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Chapter 9 The Global Expansion of Homo sapiens and Their Technology Chapter Preview When Did Anatomically Modern Forms of Homo sapiens Appear? What Is the Relationship Between Middle Paleolithic Homo and Modern Homo sapiens? What Was the Culture of Upper Paleolithic Peoples Like? When Did Anatomically Modern Forms of Homo sapiens Appear? Cro-Magnons The remains of ancient people who looked more like contemporary Europeans than Neandertals were discovered in 1868 at Les Eyzies in France, in a rock shelter together with tools of the Upper Paleolithic. Consisting of eight skeletons, they are commonly referred to as Cro-Magnons, after the rock shelter in which they were found. Cro-Magnons This Cro-Magnon skull shows evidence for a possible fungal infection on the forehead. Cro-Magnons and Anatomical Modernity: For Class Discussion Compare this CroMagnon skull (bottom) with the skull of a Neandertal (top). What traits do they have in common? What traits are different? Cro-Magnons and Anatomical Modernity: For Class Discussion Cro-Magnons resemble later populations: in braincase shape, high broad forehead, narrow nasal openings, and common presence of chins their faces. Like Neandertals, their brow ridges were a bit more prominent, their teeth and jaws were just as large, and some display the distinctive occipital bun of the Neandertals. Defining Modernity Defining what is “anatomically modern” is surprisingly difficult. If we rely on the brain sizes of modern people, this had already been achieved by archaic H. sapiens. Neandertals had average brain sizes 10% larger than modern populations. Defining Modernity Using the reduction of body size is also not helpful because there are modern populations (like Australian aborigines) that are as robust as Neandertals. No biological diagnosis of anatomical modernity can be both exclusive of archaic populations and inclusive of all contemporary humans! Defining Modernity: For Class Discussion Examine these skulls from 20th century Australian aborigines. How are they similar to archaic Homo sapiens, Neandertals, or even Homo erectus? Defining Modernity Defining modernity in terms of culture also raises some questions. Behavioral modernity is often associated with the new technologies and expressive arts of the Upper Paleolithic. The Upper Paleolithic Upper Paleolithic tool kits are known for a preponderance of blade tools, with flint flakes at least twice as long as they are wide. The earliest blade tools come from sites in Africa. The Upper Paleolithic archaeological record also contains a proliferation of expressive arts such as portable figurines and cave art. What Is the Relationship Between Middle Paleolithic Homo and Modern Homo sapiens? The Human Origins Debate Some propose that Neandertals, evolved into anatomically modern versions of Homo sapiens as different features of modern anatomy were carried to them through gene flow. Other propose that anatomically modern humans with superior cultural capabilities appeared first in Africa about 200,000 years ago, replacing existing archaic forms as they spread from Africa to the rest of the world. Timeline for Human Origins The Multiregional Evolution Model • Argues that some, or all, of the genetic variation between the contemporary human populations is attributable to genetic inheritance (i.e. gene flow) from hominid species or sub-species of the genus Homo, that were geographically dispersed throughout Asia, Europe, and Australasia, prior to the evolution of anatomical modern humans. • Candidate populations suggested by multi-regionalists as sources for such genetic variation include Asian H. erectus and the Neandertals. Recent African Origins or “Eve” Model Argues that all contemporary species of genus Homo became extinct after the exodus of anatomically modern humans out of Africa. These extinct human ancestors were too genetically and culturally different to interbreed with modern human or were out-competed due to inferior technology. Sorting The Evidence Morphological Features (a mosaic of features could indicate gene flow; stable differences would indicate no gene flow) Genetics (shared DNA and mtDNA could suggest gene flow; DNA and mtDNA uniqueness would suggest no gene flow) Archaeology (shared cultural traits may indicate interaction; distinct cultural traits would indicate little to no cultural exchange) The Herto Finds Hominids found in Ethiopia and dated to 160,000 years ago. The discoverers of these fossils called them Homo sapiens idaltu (meaning “elder” in the local Afar language). While conceding that these skulls are robust, they believe that these skulls have conclusively proved the recent African origins hypothesis, relegating Neandertals to a side branch of human evolution. A Mosaic of Anatomical Features Some Neandertals have features associated with modern humans – ex: a higher forehead, smaller browridges, and chins. The earliest anatomically modern human skulls from Europe often exhibit features reminiscent of Neandertals Some typical Neandertal features such as the occipital bun are found in diverse living populations today such as Bushmen from Southern Africa, Finns and Lapps from Scandinavia, and Australian aborigines. A Mosaic of Anatomical Features A = a Neanderthal with human features B = a robust Cro-Magnon The Case of the Portuguese Boy (c. 30,000 ya) An apparent Neandertal boy with an incipient chin or a very husky human boy? The Case of the Portuguese Boy (c. 30,000 ya) An incipient chin Mitochondrial DNA The 16,569 bases in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are organized into circular chromosomes present in large numbers in every cell. The human mtDNA sequence has been entirely sequenced with functional genes identified. Mitochondrial DNA and the African Eve Hypothesis Analysis of the mitochondrial DNA of all living humans can be traced back to a “mitochondrial Eve” who lived in Africa some 200,000 years ago. If this is the case, all other populations of archaic H. sapiens, as well as non-African H. erectus, would have to be ruled out of the ancestry of modern humans. Neandertal Mitochondrial DNA The mtDNA of Neandertals differs substantially from modern Europeans. However, the average differences are not as great as those seen among living subspecies of the single species of chimpanzee. Also, the differences between populations separated in time by tens of thousands of years tell us nothing about differences between populations contemporaneous with each other. Aurignacian Tradition Tool making tradition in Europe and western Asia at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. Mousterian and Aurignacian Traditions Between 30,000 and 36,500 years ago, Upper Paleolithic industries developed from the Mousterian tradition of European Neandertals. These new Neandertal industries co-existed with the Aurignacian industry, usually associated with anatomically modern humans. What Was the Culture of Upper Paleolithic Peoples Like? Upper Paleolithic Technology Upper Paleolithic tool kits are known for a preponderance of blade tools, with flint flakes at least twice as long as they are wide. The earliest blade tools come from sites in Africa. Upper Paleolithic Tools Pressure flaking was used to press off small flakes as the final step in stone tool making. Burins were used to work bone, horn, antler, and ivory into fishhooks, harpoons, and eyed needles. Blade Techniques During the Upper Paleolithic, a new technique was used to manufacture blades. The stone is worked to create a striking platform; long almost parallel-sided flakes then are struck around the sides, providing sharp-edged blades. Pressure Flaking Two methods used for pressure flaking in which a bone, antler, or wooden tool is used to press rather than strike off small flakes. Techniques of the Upper Paleolithic The Solutrean bifaces of Europe were made using the pressure technique. Tools such as eyed needles and harpoons began to be manufactured out of bone as well. Spear Throwers Spear-throwers (atlatls) allowed Upper Paleolithic people to throw spears from a safe distance while maintaining accuracy. Upper Paleolithic artists combined artistic expression with function, ornamenting spear-throwers with animal figures. Timeline of Upper Paleolithic Cultural Innovations Types of Upper Paleolithic Art Carvings in tool handles Statues and figurines Cave paintings Bone flutes and whistles Lascaux Cave Lascaux Cave These 17,000-year-old images, painted on a wall in the multichambered Lascaux Cave in the Dordogne region of southwest France, were discovered in 1940 by 4 teenage boys. In addition to the Ice Age animals depicted here—horses, wild ox, rhino, and bison— the chambers of Lascaux feature renderings of other recognizable species. Peche Merle Cave Rock Art and Shamanism There is a close connection between figurative art and shamanism, and many scenes depict visions seen in states of trance. Distortions in the art, usually of human figures, represent sensations felt in a state of trance, whereas the geometric designs depict illusions that originate in the central nervous system in altered consciousness. These entoptic phenomena are luminous grids, dots, zigzags, and other designs that seem to shimmer, pulsate, rotate, and expand. Rock Art and Shamanism: For Class Discussion Examine this rock painting from Australia. Can you find any examples of entoptic phenomena? Venus Figurines Made of stone, ivory, antler or baked clay Found from France to Siberia Possibly used as fertility figures CAUTION: interpretations of these figurines often rely on contemporary gender norms and cultural standards Venus Figurines: For Class Discussion According to art historian LeRoy McDermott, the distortions and exaggerations of the female form visible in the Venus figurines are a result of the perspective taken by female artists representing their own bodies. Personal Adornment Pendants and beads for personal adornment became common in the Upper Paleolithic. In Europe, most were made by CroMagnons, but some—like these shown here—were made by Neandertals. The earliest undisputed items of personal adornment are some 40,000-year-old beads from Africa made from ostrich egg shell. Upper Paleolithic Huts Reconstruction of an Upper Paleolithic hut with walls of interlocked mammoth mandibles. The Spread of Upper Paleolithic Peoples By 60,000 years ago, people arrived in Australia and New Guinea. They crossed at least 90 kilometers of water that separated Australia and New Guinea from the Asian continent throughout Paleolithic times. Sahul The greater Australian landmass including Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. At times of maximum glaciation and low sea levels, these areas were continuous. Sunda The combined landmass of the contemporary islands of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and Bali that was continuous with mainland Southeast Asia at times of low sea levels corresponding to maximum glaciation. Habitation of Australia and New Guinea This figure represents the coastlines of Sahul and Sunda now and in the past. As sea levels rose with melting glaciers, sites of early human habitation were submerged under water. The Spread of Upper Paleolithic Peoples Expanded into regions previously uninhabited by their archaic forebears. Colonization of Siberia began 42,000 y.a. 10,000 years later they reached the northeastern part of that region. Habitation of the Americas Arctic conditions and glaciers in northeastern Asia and northwestern North America provided opportunities and challenges for ancient people spreading to the Americas. The Arctic conditions provided a land bridge (Beringia) between the continents, yet harsh environmental conditions pose considerable challenges to humans. Paleoindians Paleoindians, like their Upper Paleolithic contemporaries in Eurasia, were such accomplished hunters that they, too, could kill more animals than could possibly be used at one time. These bones are the remains of some 200 bison that Paleoindian hunters stampeded over a cliff 8,500 years ago.