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Chapter 10. Premodern Humans. Chapter Outline. When, Where and What Premodern Humans of the Middle Pleistocene A Review of Middle Pleistocene Evolution Middle Pleistocene Culture. Chapter Outline. Neandertals: Premodern Humans of the Upper Pleistocene Culture of Neandertals

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Chapter 10

Chapter 10

Premodern Humans


Chapter outline
Chapter Outline

  • When, Where and What

  • Premodern Humans of the Middle Pleistocene

  • A Review of Middle Pleistocene Evolution

  • Middle Pleistocene Culture


Chapter outline1
Chapter Outline

  • Neandertals: Premodern Humans of the Upper Pleistocene

  • Culture of Neandertals

  • Genetic Evidence

  • Trends in Human Evolution: Understanding Premodern Humans


The pleistocene
The Pleistocene

  • The Pleistocene, often called the Ice Age, was marked by advances and retreats of massive continental glaciations.

    • At least 15 major and 50 minor glacial advances have been documented in Europe.

    • Hominids were impacted as the climate, flora, and animal life shifted.

  • Middle Pleistocene (780,000– 25,000 y.a.)

  • Upper Pleistocene (125,000–10,000 y.a.)



Changing pleistocene environments in eurasia
Changing Pleistocene Environments in Eurasia

  • Green areas show regions of likely hominid occupation. Blue areas are major glaciers. Arrows indicate likely migration routes.






Time line of middle pleistocene hominids
Time line of Fossils from AsiaMiddle Pleistocene hominids.


Review of middle pleistocene evolution 400 000 125 000 y a
Review of Middle Pleistocene Fossils from AsiaEvolution (400,000-125,000 y.a.)

  • Like the erects/sapiens mix in Africa and China, fossils from Europe exhibit traits from both species.

  • Fossils from each continent differ, but the physical differences are not extraordinary.

  • There is a definite increase in brain size and a change in the shape of the skull.


Middle pleistocene tools
Middle Pleistocene Tools Fossils from Asia

  • African and European archaics invented the Levallois technique for tool making.

  • Acheulian tools are associated with hand axes.

  • Different tool traditions coexist in some areas.


The levallois technique
The Levallois Technique Fossils from Asia


Culture of neandertals
Culture of Neandertals Fossils from Asia

  • Neandertals, who lived in the cultural period known as the Middle Paleolithic, are almost always associated with the Mousterian industry.

  • In the early part of the last glacial period, Mousterian culture extended across Europe and North Africa into the former Soviet Union, Israel, Iran, and as far east as Uzbekistan and perhaps even China.


Culture of neandertals1
Culture of Neandertals Fossils from Asia

  • Neandertals improved on previous prepared-core techniques by inventing a new variation.

    • They trimmed a flint nodule around the edges to form a disk-shaped core.

    • Each time they struck the edge, they produced a flake, continuing this way until the core became too small and was discarded.

    • They then trimmed the flakes into various forms, such as scrapers, points, and knives.


Mousterian tools
Mousterian Tools Fossils from Asia


Settlements
Settlements Fossils from Asia

  • People of the Mousterian culture lived in open sites, caves, and rock shelters.

  • Windbreaks of poles and skin were placed at the cave opening for protection against severe weather.

  • Fire was used for cooking, warmth, light, and keeping predators at bay.


Subsistence
Subsistence Fossils from Asia

  • Remains of animal bones demonstrate that Neandertals were successful hunters.

  • Used close-proximity spears for hunting (spear thrower and bow and arrow weren’t invented until the Upper Paleolithic).

  • Patterns of trauma in Neandertal remains match those of contemporary rodeo performers, indicating close proximity to prey.


Symbolic behavior
Symbolic Behavior Fossils from Asia

  • Prevailing consensus has been that Neandertals were capable of articulate speech.

  • Even if Neandertals did speak, they did not have the same language capabilities of modern Homo sapiens.


Burials
Burials Fossils from Asia

  • Neanderthals buried their dead.

  • Their burials included grave goods like animal bones and stone tools.

  • They placed the bodies of their dead in a flexed position.







Three major evolutionary transitions
Three Major Evolutionary Transitions Humans

  • Transition from early Homo to H. erectus. Geographically limited to Africa and occurred rapidly.

  • Transition of H. erectus grading into early H. sapiens. Not geographically limited, but occurred slowly and unevenly.

  • Transition from Archaic H. sapiens to anatomically modern H. sapiens.


Quick quiz

Quick Quiz Humans


1. The evolution of the genus Homo over the last two million years

  • can be divided into at least three major transitions.

  • has been fairly steady.

  • has been uniform over the different geographic regions.

  • can be clearly interpreted unlike the evolution of the Australopithecines.


Answer a
Answer: a years

  • The evolution of the genus Homo over the last two million years can be divided into at least three major transitions.


2. With regard to the evolution of the genus Homo, most paleoanthropologists

  • agree that two or three different species of archaic sapiens existed.

  • agree that all members of the genus should be lumped into one species.

  • agree that Homo erectus should also be included in the species sapiens.

  • have differing opinions regarding the interpretation of the fossil material.


Answer d
Answer: d paleoanthropologists

  • With regard to the evolution of the genus Homo, most paleoanthropologists have differing opinions regarding the interpretation of the fossil material.


3. Paleoanthropologists study the sudden expansion of modern Homo sapiens. One problem they have is explaining what happened to the _________________ .


Answer neandertals
Answer: Neandertals Homo sapiens. One problem they have is explaining what happened to the _________________ .

  • Paleoanthropologists study the sudden expansion of modern Homo sapiens. One problem they have is explaining what happened to the Neandertals.


4. Neandertals used fire routinely. Homo sapiens. One problem they have is explaining what happened to the _________________ .

  • True

  • False


Answer true
Answer: True Homo sapiens. One problem they have is explaining what happened to the _________________ .

  • Neandertals used fire routinely.


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