Presentation on theme: "The last Neanderthal Emerged about 300,000 ybp most likely from Homo heidelbergensis Cold adapted bodies; short stocky 20% heavier than modern humans of."— Presentation transcript:
The last Neanderthal Emerged about 300,000 ybp most likely from Homo heidelbergensis Cold adapted bodies; short stocky 20% heavier than modern humans of same stature. Larger brains, but possibly smaller frontal and parietal lobes.
Demise of the Neanderthals: 30,000ybp
Hunting, Toolmaking Close in kills, not projectiles Injury patterns similar to rodeo riders Smaller ranges, little evidence of raw material exchange Levallois technique Mousterian tools: hafting
Social life Smaller, more local groups Less organized camps, more temporary Less organized hearths Abundance of ochre, other oxides Chatelperronian controversy No sexual division of labor?
Emergence of Homo sapiens First anatomically modern humans (behaviorally?) Omo Kibish Ethiopia 190,000 Herto 160,000 ybp (defleshing) Homo sapiens more derived than Neanderthals. Rounded crania diagnostic feature; some face characteristics remain archaic
Middle Paleolithic or Middle Stone Age: 250,000 – 35,000 ybp Emergence of two new species (possibly both descended from Homo heidelbergensis: Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals in Europe), and Homo sapiens sapiens (AMH in Africa). Levant event: First (failed) excursion of AMH out of Africa
Toba eruption: 73,000 ybp Population bottleneck: 1-5,000 breeding females
The fortuitous mutation? Stanford archeologist Richard Klein: Ultimate reason for the emergence of symbolism -- a fortuitous genetic mutation that reorganized brain structure and function thus giving Homo sapiens a cognitive advantage over other archaic hominid forms. Psychologist Frederick Coolidge and archeologist Timothy Wynn: extended Klein’s hypothesis -- most likely target of this mutation would have been an enhancement of working memory capacity. In this context, working memory capacity refers to the ability to hold information in mind, especially information about behavioural procedures and intended goals, in spite of interfering stimuli or response competition
Social solution to resources stress? Paul Mellars cites genetic evidence to argue for a “relative” population explosion among specific human groups around 80-60,000 ybp in Africa (the “chosen few”) Howiesons Poort & Still Bay industries: evidence of trading networks
Tsodilo Hills snake rock: first evidence of religion? Beads and body ornaments: evidence of trade networks? Tsodilo Hills of Botswana. It was here in 2006 that University of Oslo archeologist Sheila Coulson discovered a ritually-modified snake- rock, dated to around 70,000 ybp (Minkel, 2006). The 6 meter long by 2 meter high boulder had a natural snake-like appearance that had been intentionally modified so that incoming natural light gave the impression of scales on its surface while firelight gave the impression of undulating movement. For Coulson, these modifications strongly suggested use of the site for consciousness altering rituals. The python plays an especially prominent role in San creation myths and Tsodilo hills are thought to be sacred. Blombos beads, social marking and gift giving
AMH: Expansion out of Africa (about 60,000 ybp) Genetic evidence: Interbreeding with Neanderthals 60,000ybp in Levant – on to Europe and Asia About 50,000ybp same with Denisovians in East Asia -- on to Melanesia (Denis: pinky and one tooth!)
Upper Paleolithic Aurignacian tool kit: blades vs. Levallois flakes; Upper Paleolithic (35-10kya) vs. Middle (250-35kya)
Effects of EMW Increased phonological storage capacity Recursion Cross-modal thinking Long range planning (subjunctive “what if” thinking) Episodic buffer capacity (mental time travel)
Archeological evidence for EWM Alloying metals: 5,000 ybp Traps and weirs: hard evidence: 9-12,000 ybp; implications 20,-25,000 ybp. Harpoons: 17,000ybp Managed foraging: burning, Niah Cave, Borneo 30,000ybp Colonization: Australia 40,000? 30,000 New Guinea Abstract artifacts: Hohlenstein-Stadel; Lartet Plaque; 30,000ybp
Blombos beads Why not evidence for EWM Social categorization based on expanded parietal cortex, but not abstract, and not combination of categories (as is true with H-S figurine).
Modern Cognition: Cave art, abstract artifacts, religious/symbolic imagery