Chapter 2 – Human Evolution Today’s Objectives How do humans differ from apes? Skeleton, organs, culture Why was Homo erectus so successful as an early hominid? What happened to Neandertals? Be able to briefly trace the cultural development of: tools, fire, clothing, shelter, art
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Left: Prometheus and Athena
Top: God and Adam
Common Primate Traits
(Click for interactive skeleton)
Reconstruction of Australopithecine
Scale: Millions of Years BP
Artist’s representation of a Homo habilis band as it might have existed two million years ago.
Photograph of Nariokotome boy, an early Homo erectus found near Lake Turkana, Kenya.
Why was H. erectus so successful?
Less sexual dimorphism = possible pair bonds, marriage
Less hair on body = wearing of furs, other clothing
Wearing of furs = ability to live further north
Quick adaptation to environment without physical changes
Culture is main reason H. erectus was so successful
organization for hunting
ability to protect against predators
control of fire?
tools (Acheulean industry)
Distribution of H. erectus
The skull of the classic Neandertal found in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints.
Top: Reconstruction of Neandertal burial from Shanidar cave
Bottom: Mousterian tools
Artist’s reconstruction of a Cro-Magnon man
Cave paintings from 20,000 years ago at Vallon-Pont-d’Arc in southern France (left) and from Lascaux, in southwest France
Top: Straw Hut
Left: Mammoth bone hut
Bottom: Tool progression