Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13 Premodern Humans. The Pleistocene The Pleistocene, often called the Ice Age, was marked by advances and retreats of massive continental glaciations."— Presentation transcript:
The Pleistocene The Pleistocene, often called the Ice Age, was marked by advances and retreats of massive continental glaciations. In Europe at least 15 major and 50 minor glacial advances. Hominids were impacted as the climate, flora, and animal life shifted. Middle Pleistocene (780,000– 25,000 y.a.) Upper Pleistocene (125,000–10,000 y.a.)
Changing Pleistocene Environments in Eurasia Green areas show regions of likely hominid occupation. Blue areas are major glaciers. Arrows indicate likely migration routes.
Key Middle Pleistocene Premodern Human (H. heidelbergensis) Fossils from Africa SiteDates (y.a.)Human Remains Bodo (Ethiopia) Middle Pleistocene (600,000) Incomplete skull, part of braincase Broken Hill (Kabwe) (Zambia) Late Middle Pleistocene; (130,000 or older) Nearly complete cranium, cranial fragments of second individual, miscellaneous postcranial bones
Key Middle Pleistocene Premodern Human (H. heidelbergensis) Fossils from Europe SiteDates (y.a.)Human Remains Arago (Tautavel, France) 400,000– 300,000; date uncertain Face; parietal perhaps from same person; many cranial fragments; up to 23 individuals represented Atapuerca (Sima de los Huesos, northern Spain) 320,000– 190,000, probably 300,000 Minimum of 28 individuals, including some nearly complete crania
Key Middle Pleistocene Premodern Human (H. heidelbergensis) Fossils from Europe SiteDates (y.a.)Human Remains Steinheim (Germany) 300,000– 250,000; date uncertain Nearly complete skull, lacking mandible Swanscombe (England) 300,000– 250,000; date uncertain Occipital and parietals
Key Middle Pleistocene Premodern Human (H. heidelbergensis) Fossils from Asia SiteDates (y.a.)Human Remains Dali (China) Late Middle Pleistocene (230,000– 180,000) Nearly complete skull, lacking mandible. Nearly complete skull Jinniushan (China) Late Middle Pleistocene (200,000) Partial skeleton, including a cranium
Review of Middle Pleistocene Evolution (400,000-125,000 y.a.) Homo erectus/sapiens mix in Africa, China, and Europe. Fossils from each continent differ slightly. Increase in brain size Change in the shape of the skull.
Middle Pleistocene Tools Levallois technique –archaic African & Europeans. Acheulian tools- hand axes. Different tool traditions coexist in some areas.
Culture of Neandertals Cultural period-Middle Paleolithic, associated with the Mousterian industry. Mousterian culture extended across Europe and North Africa.
Culture of Neandertals Neandertals improved on previous prepared- core techniques by inventing a new variation. Trimmed a flint nodule around the edges to form a disk-shaped core. Each time they struck the edge, they produced a flake, continuing this way until the core became too small and was discarded. They then trimmed the flakes into various forms, such as scrapers, points, and knives.
Settlements Mousterian culture- open sites, caves, and rock shelters. Windbreaks of poles and skin. Fire used.
Subsistence Remains of animal bones. Close-proximity spears for hunting. Trauma- like rodeo performers.
Symbolic Behavior Capable of articulate speech. Verbal language like Homo sapiens? Artwork?
Burials Neanderthals buried their dead. Some included grave goods. Flexed position. Religious beliefs?
Key Neandertal Fossil Discoveries SiteDates (y.a.)Human Remains Vindija (Croatia) 42,000– 28,000 35 specimens; cranial fragments La Chapelle (France) 50,000 Nearly complete male skeleton Shanidar (Iraq) 70,000– 60,000 9 partial skeletons Tabun (Israel) 110,000 date uncertain 2 or 3 individuals, almost complete female skeleton Krapina (Croatia) 125,000 –120,000 Up to 40 individuals, fragmentary
Cultural Contrasts: Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Neandertals Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Tool Technology Numerous flake tools; few, however, apparently for highly specialized functions; use of bone, antler, or ivory very rare; relatively few tools with more than one or two parts Many more varieties of stone tools; many apparently for specialized functions; frequent use of bone, antler, and ivory; many more 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 (thus, more likelihood of injury) Use of spear-thrower and bow and arrow; wider range of social contacts, perhaps permitting larger, more organized hunting parties (including game drives) Stone Material Transport Stone materials transported only short distances Stone tool raw materials transported over much longer distances, implying wider social networks and perhaps trade
Cultural Contrasts: Neandertals and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans Neandertals Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans ArtArtwork uncommon; usually small; probably mostly of a personal nature; some items perhaps misinterpreted as “art”; others may be intrusive from overlying Upper Paleolithic contexts; cave art absent Artwork much more common, including 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 BurialDeliberate burial at several sites; graves unelaborated; graves frequently lack artifacts Burials much more complex, frequently including both tools and remains of animals
Three Major Evolutionary Transitions 1. Early Homo to H. erectus- only in Africa & rapidly. 2. From H. erectus to early H. sapiens. Not geographically limited, but occurred slowly and unevenly. 3. From Archaic H. sapiens to anatomically modern H. sapiens.
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