Bio Anth Week 12
Bio Anth Week 12 Anth 1001
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jaimee Kidd on Wednesday April 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 1001 at George Washington University taught by Shannon C. McFarlin in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Biological Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 04/13/16
The Genus Homo Homo erectus "sensu lato” (in the broadest sense) • providing the first evidence for migrations out of Africa • 1.8 mya- 30 Ka • cranial capacity - 880 cm^3 • committed bipedal • Pleistocene Climate Oscillation (1.8 mya-10 ka) ◦ Colder and more variable climate starting at 1.8 mya ◦ Interval marked by repeated glacial cycles, known as the Ice Age ◦ Huge volumes of water in continental ice sheets ◦ Exposed land bridges connecting continents ▪ opens up new migration avenues between continents not otherwise seen during the interglacial periods • In the broader sense ◦ in the cranial sense had a long low profile ◦ in the rear view it was almost shaped like a pentagon with cranial thickenings in different parts of the skull ▪ sagittal keel ▪ thickening of occipital region ▪ thickening over the super orbital region—like a super orbital bar , especially prominent in some of the asian forms ◦ cranial vault itself is just larger ◦ face is slightly taller ◦ projected nasal area—nasal ridge ◦ reduction in size of teeth compared to what you see in earlier homo • Homo erectus common in asia and extends further in time and is more recent whereas Homo ergaster is mainly in Africa with age of 1.9-1 mya ◦ this shoes evidence (geographical variation) of two different species in fossil record ◦ many of the traits are more well developed of the ergaster such as the thick brow ridge and sagittal keel • Rest of the body ◦ long legs ◦ pelvis shaped like ours ◦ suggests committed bipedality like ourselves • Footprints form 1.5 mya, Illeret, Kenya ◦ Indistinguishable from the footprints made by modern humans, indicating a modern human-like form of bipedal locomotion • Homo ergaster ◦ Adolescent skeleton, estimated at 8 year of age based on dental development —> estimates it would be 6 feet as an adult ◦ at an estimated stature of 5’3”, indicated a significant increase in overall body size compared to australopithecus ◦ similar body proportions to modern humans • Acheulean Tool Industry ◦ 1.6 mya-200,000 years ago ◦ More sophisticated technology ◦ symmetrical, biface tools ◦ retouching, soft hammer percussion ▪ process of retouching the tools associated with the acheulean that is different than what we see in other room making processes ▪ allows a lot more control over the final product ◦ Geographic locations ▪ h. erectus is associated with both sone industries ▪ Movius line: separates h. erectus populations that developed Acheulean tools and those that didn’t ▪ East Asian populations may have migrated out of Africa before the Aucheulean industry developed ▪ East Asian populations may have lost this industry because they didn’t find suitable materials ◦ 3 classes of core tools ▪ Hand axes ▪ Proportions follow a mental template (unlike oldowan tools) ▪ Tools have very regular proportions, standardized form ▪ Proportions hold for Africa, Near East, Europe ▪ Requires more complex cognitive abilities ▪ Usage ▪ “Swiss Army knife" ▪ for processing large animal carcasses ▪ tip cuts though joints & meat ▪ very sharp and maintain that sharpness for long periods of time ▪ Wood and other plants ▪ Cores (as flake dispensers) ▪ not utilitarian purposes? ▪ some people argue that in some ways they may have been used for other social functions such as status symbols especially since some appear to be too huge to use as a tool ▪ suggests that they probably have a wide range of utilitarian functions as well as social ones ▪ Cleavers ▪ Picks ◦ Many formula flake tools ▪ Denticulates, scrapers, burins, borers ◦ Aucheulean Intelligence ▪ Requires more complex cognitive capabilities than the oldowan ▪ Mental representation of a target image ▪ Advanced planning to arrive at that product and ability to modify technique to achieve that goal ▪ “stone tools made to a standard pattern represent a different kind of cognitive organization than that known for any other animal, primate or not.” (Holloway 1967) ◦ Control of Fire ▪ Why if fire important? ▪ Cooking ▪ Makes food more digestible ▪ Less food is needed to get the same amount of nutrients ▪ Some toxins can be neutralized ▪ Warmth ▪ Important in cold and seasonal environments out of Africa ▪ May have been crucial to allow migrations to Asia and Europe ▪ Cave Occupation ▪ Allows the use of caves as shelters ▪ Also important in the colonization of European and Asian environments ▪ Predator Protection ▪ Especially important for large groups ▪ Might be predated upon at night ▪ Hunting ▪ Part of complex hunting strategies, more coordinated ▪ ambush hunting ▪ Used to heard game ▪ Effective tool especially when hunting in groups ▪ Used together with stone tools, spears, etc ▪ Social Functions ▪ May have facilitated the formation of social bonds ▪ Emergence of different types of communication ▪ The early record for human control of fire-how do we know they did it? (versus a natural bush fire) ▪ More intense and longer lasting? (Higher temperature) ▪ Spatially localized and discontinuous ▪ The early record? ▪ Small localized, fully oxidized, magnetically altered sediment patches at Koobi Fora (Kenya, 1.65-1.4 mya) and Chesowanja ▪ Burned bones from Swartkrans (cave) ▪ Most conclusive evidence of fire ▪ Gesher Benot Ya’Aqov, Israel ▪ 790, 000 years ago ▪ Charcoal ▪ Burned flints ▪ Hearths ▪ Burned grass seeds, grains (cooking?) ▪ Also spatially localized suggesting it was contained Out of Africa Dispersal: Who, When, Why? • Out of Africa by 1.8 mya ◦ Varied environments, form tropical Africa into more seasonal and colder regions in Eurasia and the Far East ◦ H. erectus- like hominins migrated out of Africa very shortly after their first appearance in Africa • Dmanisi skulls, Georgia, Caucasus, 1.8 mya ◦ H. ergaster, H. erectus, or H. georgicus? ◦ Primitive in many aspects ▪ Small bodies and brains ▪ Oldowan technology ◦ Perhaps synchronic population, who took care of old and/or sick individuals • Java, Indonesia, 1.8 mya ◦ Homo erectus from Java: Mojokerto (1.8) and Sangrian (1.65) ◦ Questions about provenance and dating; land bridge between Java and mainland Asia • Why Out of Africa at 1.8 Million years ago? ◦ Potential explanations: ▪ Tools and increase cognitive capabilities allows early hominins to colonize new environments? ▪ Obligate long-range bipedalism? ▪ Running after large game? ▪ Fire? ▪ gives ability to move into colder inhospitable environments ▪ Expansion was earlier but only visible at 1.8 million years ago? ▪ Homo ergaster/erectus ▪ bigger brain ▪ bigger body ▪ more mobile ▪ better hunter • Trends in Homo ergaster/erectus ◦ Reduction in size of cheek teeth (similar to modern humans) ▪ Possibly associated with their ability to cook their food or use tools to cut it down meaning they wouldn’t need as many teeth for the same process ◦ Increased body size and modern human-like limb proportions ◦ Absolute brain size increased ◦ * look at the rest of this part of the notes* Homo floresiensis • Flores ◦ Indonesia ◦ No land bridge connected Flores Island to mainland Asia during the Plioscene • Australopith-like brain size (380cc), but more vertical profile to the face • About 3.5 ft tall ◦ Why the small size? ▪ Insular dwarfism: reduction in size of large animals when they get isolated in small habitats (common on islands) ▪ In the absence of predators, being small is a selective advantage —> less resources are needed ▪ there is not a selective pressure for bigger bodies, in fact there is pressure for smaller bodies ▪ Very well known ecological phenomenon observed in many species: dwarf elephants (Stagodon) also in Flores • Australopith-like wrists • Short lower limbs • Flat feet (no longitudinal arch); long curved toes ◦ hence why it is called the hobbit in some cases • Behavior ◦ Simple flake stone tools (similar Oldowan) ◦ Evidence of butchery, hunting ◦ Evidence of fire • Where does it fit? ◦ Microcephaic H. sapiens is one hypothesis, an idea that the remains found are pathological to what an actual human would look like and therefore is not a different species ◦ Dwarfed lineage of H. erectus (dwarfism related to island habitat) ◦ Descendant of remnant H.habilis or australopith population?