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APY 108, Week 2 of Notes

by: Nicole Shaughnessy

APY 108, Week 2 of Notes APY 108

Nicole Shaughnessy

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These contain the past week's notes and materials covered.
Intro to Anthropology
Timothy Chevral
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicole Shaughnessy on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to APY 108 at University at Buffalo taught by Timothy Chevral in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 46 views. For similar materials see Intro to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University at Buffalo.

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Date Created: 02/05/16
Earliest Ancestors become Early Humans  Important historic Sites  East African Great Rift Valley stretches from Ethiopia to Tanzania  A huge grand-canyon type region, caused by separation of tectonic plates  Many important sites revealed in the strata(layers).  Hadar- “Lucy”  Small brained, gracile, habitual bipedal walkers. Dentition and post- cranial anatomy show human behavior  Found “the first family”- added evidence to the idea of bipedal walking. There was a distinct arch in the foot that is only found in habitual “walkers”  Interpreted as having died in a flood, found no teeth marks on the bones.  Indicated to have lived in multi-male and multi-female groups, making them even more like chimpanzees than any other ape.  Later, found that there was a lack of evidence indicating that there was even a flood to have wiped them out. No weathering of the land or bones.  Suggested they were killed by a type of carnivore that did not chew the bones, such as, a large cat species. But we are not sure of the behavior of the ancestors of cats.  Or, suggested that they just died separately and their bones were washed away by a small stream and deposited together.  Thus, the social behavior of these are still unknown. Are most likely very different from any modern day apes.  Recent studies show that the significance of sexual dimorphism is more similar to us today and not as similar to gorillas as had previously been believed.  Early humans lived in groups of 10-20 adults and had different ways of constituting families. Always have one person who is above all others.  Olduvai Gorge is a side canyon in the Great Rift Valley where much of the evidence of earliest ancestors were found and found many early stone tools. Kick started Louis and Mary Leakey’s career in 1930 but did not find real remains until 1959.  Boisei, a robust hominin, had a sagittal crest, large molars, and premolars, huge jaws and well developed attachments for chewing muscles. This represents a specific “niche” way of life, different than gracile hominins.  Laetoli:  In 1976, Mary Leakey discovered fossilized footprints here  About 3.6 MYA a volcano eruption created a layer of ash that animals then walked across and a chemical reaction allowed the tracks to harden.  Footprints were made by individuals who walked on two legs.  Chimps have square “u” teeth where as humans have a parabolic palette.  The brain size of early hominins was still very small and no early tools were found.  Prognifism- a jutting face, a large angle to the face  Plateops- a flat face caused by the increase of size in the brain and therefore, the forehead  A. africanus is slightly more like a human and was found in South African sites  Swartkrans Cave in South Africa contains many human and animal fossils that appear to have been predatored by leopards. This was a shock to some because it is now clear that these early hominins were hunted and not hunters.  Dr. Lee Burger hired small people to go into a tiny cave opening that was suspected to hold unique finds. The cave was narrow and created difficult work conditions. Used webcams to document the search and found many fossils and there are believed to be even more.  H. naledi is very similar to modern homo species. The dentition is small and simple and there are adaptations on the wrist and hand. Has human like feet and limbs. There were no animal remains found along with these fossils. Leads to the interpretation that the bodies were placed here. They may have been avoiding the attraction of predators or may have been relevant to cultural belief.  Cranial Morphology  Cranial capacity increases  Dentition  Zygomatic arch  Sagittal crest  Postorbital constriction (behind the eyes)  Supraorbital tori  Occipital bun  Foramen magnum  The genus Homo  Homo habilis is the earliest ancestor from about 2.5 MYA  Much more like humans, believe some species may have existed in overlapping times.  Need more evidence on these  Homo habilis led to the emergence of humans  Homo erectus was the first human form to leave Africa.  About 200,000 years ago, Homo sapiens began to appear.  Homo ergaster had large bones and teeth and significantly larger brains that Homo habilis. They had sloping foreheads, prominent brow ridges, and protruding faces. Almost fully modern in locomotion. Narrow pelvis and chest. Sexual dimorphism similar to modern day.  In Asia and Europe, there were cooler climate conditions and found evidence of new skills and inventions such as fire and hunting and wooden spears. 2/4/16  Cultural and biological evolution in the Basal, Lower, and Middle Paleolithic  The Basal Paleolithic or Oldowan Period- 3 to 1.9 MYA: skeletal and dental morphology grows more and more human-like; stone tools are invented  The Lower Paleolithic- 1.9 MYA to 200 KYA: bigger brains; more advanced tools, fire, shelter, and migration/ travel across Eurasia  The Middle Paleolithic- 200 KYA to 45 KYA: ever more human, new tool and behaviors  Most early stone tools date from around 3 MYA. These are called pebble tools  The hominins of East Africa were the inventors of these  Recently, simpler and older tools have been identified  These tools represent a change in cultural adaptation  Early Stone Tools  Chimpanzees have frequently observed making and using wood tools and unmodified stone tools  Unmodified tools may have been used long before but these either cannot be identified or have not survived.  The appearance of stone tools may be associated with the increasing importance of meat in the human diet. They provide a cutting edge that one does not have on their teeth.  Olduvai Gorge provided the first clear documentation that stone tools and human bones occurred at the same time in geological time.  Other evidence shed light on other hominin behavior.  Analysis shows that tools were used for cutting meat, slicing soft plant material, and scraping and sawing wood.  Evidence of woodworking suggests that wooden tools were also being made.  Determining diets and how the hominins used the space around them is difficult. There is a debate on whether they used “home bases” and how they obtained meat.  By the end of the Pleistocene, humans were major large-game hunters.  Evidence suggest that humans brought animal parts back to a common location to remove meat. There are also chew marks and cut marks on bones. Ethnoarchaeology  The study of modern peoples practices and the material remains of their practices, to gain insight on past people’s practices  Carnivores tear at the epiphysis to remove bone marrow, whereas humans leave it completely intact.  Examining the size and type of animals and their bones at various locations shed evidence on the issue  Evidence suggests that the Olduvai hominins were hunting small mammals.  Cut marks across hundreds of bones indicate that there was still a lot of meat on the bone from a carnivore, so there was enough meat for a hominin to scavenge and cut off the meat. Aspects of humanly manufacture of stone tools  Raw Materials  Core, flake, blade  Hard or soft hammer, anvil, direct/indirect percussion  Pressure flaking  Assemblage  Striking platform, bulb of percussion, bulbar scar, concentric force rings or concoidal fracture pattern Raw Materials  Fine grained, crystalline structure, predictable fracture pattern  Blocky structure of quartz, gneiss, or sandstone are less predictable  Heating material can change the molecular structure of stone and improve its predictability. The Lower Paleolithic  Dmanisi is the earliest site of its kind outside of Africa.  5 skulls were found here that are all the same population but are also different from each other.  They were an interbreeding population.  H. erectus moved into Asia and Europe with cooler climate conditions and new skills and inventions.  Endocast- a cast of the outside of the brain from the inside of the skull. Mungo Man  A skeleton found that is only 62,000 years old and had DNA that could be sequenced and its DNA is not like any other living person’s DNA.  Was not H. erectus and his genetic line went extinct. Zhoukoudian  Famous site in China  A tooth was discovered that was unusual and led to the finding of may H. erectus skulls  Its deep strata do not contain handaxes or many fossils.  May have used bamboo tools instead of stone tools  Homo erectus were not much for building shelters. But used fire and clothing.


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