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The Genus Homo Biocultural Challenges

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Presentation on theme: "The Genus Homo Biocultural Challenges"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Genus Homo Biocultural Challenges
Part 3 The Genus Homo Biocultural Challenges

2 Part Outline Chapter 7 Homo habilis and Cultural Origins
Chapter 8 Homo erectus and the Emergence of Hunting and Gathering Chapter 9 Archaic Homo sapiens and the Middle Paleolithic Chapter 10 Homo sapiens and the Upper Paleolithic

3 Homo habilis and Cultural Origins
Chapter 7 Homo habilis and Cultural Origins

4 Chapter Outline When, Where, and How Did the Genus Homo Develop?
When Did Reorganization and Expansion of the Human Brain Begin? Why Is the Relationship Between Biological Change and Cultural Change in Early Homo?

5 Development of Human Culture
Some populations of early hominines began making stone tools to butcher animals for their meat. The earliest stone tools and evidence of significant meat eating date to about 2.6 m.y.a.

6 Reorganization And Expansion Of The Human Brain
Began at least 1.5 million years after the development of bipedal locomotion. Began in conjunction with scavenging and the making of stone tools. Marks the appearance of the genus Homo, an evolutionary offshoot of Australopithecus.

7 Reorganization And Expansion Of The Human Brain
Australopithecus relied on a vegetarian diet while developing a massive chewing apparatus. Homo ate more meat and became brainier.

8 Early Representatives of the Genus Homo
Since 1960 a number of fossils have been found in East Africa, and in South Africa, which have been attributed to Homo habilis. From the neck down, the skeleton of Homo habilis differs little from Australopithecus. Skull shows a significant increase in brain size and some reorganization of its structure.

9 Hand bones

10 Comparison of Partial Foot Skelton
Homo habilis (center) compared with a chimpanzee (left) and modern human (right).

11 Premolars (left) and molars (right) of Australopithecus and Homo habilis

12 Homo habilis and Other Early Hominins

13 Tool Use Lower Paleolithic artifacts from Olduvai Gorge, Lake Turkana, and sites in Ethiopia required skill and knowledge for their manufacture. The oldest Lower Paleolithic tools found at Olduvai are in the Oldowan tool tradition. Oldowan choppers and flakes made the regular addition of meat to the diet possible.

14 Brain Structure and Tool Use
Tool making favored the development of a more complex brain: Requires a vision of the tool to be made. Ability to recognize the kind of stone that can be worked. Requires steps to transform the raw material into a useful tool.

15 Alternate Views of Early Human Evolution

16 Sex, Gender and the Behavior of Early Homo
Males supplied much of the meat, while females gathered other foods. Females shared a portion of what they gathered in exchange for meat. Sharing required planning and problem solving.

17 Tools, Food, and Brain Expansion
Increased consumption of meat, beginning about 2.5 m.y.a. made new demands on coordination and behavior. Procuring meat depended on the ability to outthink more predators and scavengers. Eaters of high-protein foods do not have to eat as often as vegetarians, leaving time to explore and experiment with their environment.

18 Language Origins There is a growing consensus that all great apes share an ability to develop language skills to the level of a 2- to 3-year-old human. In the wild apes display language skills through gestures.

19 Language Origins Regions of the human brain that control language lie adjacent to regions involved in precise hand control. Oldowan toolmakers, like modern humans, were overwhelmingly right-handed. In making tools, they gripped the core in the left hand, striking flakes off with the right.

20 Language Origins Handedness is associated with lateralization of brain functions and lateralization is associated with language. Tool making appears to have been associated with changes in the brain necessary for language development.

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