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Human evolution and culture

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Human Evolution and Culture (Understanding Culture, Society and Politics)

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Human evolution and culture

  1. 1. HUMAN EVOLUTION AND CULTURE Presented by DIEGO C. POMARCA JR. SHS Teacher
  2. 2. CULTURE DEFINED ■ A complex whole which encompasses beliefs, practices, values, attitudes, laws, norms, artifacts, symbols, knowledge and everything that a person learns and shares as a member of a society (Tylor, 2010) ■ By-product of the attempt of humans to survive their environment and to compensate for their biological characteristics and and limitations. ■ The sum of symbols, ideas, forms of expressions and material products associated with a social system – AllanG. Johnson
  3. 3. CULTURE DEFINED ■ Derived from the Latin word “cultus” which means “care” – a care and attention provided to a human person as he grows into a mature person. ■ An organized body of conventional understandings manifest in art and artifacts, which persisting through tradition – Robert Redfield ■ A powerful force that affects the lives of the members of a society. ■ It shapes and guide people’s perception of reality, determines the food they eat, clothing they wear, music they listen to, or the games they play.
  4. 4. Kinds of Culture 1. Material Culture – the concrete and tangible things that man creates and uses.This includes dwelling units, tools, weapons, clothing, books, machines, artefact relics, fossils etc – things that man creates by altering the natural environment.This is the area of anthropological study.
  5. 5. Kinds of Culture 2. Non-material Culture – the intangible objects which the person uses, follows, professes or strives to conform. It includes knowledge, laws, lifestyles, techniques, ideas, customs behaviors, among others.The area of sociological study.
  6. 6. In order to understand CULTURE, we need to know the following: A. BIOLOGICAL CAPACITY FOR CULTURE – understanding the biological makeup of mankind. 1. OurThinking Capacity – the developed brain is necessary in facilitating pertinent skills such as speaking, touching, feeling, seeing and smelling. Brain – the primary biological component of humans that allowed culture.
  7. 7. The Human Brain 1. Frontal Lobe and the Motor Cortex – function for cognition and motor abilities. 2. Parietal lobe – allows for touch and taste abilities. 3. Temporal Lobe – allows for hearing skills. 4. Occipital Lobe – allows for visual skills.
  8. 8. Compared with other primates, humans have a larger brain weighing 1.4 Kg, Chimpanzees have a brain weighing 420 g only, and those of gorillas weigh 500 g. Due to the size of their brain and the complexity of its parts, humans were able to create survival skills that helped them adapt to their environment and outlive their less adaptive biological relatives.
  9. 9. 2. Our Speaking Capacity – while the brain is the primary source of human capacity to comprehend sound and provide meaning to it, theVOCALTRACT acts as the mechanism by which sounds are produced and reproduced to transmit ideas and values. A longer vocal tract means that there is a longer vibration surface, allowing humans to produce a wider array of sounds. Hyoid Bone – crucial for speaking as it supports the root of the tongue (Hogenboom, 2013).
  10. 10. DAN DEDIU from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Netherlands argued that the origin of language may be rooted as far as 500 000 years ago based on the discovered bone fragment from an ancestor known as Homo heidelbergensis. A group of Homo heidelbergensis depicted butchering a rhino (Stephanorhinus hunsheimensis). Hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) scavenge what they can. Inspired by the Archaeology and fauna from the Middle Pleistocene site of Boxgrove.
  11. 11. 3. Our Gripping Capacity – the capacity to directly oppose a thumb with the other fingers. It is an exclusive trait of humans. It allowed us to have a finer grip.Thus, we have the capability to create materials with precision.
  12. 12. ■ The hand of a human has digits (fingers) that are straight, as compared with the curved ones of the other primates. ■ The thumb of a human is proportionately longer than those of the other primates.These characteristics of human hand allowed for 2 types of grip: Power Grip – enabled human to wrap the thumb and fingers on an object. Precision Grip – enabled humans to hold and pick objects steadily using their fingers.
  13. 13. 4. Our Walking or Standing Capacity – an important trait that gave humans more productivity with their hands. Through this, humans gained more efficient form of locomotion suitable for hunting and foraging. Primates have two forms of locomotion: a. Bipedalism – the capacity to walk and stand on two feet. b. Quadropedalism – uses all four limbs (both two hands and two feet).
  14. 14. What have I learned so far? 1. What are the four capacities that enabled humans to have culture? 2. What is the significance of studying human biology in understanding cultural capacity?
  15. 15. It is believed that the crudest methods of tool making may have been practiced by the earlier Australopithecines (A. afarensis and A. africanus).These methods may have involved the use of wood as digging sticks or even crude spears.
  16. 16. HUMAN ORIGINS ANDTHE CAPACITY FOR CULTURE
  17. 17. The Oldowan Industry ■ Stone tool industry characterized by the use of “hard water- worn creek cobbles made out of volcanic rock” (O’Neil, 2012). ■ Evidence found by Mary and Louis Leakey at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania in Africa (around 2.6 million years ago) supports this industry. ■ Industry known to have been used by Homo habilis. Percussion Flaking – process involving the systematic collision of a hammer stone with a core stone. The impact of the collision produces a core tool (used for general purposes) and a flake tool (used as a knife).
  18. 18. The Oldowan Industry ■ Form of technology used in this industry allowed for the species to butcher large animals and it improved food gathering skills using the ‘hammering, digging, and chopping implements’ (O’Neil, 2012). ■ FromAfrica, this industry spread out to Europe and Asia during the migration of Homo erectus, who acquired it from homo habilis within 1.9-1.8 million years ago. By 1.8-1.6 million years ago, the Oldowan industry has already reached Java, Indonesia and Northern China.
  19. 19. 22
  20. 20. 23 The Oldowan tools
  21. 21. 24 Scavenging -was a way of finding food during times of shortage. Following other scavengers made it easy to find carcasses. Using stone tools made it easy to break open bones for marrow.
  22. 22. The Acheulian Industry ■ A more complex industry developed by the Homo erectus from what they inherited from Homo habilis. ■ Using the same process of percussion flaking, Homo erectus created hand axes that were bifacial, shaped in both sides, and with straighter and sharper edges. ■ Homo erectus made other tools such as, “choppers, cleavers and hammers as well as flakes used as knives and scrapers”. HAND AXES – stone implements used in multiple activities such as light chopping of wood, digging up roots and bulbs, butchering animals, and cracking nuts and small bones.
  23. 23. The Acheulian Industry ■ This industry was named after Saint Acheul, a patron saint in southwest France, as these artifacts were discovered in the area ■ Believed to have originated in East Africa. ■ Scholars argue that its extensive use may have been out of Africa as Homo erectus invented this industry and brought it to Europe 500 000 – 900 000 years ago and to China 800 000 years ago.
  24. 24. 27 Acheulean tools Note how they are worked all over with many small chips removed
  25. 25. 28 H. erectus learned how to use and control fire.
  26. 26. Fire was useful for preserving food, making it taste better and killing parasites. Also useful as a deterrent against predators, enabled activity at night and reinforced social bonding.
  27. 27. The Mousterian Industry ■ Developed by Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals) in Europe andWest Asia between 300 000 and 30 000 years ago. ■ Named after a site in France called Le Moustier, where evidence was uncovered in 1860. ■ Tools from this industry were a combination ofAcheulian techniques with the Levalloisian technique, which involved the use of premade core tool that has sharpened edges MOUSTERIANTOOL – efficient stone tool as all the sides of the flake are sharpened and are more handy due to the reduction in size.
  28. 28. 31 The Mousterian Tools made from flint.
  29. 29. The Mousterian Industry ■ Evidence of this industry dating back 100 000 years was also found in Northern Africa andWest Asia, where modern humans such as that of Qafze migrated. ■ Most archaeologists hypothesize that this industry could be an evidence of acculturation of modern humans with their Neanderthal relatives. ■ By the end of the Paleolithic period, early humans have been engaged in proto-culture type of industries wherein they did not just create tools but also started creating art and other symbolic materials.
  30. 30. The Aurignacian Industry ■ Present in Europe and Southwest Asia from 45 000 to 35 000 years ago. ■ The term Aurignacian was derived from Aurignac, an area in France where the evidence of this industry was found. ■ Users of this industry used raw materials such as flint, animal bones and antlers. ■ The method employed in creating tools such as fine blades was similar to the one used in the Mousterian industry. ■ A more advanced tool making industry that made it a cultural milestone for modern humans in Europe due to the development of self-awareness. ■ This development was projected through cave paintings and the fabrication of accessories such as figurines, bracelets and beads.
  31. 31. The Aurignacian Industry ■ The cave paintings found in the El CastilloCave in Cantabaria, Spain provide us with a glimpse of the environment that the early humans lived in. Most of the paintings are that of the animals that existed at that time. Venus of Schelklingen (Venus of Hohle Fels) – figurine sculpted from a woolly mammoth tusk. Emphasis was made on several parts of the body such as the breasts and the hips. Scholars theorize that this emphasis may be due to the importance of these parts in childbearing or child rearing. Bone flute in Hohle Fels, Germany – earliest evidence of music appreciation.
  32. 32. 35 •People lived in caves and shelters, made clothes, painted on cave walls and made statues from bone and clay.
  33. 33. The Magdalenian Industry ■ Saw the end of the Paleolithic period as it transformed to the Neolithic period. ■ Named after the La Madeleine site in Dordogne, France. ■ Also a proto-culture used by the early humans and was defined by several revolutionary advancements in technology such as the creation of microliths from flint, bone, antler and ivory. ■ Humans during this period were engrossed in creating figurines, personal adornments and other forms of mobiliary art. ■ A defining method used in tool making was through the application of heat on the material prior to the flaking process.This was done by casting the raw material on fire, which allowed for a more precise cut upon flaking.
  34. 34. 37 ■ Cro-Magnon man made Upper Palaeolithic tools including fish hooks, harpoons and needles.
  35. 35. 2 left = Middle Palaeolithic 3 right = Upper Palaeolithic
  36. 36. The Magdalenian Industry ■ The creation of specialized weapons such as barbed harpoons is evidence of the growing sophistication of the hunting skills and technology of the early humans. ■ Use of temporary man-made shelters such as tents made of animal skin are evident. ■ Use of rock shelters and caves were still predominant during this period.The creation of tents allowed early humans to be more mobile. ■ Humans have more leisure time as evidenced by their preoccupation with decorative materials. ■ By 10 000 BCE, this industry has spread to parts of Europe including contemporary territories such as Great Britain, Germany, Spain and Poland.
  37. 37. Characteristics of Paleolithic and Neolithic Societies Characteristics Paleolithic Neolithic Tools Small and handy for mobile lifestyle Included a wider array of small and bigger tools due to sedentary lifestyle Personal Properties Limited to personal accessories and small tools that could easily be carried around Included structures (e.g., house), decorative ornaments, large containers
  38. 38. Characteristics of Paleolithic and Neolithic Societies Characteristics Paleolithic Neolithic Art Small and limited to personal ornaments, bigger artworks were done but not within a long time frame (e.g. cave paintings) Included the creation of artworks that required a longer length of time and a greater number of people (e.g., Stonehenge) Subsistence Foraging Agriculture
  39. 39. Characteristics of Paleolithic and Neolithic Societies Characteristics Paleolithic Neolithic Leadership Not rigid; based on age and knowledge Semirigid; based on legitimacy (religious beliefs, social status) Social Divisions None; communal lifestyle Elite vs. working class Population size Small (30-50 people) Large (in thousands)
  40. 40. GROUP Work ■ Collaborate with 10 of your classmates and set up a museum-like exhibit for Paleolithic tools.Your exhibit must contain sample tools and information about them.Your may recreate Paleolithic tools using papier- máchể , clay, paper and ink, card board and any other form of raw materials. ■ You need to decorate your exhibit appropriately. ■ Your role in this activity will be that of a curator who will plan and implement the creation of the exhibit. ■ Your teacher will rate your output based on quality of the materials created, organization, accuracy of information and appropriateness of exhibit design.

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