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Human Biological and
Cultural Evolution
Cultural Anthropology
Culture in Evolutionary Perspective
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To understand culture, we need to:
(1) Know our biological capacity for cultu...
Our Capacity For Culture: Our
Biological Roots
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(1) Our language ability
(2) Our ability to make and use tools...
First Things First: Taxonomy
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Definition: Hierarchical,
systematic classification of all
lifeforms
from the gen...
Taxonomy: Binomial
Nomenclature
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Every species has at least two names
Genus: Homo
Species: sapiens
Varie...
Taxonomy: The General Taxa
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Kingdom: Animalia (ingests food, moves)
Phylum: Chordata (has spinal cord)
Subp...
Hominid Taxonomy

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This is the new taxonomy:
Hominids apply to all humans and African apes
Hominins apply to Homo ...
Overview: The Human Skeleton
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You do need to know
some of the parts of
The human skeleton
Use the online graphic...
Where It All Begins: The Brain
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Frontal Lobe and
Motor Cortex:
Cognition
Motor Abilities
Parietal Lobe: T...
Parts of the Brain: Motor Cortex
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Related to Language:
Lower Part:
Lips
Tongue
Vocalization
Related to T...
Parts of the Brain: Language
Centers
Parts of Cerebrum
Frontal Lobe
Motor Cortex
Broca’s Area
Temporal Lobe
Auditory Corte...
Comic Relief, Anyone?
(Courtesy of Geico)

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So easy a caveman can do it. . . .?
Human Skull
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Note the following:
High forehead
Rounded skull
No brow ridge
Chin is present
Teeth are small
T...
Skull Morphology: Chimp and
Human

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Note the following
Larger brow ridge (supraorbital torus) of chimp than huma...
Human and Chimp Skulls
Compared: Brain Structure
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Compare the following
Chimp’s brain is much
smaller (400c...
What This All Means
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Our brains are larger than the chimps’
We have a well-developed frontal lobe
We have well de...
Dentition
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For each jaw (upper or
maxilla or lower or
mandible:
Incisors (4) for cutting
Canines (cuspid) (2)...
Chimp and Human Jaws

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Note the following:
Dental Arcade: Humans’ are arclike; apes, parallel back
teeth
Canines an...
Anatomy of Tool Making and Use:
The Hand
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Note The Following:
Our digits are straight
Our thumb is opposable
The t...
Ape and Human Hands
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Hands of orangutan, chimpanzee, gorilla and human
Note the following:
Our thumbs are longer...
Power and Precision Grip
Note the Following:
 Power grip: Fingers
and thumbs wrap
around the object
 Precision grip:
For...
Bipedalism
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We are the only mammals
that can stand and walk on
two feet
Kangaroos hop and
maintain balance with...
Chimp and Human Locomotion
Advantages of Bipedalism
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Efficient locomotion
Freeing of hands
Foraging and hunting/scavaging
Tool making a...
Vertebral Column and Pelvis
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Note the following
Human vertebral
column is S-Shaped
Chimp verebral
column is b...
Pelvis and Femur
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Note the following:
Longer ilium of chimp
Shorter, more curved
ilium of human
Straight verti...
Foot Structure
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Note the following:
Large toe of chimp foot
(right) is opposable to other
digits
Large toe of hu...
Foot Arch: Longitudinal and
Transverse
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Note the following:
Longitudinal arch
reflected from
First metatarsa...
Overview of Human Evolution
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Principles of evolution: Natural selection and
genetics
Taxonomy
The behavior of...
Principles of Evolution: Natural
Selection
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Darwin’s Contribution: On the Origins of
Species
Natural Selection...
Principles of Evolution: Genetics I
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Gregor Mendel: Genetic theory, based on
experiments with peas
Genes: Hered...
Principles of Evolution: Genetics II
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Genes are always paired: male contributes
half, female contributes hal...
Trends in Human Evolution:
Australopithecus to Homo
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Australopithecus afarensis to A. africanus: Gracile
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Fossil Hominins: Skull, Arms,
Hands
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Large bulbous cranium
Short face compared to ape
Vertical carriage of...
Fossil Hominins: Bipedalism
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S-shaped vertebrae (backbone)
Short, wide, bowl-shaped pelvis
Femoral head (ba...
Encephalization (a.k.a. Bigger
Brains)
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Defining Cranial Capacity (and cc’s)

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A. afarensis: 390-500 cc; av. 440 cc
A....
Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis)
and Us (Homo sapiens)
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Note the Following:
Shorter (3’6”)
Longer arm...
When We Became Bipedal
(According to Gary Larson)
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“Hey! Look! No
hands!”
(Does he look like Lucy
to you. . .?)
Gracile and Robust
Australopithecines
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For A. africanus (top), note:
Somewhat rounder skull
No Sagittal ...
Homo habilis: The First Known
Toolmaker
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Note the following:

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Face is much flatter
Reduced brow ridge (supraorbital
t...
Homo erectus: Cranial Structure
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Note the Following:

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Cranial capacity: 1,000 cc
Occipital bun
Reduced brow ridge
Red...
Homo Erectus (H. ergaster to Some):
Postcranial Skeleton
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Note the following:

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Fully bipedal
Arms about length of Hom...
Lower Paleolithic
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Oldowan Tradition:
Four or five strokes
Unspecialized: choppers
Flakes also made and us...
Homo heidelbergensis (a.k.a.
“Archaic” Homo sapiens
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Note the following:
Brow ridges much reduced
Forehead is ...
Manufacturing Levallois Cores
and Flakes
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Knappers:
Selects the appropriate core,
up to a pound of stone
...
Homo neanderthalensis and H.
sapiens skull

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Note the following for “Classic” Neanderthal

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Greater prognathism; human...
Homo neanderthalensis and H.
sapiens: Postcranial Skeletons
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Note the following for
Neanderthals:

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Heavier brow ridge...
Neanderthal Tools: Mousterian and
Châtelperronian Traditions
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Mousterian (top)
Bordes: 63 types
Burin...
Upper Paleolithic: Modern
Human Tool Traditions.
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Commonalities of Tools:
Blades: Ever thinner and
smalle...
Review and Conclusion
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We have. . .
Looked at the biological bases of culture: for
language, toolmaking, and ...
The Territory Ahead
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Nonhuman Primate Behavior: How close in behavior are
our cousins?
Language: The ...
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Human biological and cultural evolution

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Human biological and cultural evolution

  1. 1. Human Biological and Cultural Evolution Cultural Anthropology
  2. 2. Culture in Evolutionary Perspective     To understand culture, we need to: (1) Know our biological capacity for culture (2) How we fit into the animal kingdom (3) How we came to be what we are
  3. 3. Our Capacity For Culture: Our Biological Roots      (1) Our language ability (2) Our ability to make and use tools (3) Our bipedalism—ability to stand and walk on two feet If the “science of humankind” is to be taken seriously We need to know our own anatomy
  4. 4. First Things First: Taxonomy     Definition: Hierarchical, systematic classification of all lifeforms from the general (kingdom. Phylum, class, order) to the specific (genus, species, variety) Taxon (pl. taxa): categories at all levels from broad to specific
  5. 5. Taxonomy: Binomial Nomenclature          Every species has at least two names Genus: Homo Species: sapiens Variety: sapiens? (If we accept the splitters’ terms) Stylistic Convention Italicize or underline all names Capitalize the genus Lowercase the species and variety Example: Homo (sapiens) sapiens
  6. 6. Taxonomy: The General Taxa       Kingdom: Animalia (ingests food, moves) Phylum: Chordata (has spinal cord) Subphylum: Vertebrata (has segmented protective bone or cartilage Class: Mammalia (warm blooded, female secretes milk, has hair) Order: Primata: (larger brain, stereoscopic [depth] vision, flexible digits, complex sociality Suborder: Anthropoidea (monkey, apes, humans)
  7. 7. Hominid Taxonomy     This is the new taxonomy: Hominids apply to all humans and African apes Hominins apply to Homo sapiens and All extinct ancestors: Australopithecus, Homo habilis, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. neanderthalensis
  8. 8. Overview: The Human Skeleton     You do need to know some of the parts of The human skeleton Use the online graphics (such as this) Or your printed handouts
  9. 9. Where It All Begins: The Brain        Frontal Lobe and Motor Cortex: Cognition Motor Abilities Parietal Lobe: Touch and Taste Temporal Lobe: Hearing Occipital Lobe: Vision Olfactory Bulb: Smell
  10. 10. Parts of the Brain: Motor Cortex         Related to Language: Lower Part: Lips Tongue Vocalization Related to Tool Making and Use: Upper part: Fingers and Thumb Hand Arm
  11. 11. Parts of the Brain: Language Centers Parts of Cerebrum Frontal Lobe Motor Cortex Broca’s Area Temporal Lobe Auditory Cortex Wernicke’s Area Arcuate Fasciculus Parietal Lobe Occipital Lobe Angular Gyrus
  12. 12. Comic Relief, Anyone? (Courtesy of Geico)  So easy a caveman can do it. . . .?
  13. 13. Human Skull        Note the following: High forehead Rounded skull No brow ridge Chin is present Teeth are small The bones are named after the lobes of the brain they cover
  14. 14. Skull Morphology: Chimp and Human      Note the following Larger brow ridge (supraorbital torus) of chimp than human’s Sloping forehead of chimp compared to human More prognathous jaw of chimp compared to human Larger canine and gap (diastema) of chimp than human
  15. 15. Human and Chimp Skulls Compared: Brain Structure       Compare the following Chimp’s brain is much smaller (400cc vs 1400cc) It has reduced frontal lobe It has no Broca’s or Wernicke’s area It does have Brodmann’s area 10, where calls may originate—but no speech It does have planum temporale, where calls are received—but not processed as language
  16. 16. What This All Means     Our brains are larger than the chimps’ We have a well-developed frontal lobe We have well developed language areas: Broca’s and Wernicke’s area The motor strip is more well developed among humans than among chimps
  17. 17. Dentition      For each jaw (upper or maxilla or lower or mandible: Incisors (4) for cutting Canines (cuspid) (2) for piercing Premolars (4) for light grinding Molars (6) for grinding
  18. 18. Chimp and Human Jaws    Note the following: Dental Arcade: Humans’ are arclike; apes, parallel back teeth Canines and Diastema (gap): Apes have larger canines and gaps in opposite jaw to fit them; humans do not
  19. 19. Anatomy of Tool Making and Use: The Hand     Note The Following: Our digits are straight Our thumb is opposable The thumb is long
  20. 20. Ape and Human Hands      Hands of orangutan, chimpanzee, gorilla and human Note the following: Our thumbs are longer than the others’ We can make a finer grip than the others can Less visible: apes’ digits are curved, ours are straight
  21. 21. Power and Precision Grip Note the Following:  Power grip: Fingers and thumbs wrap around the object  Precision grip: Forefingers and thumb hold the object  Importance: We can do finer work compared to nonhuman primates
  22. 22. Bipedalism     We are the only mammals that can stand and walk on two feet Kangaroos hop and maintain balance with their tails Apes are semibipedal, but use their knuckles to get around Notice the human is on his knees, not just his feet
  23. 23. Chimp and Human Locomotion
  24. 24. Advantages of Bipedalism        Efficient locomotion Freeing of hands Foraging and hunting/scavaging Tool making and use Care and provisioning of offspring Tracking migrating herds Predator avoidance
  25. 25. Vertebral Column and Pelvis      Note the following Human vertebral column is S-Shaped Chimp verebral column is bow-shaped Human pelvis, with ilium, is bowl-shaped Chimp pelvis is long, with flat ilium
  26. 26. Pelvis and Femur      Note the following: Longer ilium of chimp Shorter, more curved ilium of human Straight vertical orientation of chimp femur Inward angle of human femur
  27. 27. Foot Structure     Note the following: Large toe of chimp foot (right) is opposable to other digits Large toe of human foot (left) is aligned with other digits Ankle bones (tarsals) of human food are larger and more rigid than the chimps’
  28. 28. Foot Arch: Longitudinal and Transverse       Note the following: Longitudinal arch reflected from First metatarsal to Calcaneus (heel bone) Transverse arch can be inferred from Lower placement of outside foot.
  29. 29. Overview of Human Evolution       Principles of evolution: Natural selection and genetics Taxonomy The behavior of our primate cousins Our ancestry from Australopithecus to Homo Tools as evidence of culture evolution Capacity for language—and thereby capacity for culture
  30. 30. Principles of Evolution: Natural Selection      Darwin’s Contribution: On the Origins of Species Natural Selection: A twofold process Variation of species Selection of species better adapted to environment than others Example: “Industrial melanism” among moths in England
  31. 31. Principles of Evolution: Genetics I     Gregor Mendel: Genetic theory, based on experiments with peas Genes: Hereditary information determining physical characteristics Genotype: the genetic makeup of a particular characteristic (peas, eye color) Phenotype: the physical characteristics created by the genetic makeup
  32. 32. Principles of Evolution: Genetics II       Genes are always paired: male contributes half, female contributes half Alleles: Variations of a genetic characteristic When different alleles combine: Allele of one manifests in physical characteristic (Dominant) The other does not (Recessive) Or both may manifest as hybrid (Codominant)
  33. 33. Trends in Human Evolution: Australopithecus to Homo       Australopithecus afarensis to A. africanus: Gracile Australopithecines Paranthropus robustus and boisei: Robust Australopithecines—Dead end? A. africanus to Homo habilis: Rise of tool manufacture? H. habilis to H. erectus: Migration throughout Old World; more kinds of tools H. erectus to H. sapiens: Tool specialization and population explosion to New World H. neanderthalensis: Dead end?
  34. 34. Fossil Hominins: Skull, Arms, Hands         Large bulbous cranium Short face compared to ape Vertical carriage of head Shortened forelimb Hands (manipulation, not locomotion) Enlarged thumb Straight fingers, not curved Enhanced finger sensitivity
  35. 35. Fossil Hominins: Bipedalism        S-shaped vertebrae (backbone) Short, wide, bowl-shaped pelvis Femoral head (ball of femur at pelvis) angled and strengthened Lengthened hindlimb Angle of knee: femur “slopes” to pelvis Platform (arched) structure of foot Nonopposable big toe; toes not curved
  36. 36. Encephalization (a.k.a. Bigger Brains)  Defining Cranial Capacity (and cc’s)  A. afarensis: 390-500 cc; av. 440 cc A. africanus: 435-530 cc; av. 450 cc A./P robustus: 520 cc, one specimen A.P. boisei: 500-530 cc; av. 515 cc. H. habilis: 500-800 cc; av. 680 cc. H. erectus: 750-1250 cc; av. 1000 cc Neanderthal: 1300-1750 cc. av: 1450 H. (s.) sapiens: 900-2350 cc. av. 1400       
  37. 37. Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) and Us (Homo sapiens)           Note the Following: Shorter (3’6”) Longer arms Curved fingers Shorter lower legs Greater prognathism Sloped forehead Smaller cranial capacity What are the Similarities? Hint: it’s all related to bipedalism
  38. 38. When We Became Bipedal (According to Gary Larson)   “Hey! Look! No hands!” (Does he look like Lucy to you. . .?)
  39. 39. Gracile and Robust Australopithecines          For A. africanus (top), note: Somewhat rounder skull No Sagittal crest Prognathous jaw For Paranthropus boisei, note: Sagittal crest (ate a lot of veggies) Massive lower jaw (mandible) Flatter face Massive cheek bones (zygomatic arch)
  40. 40. Homo habilis: The First Known Toolmaker  Note the following:  Face is much flatter Reduced brow ridge (supraorbital torus) Larger cranial capacity (680 cc.)    Toolmaking Technique  Hammerstone used to strike A core (lump of stone) to knap A Flake (stone chip) Note: Stone has to be crystalline (so it will fracture predictably)   
  41. 41. Homo erectus: Cranial Structure  Note the Following:  Cranial capacity: 1,000 cc Occipital bun Reduced brow ridge Reduced sloping forehead Reduced prognathism Artist’s conception of H. erectus     
  42. 42. Homo Erectus (H. ergaster to Some): Postcranial Skeleton  Note the following:  Fully bipedal Arms about length of Homo sapiens Cranial capacity: 1000 cc (average) Main apelike features: Prognathous lower face Sloping forehead     
  43. 43. Lower Paleolithic         Oldowan Tradition: Four or five strokes Unspecialized: choppers Flakes also made and used Acheulean Tradition: 50-75 strokes Symmetrical design Multiple uses: cutting, piercing, chopping
  44. 44. Homo heidelbergensis (a.k.a. “Archaic” Homo sapiens       Note the following: Brow ridges much reduced Forehead is higher, though sloping Reduced prognathiam Cranial capancity 1200 cc. Artist’s conception shows closer similarities to ourselves
  45. 45. Manufacturing Levallois Cores and Flakes        Knappers: Selects the appropriate core, up to a pound of stone Strikes the edge of the core Knaps the surface of the intended flake Knocks off the flake Retouches the flake to desired shape May knap four to five flakes
  46. 46. Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens skull  Note the following for “Classic” Neanderthal  Greater prognathism; humans lower jaw is straight Absence of chin that human has Presence of brow ridge; human has none, has higher forehead Presence of occipital bun Larger cranial capacity: 1450 cc vs. 1400 cc in humans Also note: Artist’s conception of Neanderthal child     
  47. 47. Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens: Postcranial Skeletons  Note the following for Neanderthals:  Heavier brow ridge and sloping forehead Bones generally more robust Larger rib cage Broader pelvis Shorter forearm Shorter tibia Larger ankle joint      
  48. 48. Neanderthal Tools: Mousterian and Châtelperronian Traditions           Mousterian (top) Bordes: 63 types Burins (engravers) Scrapers and knives Even a type of handaxe Part of the Mesolithic Châtelperronian (bottom) First blades—by Neanderthals Definition: flakes twice as wide as they are long Initiated the Upper Paleolithic
  49. 49. Upper Paleolithic: Modern Human Tool Traditions.        Commonalities of Tools: Blades: Ever thinner and smaller Increased tool specialization Other material: bone, ivory, antler Other Developments Artwork (such as this mural at Altamira, Spain) Ornamentation (Venus statuettes)
  50. 50. Review and Conclusion      We have. . . Looked at the biological bases of culture: for language, toolmaking, and bipedalism Compared our anatomy with chimps, our closest relatives Discussed evolutionary change based on natural selection and mutation Looked at our ancestors and the tools they made
  51. 51. The Territory Ahead          Nonhuman Primate Behavior: How close in behavior are our cousins? Language: The medium of culture Making a Living: Industrial societies are not the only cultures in the world Sex, Family, and Its Extensions: The world’s first social organizations Economics: How goods and services are provided Social Control: Governance and law Psychology: Freud didn’t start it all The Supernatural: Were there gods before God? Culture Change and Globalization: Is there life outside corporations?

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