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Homo Sapiens and the Upper Paleolithic

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1 Homo Sapiens and the Upper Paleolithic
Chapter 10 Homo Sapiens and the Upper Paleolithic

2 Chapter Outline When did anatomically modern forms of Homo sapiens appear? What was the culture of Upper Paleolithic peoples like? When and how did humans spread to Australia and the Americas?

3 Homo Sapiens and the Upper Paleolithic
By 30,000 y.a. populations in all parts of the inhabited world resembled modern humans. People refined adaptations to local conditions, and expanded into new regions. Biological consequences included reduction of the face to modern proportions, and the reduction of body mass.

4 Cultural Adaptations in the Upper Paleolithic
Tools took over cutting, softening, and clamping functions once performed by the teeth. This resulted in a reduction in the size of the teeth and jaws. Technological improvements reduced selective pressures that had favored massive, robust bodies.

5 Upper Paleolithic Tools
Pressure flaking was used to press off small flakes as the final step in stone tool making. Burins were used to work bone, horn, antler, and ivory into fishhooks, harpoons, and eyed needles.

6 Upper Paleolithic Tools
Spear-throwers added to the efficiency of the spear as a hunting tool. Nets made from the fibers of wild plants were used in net hunting. Bow and arrow was invented.

7 Upper Paleolithic Art Carvings in tool handles Statues Cave paintings
Bone flutes and whistles

8 The Spread of Upper Paleolithic Peoples
Expanded into regions previously uninhabited by their archaic forebears. Colonization of Siberia began 42,000 y.a. 10,000 years later they reached the northeastern part of that region.

9 The Spread of Upper Paleolithic Peoples
60,000 y.a., people arrived in Australia and New Guinea. They crossed at least 90 kilometers of water that separated Australia and New Guinea from the Asian continent throughout Paleolithic times.

10 The Spread of Upper Paleolithic Peoples
The first Americans may have come by boat. They may have traveled between islands or ice-free pockets of coastline, from as far away as the Japanese islands and down North America’s northwest coast.

11 Major Paleolithic Trends: Tools
Tools became more sophisticated, varied, and specialized. Tools were lighter and smaller, with a better ratio between length of cutting edge and weight of stone. Tools were specialized according to region and function.

12 Blade Technique

13 Pressure Flaking Two methods used for pressure flaking in which a bone, antler, or wooden tool is used to press rather than strike off small flakes.

14 Major Paleolithic Trends: Hunting
Tools were developed that exceeded other animals’ physical equipment: spear thrower, net hunting, bow and arrow. Improved social organization and cooperation were important for survival and population growth.


16 Ancient Peoples Spreading to the Americas

17 Major Paleolithic Trends: Regionalism
Due to two factors: Perceived need to distinguish symbolically one’s own people from others. The need to adapt to differing environments.

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