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Chapter 10. Neanderthals and Other Archaic Homo sapiens. Chapter Outline. Early archaic H. Sapiens A Review of Middle Pleistocene Evolution (circa 400,000–125,000 y.a.) Middle Pleistocene Culture. Chapter Outline. Neandertals: Late Archaic H. sapiens (130,000–35,000 y.a.)

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chapter 10

Chapter 10

Neanderthals and Other Archaic Homo sapiens

chapter outline
Chapter Outline
  • Early archaic H. Sapiens
  • A Review of Middle Pleistocene Evolution (circa 400,000–125,000 y.a.)
  • Middle Pleistocene Culture
chapter outline1
Chapter Outline
  • Neandertals: Late Archaic H. sapiens (130,000–35,000 y.a.)
  • Culture of Neandertals
  • Genetic Evidence
  • Evolutionary Trends in the Genus Homo
early archaic homo sapiens
Early Archaic Homo sapiens
  • Early archaic forms show morphological changes compared with H. erectus:
    • brain expansion
    • increased parietal breadth
    • some decrease in the size of the molars
    • general decrease in cranial and postcranial robusticity
early archaic homo sapiens1
Early Archaic Homo sapiens
  • Conservative taxonomy classifies all specimens as archaic forms within the species Homo sapiens.
  • Other paleoanthropologists classify most specimens into other species of the genus Homo.
    • In this view, some earlier archaic forms could be ancestral to modern humans.
review of middle pleistocene evolution 400 000 125 000 y a
Review of Middle Pleistocene Evolution (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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remains of animal bones demonstrate that Neandertals were successful hunters.
  • They 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.