African Exodus


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Presentation for my Archaeology graduate class at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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African Exodus

  1. 1. AFRICAN EXODUS Anthro 212 Presentation Jessie G. Varquez, Jr. 10 December 2011 CSSP, UP Diliman
  2. 2. Popular beliefs• Evolution is linear• Humans evolved from monkeys – “galing ang tao sa unggoy”• The Missing Link
  3. 3. Key Questions• Who are the first hominids that dispersed to various parts of the Old World?• What are the physiological and behavorial characteristics of premodern humans?• Where did the transition (from premodern to modern humans) take place?
  4. 4. Outline• Pleistocene or the Ice Age• Homo erectus – Acheulian stone tools• The Neandertals – Mousterian stone tools• Modern Humans – Origin and dispersal
  5. 5. Pleistocene or The Ice Age• Began about 1.8 million years ago• marked by periodic continental glaciations• Characterized by numerous advances and retreats of ice, with at least 15 major and 50 minor glacial advances documented in Europe alone• Archaic and modern humans evolved during a long period of constant climate transition between warmer and colder in northern latitudes
  6. 6. Changing Pleistocene environments in Africa
  7. 7. A new kind of hominidHOMO ERECTUS
  8. 8. Pithecantropus erectusThe name firstproposed by ErnstHaeckel for the oldesthominid; EugeneDubois later used thisname for his first fossildiscovery (1891),which later becameknown as Homoerectus.
  9. 9. Major Homo erectus sites
  10. 10. Homo erectus• Fossil finds in Africa, Europe and Asia• Some researchers see several anatomical differences between African representatives of an erectuslike hominid and their Asian cousins. Thus, they place the African fossils into a separate species, Homo ergaster• Increase in body size and robustness, changes in limb proportions, and greater encephalization all indicate that these hominids were more like modern humans in their adaptive pattern than theirAfrican ancestors were
  11. 11. Homo erectus in Asia Composite cranium of "Peking Man" found in Zhoukoudian cave in early 1920s (670,000– 410,000 ya) The Sangiran 17 fossil found in Indonesia. NoteCrania found in Dmanisi, the long cranium, lowRepublic of Georgia in forehead, and large1999 (1.7 mya) browridges (1.6 mya)
  12. 12. H. habilis vs.H. erectusBODY SIZE• Adults weighed well over 100pounds, with an average adultheight of about 5 feet 6 inches• Sexually dimorphicBRAIN SIZE• Shows considerable brainenlargement, with a cranialcapacity of about 700* to 1,250cm3CRANIAL SHAPE• thick cranial bone, largebrowridges above the eyes, anda sagittal ridge
  13. 13. The technology of Homo erectus Acheulian site in Kenya showing the stone tools, with the handaxes in the middle.Small tools of the Acheulianindustry. (a) Side scraper. (b)Point. (c) End scraper. (d) Burin.
  14. 14. Acheulian Complex• The culture associated with H. erectus, including handaxes and other types of stone tools; more refined than the earlier Oldowan tools; bifacial stone tools• Basic H. erectus all purpose lithic tool kit for more than a million years• a kind of “Acheulian Swiss army knife,” these tools served to cut, scrape, pound, and dig• Lead to meat diet through hunting; explains morphological features
  15. 15. “Homo habilis Using Volcanic-Cobble Debitage to Rend a Carcass,” © 1995 by Jay H. Matternes.This artist’s reconstruction shows how early Homo, including Homo habilis and Homoerectus, likely processed animals in groups, using a variety of stone tools.
  16. 16. Homo erectus:BeginningGlobalization
  17. 17. Premodern humansof the Late PleistoceneTHE NEANDERTALS
  18. 18. Fossildiscoveries ofNeandertal
  19. 19. Neandertals• First found in Neander Valley near Düsseldorf, Germany in 1856• fossil remains have been found at dates approaching 130,000 ya• The majority of fossils have been found in Europe (France, Croatia and Germany) where they’ve been most studied, but fossil sites are also found in Asia (Israel and Iraq)
  20. 20. Neandertals?• They fit into the general scheme of human evolution, and yet they’re misfits.• Many anthropologists classify Neandertals within H. sapiens, but as a distinctive subspecies, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, with modern H. sapiens designated as Homo sapiens sapiens
  21. 21. Modern Human Relatives?Some of the morphological traits associated with Neandertals can be found inmodern humans, as illustrated by this photograph of the physicalanthropologist Milford Wolpoff facing the reconstructed head of a EuropeanNeandertal. Might Neandertals have interbred with modern human ancestors,passing along some of these traits?
  22. 22. Mousterian Industry• Neandertals were associated with the culture known as Mousterian or Middle Paleolithic; includes a complex and distinctive type of fl aking called the Levallois• This technique involves preparing a stone core and then fl aking the raw materials for tools from this core• They developed specialized tools for skinning and preparing meat, hunting, woodworking, and hafting
  23. 23. Examples of the Mousterian tool kit, including (from left to right), a Levallois point, a perforator, and a side scraper.
  24. 24. Did they speak?• Philip Lieberman and Edmund Crelin reconstructed the Neandertal vocal tract and conclude that, like human babies, Neandertals could not express the full range of sounds necessary for articulate speech.• The Kebara Neandertal skeleton includes the hyoid bone, a part of the neck that can survive from ancient settings. The morphology of the Kebara Neandertal’s hyoid is identical to that of a living human’s. The Kebara people talked.
  25. 25. Intentional BurialWhen this individual was found in a pit, it was the firstsuggestion that Neandertals cared for their dead in a waysimilar to modern humans’ methods.
  26. 26. Origin and DispersalFIRST MODERN HUMANS
  27. 27. What’s so modern about modern humans?Modern humans have a number of anatomical characteristics thatdistinguish them from premodern humans. These include a small face,small jaws, small teeth, a vertical and high forehead, a narrow nasalaperture, a narrow body trunk, and long legs.
  28. 28. Earliest discoveries of modern humans The earliest of these specimens comes from Omo Kibish, in southernmost Ethiopia. Using radiometric techniques, recent redating of a fragmentary skull (Omo 1) demonstrates that, coming from 195,000 ya, this is the earliest modern human yet found in Africa—or, for that matter, anywhere.
  29. 29. Key Early Modern Homo sapiens Hominid Date SiteH. sapiens sapiens 110,000 ya Qafzeh (Israel)H. sapiens sapiens 115,000 ya Skhul (Israel)H. sapiens idaltu 154,000–160,000 ya Herto (Ethiopia) H. sapiens 195,000 ya Omo (Ethiopia)H. sapiens sapiens 40,000–45,000 ya Niah Cave (Borneo, Indonesia)H. sapiens sapiens 40,000 ya Tianyuan Cave (China)H. sapiens sapiens 30,000 ya Cro-Magnon (France)H. sapiens sapiens 24,500 ya Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Portugal)
  30. 30. H. floresiensis:Something Newand DifferentIn late 2004, the world awoke tothe startling announcementthat an extremely small-bodied,small-brained hominid hadbeen discovered in Liang BuaCave, on the island of Flores,east of Java.These remains consist of anncomplete skeleton of an adultfemale (LB1) as well asadditional pieces from nineother individuals, which thepress have collectivelynicknamed “hobbits.”
  31. 31. Symbolic artifacts from theMiddle Stone Age of Africaand the Upper Paleolithic inEurope.It is notable that evidence ofsymbolism is found inBlombos Cave (77,000 ya)and Katanda (80,000 ya),both in Africa, a full 50,000years before any comparableevidence is known fromEurope.Moreover, the ochre foundat Pinnacle Point is yetanother 80,000 years older,dating to more than 160,000ya.
  32. 32. Three Competing ModelsORIGIN AND DISPERSAL
  33. 33. Complete Replacement Model• aka Out-of-Africa hypothesis• developed by British paleoanthropologists Christopher Stringer and Peter Andrews in 1988• proposes that anatomically modern populations arose in Africa within the last 200,000 years and then migrated from Africa, completely replacing populations in Europe and Asia• Y chromosome and mtDNA evidence
  34. 34. Partial Replacement Models• suggest that modern humans originated in Africa and then, when their population increased, expanded out of Africa into other areas of the Old World• some interbreeding occurred between emigrating Africans and resident premodern populations elsewhere• assumes that no speciation event occurred, and all these hominids should be considered members of H. sapiens
  35. 35. Regional Continuity Model• aka Multiregional hypothesis• closely associated with paleoanthropologist Milford Wolpoff of the University of Michigan• suggest that local populations continued their indigenous evolutionary development from premodern Middle Pleistocene forms to anatomically modern humans
  36. 36. Key Questions• Who are the first hominids that dispersed to various parts of the Old World?• What are the physiological and behavorial characteristics of premodern humans?• Where did the transition (from premodern to modern humans) take place?
  37. 37. ReferencesFagan, Brian M. 2008. World Prehistory: A Brief Introduction, Seventh Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.Jurmain, Robert, 2006. Essentials of Physical Anthropology, Seventh Edition. Belmonth, CA: Wadsworth.Larsen, Clark Spencer. 2010. Essentials of Physical Anthropology: Discovering our Origins. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company.* All photos were taken from the books mentioned above; except from the third slide.