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Ancient Peoples and Places

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1 Ancient Peoples and Places
Archaeology 100-D200 Ancient Peoples and Places Archaeology and the Study of Prehistory… Week 3: HUMAN EVOLUTION January 23 & Dr. Alvaro Higueras Simon Fraser University, Spring 2012

2 3. Division of the Lithic age : Paleo, Meso and Neo
1. Lyell & Stratigraphy 2. The Three Age System 3. Division of the Lithic age : Paleo, Meso and Neo 4. Childe & The Neolithic Revolution 5. Childe & The Urban Revolution > permanent settlement before agriculture 6. Radiocarbon dating 7. HR 1 : “the human animal” 8. The New Archaeology

3 9. Predatory R : food-gatherers to food-collectors
10. Broad Spectrum R: climate improves 11. HR 2 : HG improve tech and master their landscape; “the original affluent society” 12. Secondary Products R : renewable… 13. Upper Paleolithic R : explosion of technological changes 14. The HR 3: geneculture interaction among anatomically modern 15. The “Quiet revolution”

4 > Recent claims of butchery and meat eating.
The evolution of the human species and the first evidence for “culture” Hunter-gathering populations: societies at the start of the path of an ever-increasing path towards complexity. Early start: Lucy (3.2 ma, Australopithecus afarensis) is considered an important example in the start of the trend of cultural behavior > Recent claims of butchery and meat eating. > Behavior that is directed by rationality, intentionality, sociability and logic of survival

5 Ardipithecus Early hominin, discovered 1992 Lived approximately 4.5 m.y.a Partial female skeleton found Had combined ability to walk and climbing in trees Forces paleoanthropologists to reconsider the adaptations of the earliest members of the hominin lineage

6 Were Early Hominins Hunters?
Early views held that australopithecines were intensive hunters Archaeologists began to question this view in the 1970s It is difficult to prove archaeologically whether early hominins were hunters or scavengers Hominin tools are found in association with many bones These bones exhibit cut marks from tools and bite marks from carnivores The question is which came first to the kills: the carnivores or the hominins?


8 Lucy

9 dimorphism

10 The Origin of Tool Use: Archaeological Evidence
The oldest known stone tools date to 2.5 million years ago Hadar region of Ethiopia (approx 3000 stone tools were recovered) The major types of tools are sharp-edged flakes and cores, including choppers Stone tools from Lokalalei, Kenya date to 2.3 million years ago (approx 2000 stone flakes and cores were recovered These tools indicate that early tool manufacture followed a consistent strategy

11 Lower Paleolithic industries
The Oldowan : 3.5 – 1.5 mya The chopper Make a chopper by taking a rounded stone and striking flakes off one edge The Acheulian : 1.7 mya – 400/200 kya Acheulian sites found throughout Africa and in Europe, the Middle East, and India Acheulian appears at the same time as the emergence of Homo erectus and extinction of Homo habilis …. But overlap is for sure. Characteristic stone tool is the bifacial hand axe (symmetrical!)


13 What is a hominin? The group consisting of modern humans, extinct human species and all our immediate ancestors Homo species (Homo sapiens, Habilis, H. ergaster, H. rudolfensis), all of the Australopithecines (Australopithicus africanus, A. boisei, etc.) and other ancient forms like Paranthropus and Ardipithecus What is a hominid? The group consisting of all modern and extinct Great Apes (that is, modern humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans plus all their immediate ancestors).


15 Hominin Living Floors and Base Camps
The home-base/food-sharing model (Isaac) sees sharing of meat at base camps as a fundamental part of early hominin life According to this model, hominins created places on the landscape to which meat was brought for sharing among members of a community The stone circle at DK site in Olduvai Gorge may be evidence of a structure build on a home-base site “Palimpsest”

16 On terminology Palimpsest : an archaeological site produced by a series of distinct, brief occupations A manuscript from a scroll or book (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written, with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible; it may have been scraped off and used again. French prehistorians use the “delayering” (décapage) technique to be able to document such precise changes in occupation.

17 The use of Fire Very little evidence for controlled use of fire from Oldowan and Acheulian sites in Africa. Tentative evidence for the use of fire by early hominins dates to 1.4 million years ago in Kenya at the site of Chesowanja. The burnt clay at the site may be from a hearth or the result of natural fires. Hard evidence that early hominins used fire has not been found to date.

18 Laetoli (Tanzania, ca. 3.5 mya)
Footprints preserved in powdery volcanic ash Demonstrate that hominids walked upright (bipedalism). They show an arch (the bending of the sole of the foot) typical of modern humans. Other prints show the presence of twenty other animal species, among them elephants, hyenas, wild cats, baboons. No artefacts have been found in the vicinity.



21 Human populations: Migrations out of Africa
DNA analysis suggests that entire population of the world can be traced to a single African lineage (Africa has greatest genetic diversity) Two phases of migrations: 1. Homo erectus goes for a stroll through Sinai ca. 1 mya. 2. A modern Homo (sapiens) strolls out of Africa ca, 100 kya. Molecular clock (measures the degree of genetic similarity) places “Eve” at ca kya in the 2nd wave. First, hominins populate the world (E&A). Later, modern human species replaces all hominins of the 1st wave (without significant interbreeding?)

22 Multi-regional Model Modern humans evolved independently from archaic H. sapiens in Asia, Europe and Africa. Supported by the fossil evidence from several regions which show physical characteristics distinct to each area from H. erectus to modern populations. No speciation - Interbreeding possible, between existing pre-modern humans with anatomically modern humans – if they ever happened to meet. Evidence from Java casts doubt on this model: H. erectus dating to kya suggesting they overlapped with modern humans. 22

23 Second wave First wave Homo Erectus

24 First wave Ubeidiya, 1.4-1 mya Oldowan
Dmanisi, stone tools, mostly simple flakes. No evidence of Acheulian technology

25 African Replacement (Out of Africa theory, OoA)
Anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa relatively recently (100 kya to 200 kya, Molecular clock ) Then migrated out of Africa about 60 to 80 kya years ago and replaced all pre-existing populations of humans, including the favorite "cave man" the Neanderthal (Europe & Near East) Modern humans evolved from the population which never left Africa when the earlier versions of humans did (Erectus in the 1st wave) and only left Africa later Speciation? (ramification of species?)

26 Second wave First wave

27 Second wave

28 Modern humans did not expand beyond the Middle East before 80 – 60 kya
Modern humans did not expand beyond the Middle East before 80 – 60 kya

29 > Modern humans evolved in Africa (100-200 kya)
> Migrated out of Africa about kya (2nd wave) > Replaced all pre-existing populations of humans (of the 1st wave…including the Neanderthal that evolved from that wave) > Including Neanderthal, but N remains in “pockets” & has episodes of inbreeding with new arrivals

30 Hib Inb N & MH N MH MH 60k 80k BP N N

31 The Neanderthals Europe and Near East 130,000 – 35,000 BP
Enjoy the benefits of the Wurm Glacial retreat Kafzeh, Israel: modern humans at 90 kya, Neanderthals at 60 kya Modern humans in Africa 200 kya, Asia 100 kya Are Neanderthals a direct ancestor to modern humans? H. sapiens neandertalensis (Amud 2) 31

32 prepared, disc-shaped cores caves and fire
Mousterian Tools advanced flake tools (scrapers, hand-axes, bifacial points, borers, burins) prepared, disc-shaped cores caves and fire pendants – symbolic thought? 32

33 Neanderthal burial La Ferrassie, France, 60,000 BP Shanidar, Iraq
Krapina, Croatia Qafzeh, BP Flowers and grave offerings Cranial deformation? (Eric Trinkhaus - Shanidar cave) Bear cults? Animism, Totemism? Ritual cannibalism? 33

34 Cannibalism > Stone flint knife cut marks on the back of skulls.
> Scattered and fragmented skulls found at this site were victims of cannibalism. > Bone assemblages with high degrees of fragmentation, cut marks and bone splitting. > To others these marks were ceremonial having to do with mortuary practices: defleshed and then buried. > Where the braincases were shattered the brains were supposedly extracted and separately buried. > Eating? Good protein source. > Modern bias to insist that cannibalism isn't part of human nature. “Good" reasons—whether to terrorize subject peoples, limit their neighbors' offspring, or for religious or medicinal purposes…Cannibalism could have been an adaptive strategy.

35 Disappear “abruptly” 40-35 kya But coexistence with HS
Fate of Neanderthals Disappear “abruptly” kya But coexistence with HS Or in “refugia”, inbreeding Have little similarities to modern morphology DNA supports OoA model, N were in Europe and Asia before 100 kya, evolving from Homo Erectus (Chazan 3 scenarios table, p.155) Transitional industries Chatelperronian tools, contact with HS? St. Cesaire, France, 35,000 BP 35

36 No modern human traits in late Neanderthal populations in Europe — N not a precursor — supports the Out of Africa position Neanderthals have been found dating to as recent as 36,000 years ago with no modern features — problematic for the Multiregional position Persistence of Neanderthal traits until the arrival of modern humans — predicted by the Hybridization position – so OoA models kicks in… But… Neanderthal DNA in modern humans

37 Our Neanderthal ancestors - FRANCE 24
Video Our Neanderthal ancestors - FRANCE 24

38 LA Times - Another source:

39 Small amounts of Homo erectus DNA in modern human?
Just like Neanderthal DNA? Debate. The Homo erectus as a species was present for over 1.2 million years. Most evidence from Asia. In this region, population affected some 70 to 50 kya during the Toba catastrophe: a volcano mega-eruption that generated a 6 to 10-year volcanic winter that dramatically changed the living conditions on earth for a millennium. The intermixing of Homo erectus and very early Homo sapiens could have only occurred in Asia before this event took place.

40 2003 Homo floresiensis, a possible species, now extinct, in the genus Homo. Partial skeletons and skull of nine individuals. A small body and brain. In a context with stone tools from industries from kya. The species is thought to have survived on Flores at least until 12,000 years before present, making it the longest lasting non-modern human, surviving long past the Neanderthals. 2010 Denisov

41 France 24


43 The Middle East at the crossroads Where Neanderthals and Modern Humans coexisted evolved in parallel with modern humans…with some interbreeding Physical differences were maintained…bones of both clearly different in caves and successive occupations They were for a long time neighbors… warring… mating…

44 The Mediterranean basin, ca. 60k-40k © NGS

45 The two groups evolved, they developed similar skills and behavioral characteristics: they hunted a variety of game with sophisticated tools, used fire for multiple purposes, organized living quarters, buried their dead, created art, and worshiped symbolic objects. Neanderthals became extinct in the Middle East around 40,000 years ago (a bit later in Europe in some pockets, SW France).

46 We love the Upper Paleolithic
Número 14 The Human Revolution III (ca. 100,000-50,000 B.P.) Dramatic social change not simply to the proliferation of innovations or ideas, but to the spread of genetically and anatomically modern human populations. Are biological and genetic changes revolutionary in the same way that social, political, and technological ones are? (how fast?) Are archaeological revolutions abrupt and irreversible breaks with the past, or the culminations of long-term processes? We love the Upper Paleolithic

47 The Magdalenian in the UP
> The big leap in extra technological achievements > Underlined in HR 2 & HR 3 > Lithic technologies evolve radically, at the hands of Modern humans in SW France – very specialized tools & microliths > Exactly in the same region with a strong presence, yet already extinct, of Neanderthals > Interpreting art & views of the world

48 The Magdalenian in the UP > Fertility cults, “Venus” figurines
> Their world in motion, celebrating their landscape magic and premonitions / hunting and strategy > Representing the fauna


50 Mock Quiz Q1 As we deal with the evolution of human societies, a few sequences for its stages have been proposed, beyond the old Savagery-Barbarism-Civilization by Morgan. Bands – Tribes – Chiefdom – Empire - State. b. Bands – Tribes – Chiefdom - State. c. Tribes – Bands – Chiefdom – Empire - State. d. Bands – Tribes – State – Chiefdom. e. None of the above. Variations to this question > combine attributes (e.g. Bands>Hunting…. State>Agriculture).

51 Mock Quiz Q2 The goal of postprocessual archaeology is to a. Formulate general laws governing human behavior. b. Offer interpretations based on contextual data. c. Write culture history. d. Test hypotheses. e. All of the above.

52 Mock Quiz Q3 The importance of the actions of the individual living in past society is stressed in a. Lewis Binford's writings. b. A gendered approach. c. A scientific approach. d. Processual archaeology. e. Agency theory.

53 Mock Quiz Q4 For archaeology to be considered a science it must work by ________ from general laws and models. a. drawing b. inference c. inspiration d. deduction e. induction

54 Mock Quiz Q5 The law of superposition states that sediments will be deposited in horizontal layers. in any undisturbed sedimentary deposits, each layer is younger than the layer beneath it. in any undisturbed sedimentary deposits, each layer is older than the layer beneath it. sediments are deposited in continuous layers. the uppermost sediments are the most important for archaeological analysis.

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