Presentation on theme: "Neandertal Tools Neandertals improved previous techniques by inventing a new variation, Mousterian. – They trimmed a flint nodule around the edges to form."— Presentation transcript:
Neandertal Tools Neandertals improved previous techniques by inventing a new variation, Mousterian. – They trimmed a flint nodule around the edges to form a disk-shaped core. – Each time they struck the edge, they produced a flake, continuing until the core became too small and was discarded. – They then trimmed the flakes into various forms, such as scrapers, points, and knives.
Chatelperronian This is an Upper Paleolithic tool industry found in France and Spain, containing blade tools and associated with Neandertals. Neandertals are also identified with Mousterian tools (next slide)…
Mousterian (Neandertal) vs. Acheulian (Homo Erectus) Tools Mousterian is characterized by a larger proportion of flake tools than is found in Acheulian tool kits.
Review…Acheulean Tools Acheulean tools are typically found with Homo erectus remains. Lower to Middle Pleistocene It was the dominant technology for the vast majority of human history and more than one million years ago it was Acheulean tool users who left Africa to first successfully colonize Eurasia.
Review…Oldowan tools The Oldowan is the first known industrial complex in prehistory. It takes its name from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania Oldowan tool use is estimated to have begun about 2.5 million years ago (mya), lasting to as late as 0.5 mya. It is thought that Oldowan tools were produced by several species of hominids ranging from late Australopithecus to early Homo.
Subsistence Remains of animal bones demonstrate that Neandertals were successful hunters. Used close-proximity spears for hunting (spear thrower and bow and arrow weren’t invented until the Upper Paleolithic). Patterns of trauma in Neandertal remains match those of contemporary rodeo performers, indicating close proximity to prey.
Speech and Symbolic Behavior Prevailing consensus has been that Neandertals were capable of articulate speech. Even if Neandertals did speak, they did not have the same language capabilities of modern Homo sapiens.
Burials Neanderthals buried their dead. Their burials included grave goods like animal bones and stone tools. They placed the bodies of their dead in a flexed position.
Cultural Contrasts: Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Neandertals Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Tool Technology Numerous flake tools; few highly specialized; use of bone, antler, or ivory very rare; few tools with more than one or two parts Many varieties of stone tools; many for specialized functions; frequent use of bone, antler, and ivory; many tools comprised of two or more component parts
Cultural Contrasts: Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Neandertals Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Hunting Efficiency and Weapons No long-distance hunting weapons; close-proximity weapons used Use of spear-thrower and bow and arrow; wider range of social contacts, perhaps larger, more organized hunting parties (including game drives)
Cultural Contrasts: Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Neandertals Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Stone Material Transport Stone materials transported only short distances Stone tool raw materials transported over longer distances, implying wider social networks and perhaps trade
Cultural Contrasts: Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Neandertals Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Art Uncommon; probably mostly personal; some items misinterpreted as “art”; others may be intrusive from overlying Upper Paleolithic contexts; cave art absent Artwork more common, transportable objects as well as elaborate cave art; well executed, using a variety of materials and techniques; stylistic sophistication
Cultural Contrasts: Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Neandertals Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Burial Deliberate burial at several sites; graves unelaborated; graves frequently lack artifacts Burials more complex, frequently including tools and remains of animals
Physical Contrasts: Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans
Phylogeny of Genus Homo - Very Modest Species Diversity
Phylogeny of genus Homo - Considerable Species Diversity
Neandertal Genome Question: Why should knowing the full genome of Neandertals help us learn something important about ourselves? What Makes Us Human? What Makes Us Human – Nova (2012)
Neandertal Genome Answer: Much of what makes humans unique is coded in genes that have been altered by evolution in the last few hundred thousand years. By looking at Neandertal DNA, we can see which genes have been modified. We can then begin to explain the biological bases of human intelligence and even perhaps the nature of consciousness. Genetics of Human Origins (Sarah Tishkoff) Genetics of Human Origins