: a. Bipedalism, the lesser emphasis on chewing (evidenced by smaller molars) in comparison with the australopithecines, and emphasis on the front teeth (possibly for eating flesh) all suggest a fuller commitment to hunting and gathering in H. erectus. b. Archaeologists have found and studied several sites of H. erectus activity, including cooperative hunting. c. The hearths at these sites and earlier ones (dating back to almost 800,000 years ago and possibly to 1.5–1 m.y.a. at sites in Kenya and Ethiopia) confirm that fire was part of the human adaptive kit by this time, permitting H. erectus to occupy cave sites, providing protection from bears and saber-toothed tigers, enabling people to survive winter’s cold, and aiding in cooking food. 3. Language: a. The socially complex activities and technologies such as Acheulean tools, cooperative hunting, and H. erectus’s average cranial capacity, which exist in the archaeological and fossil record, support the possibility of rudimentary speech among H. erectus. Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/6/2015 b. No evidence exists to support H. erectus’s use of language unequivocally. D. The Evolution and Expansion of H. erectus 1. Important H. erectus sites: a. East and West Turkana, Kenya, dated 1.6 m.y.a. (Leakey) b. Upper Bed II, Olduvai, dated 1 m.y.a. c. Trinil, Java, Indonesia, dated approximately 700,000 years ago (Dubois) d. Zhoukoudian, China (a.k.a. “Peking Man”), a massive site, dated 670,000– 410,000 years ago e. Europe has non-skeletal remains dating 700,000 years ago, and a probable H. erectus cranial fragment found at Ceprano, Italy, dates to 800,000 m.y.a. f. The site of Dmanisi, in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, has produced two skulls dated to 1.77–1.7 m.y.a. 2. Likely in search of meat, H. erectus extended the hominin range from the tropics to the subtropical and temperate zones of Asia and Europe.
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