❖ What is a Hominin?
o Modern human
o Our ancestors
■ Other species branching of this lineage o First hominin debate
o 5-10 mya
o Earliest Hominin fossils are:
■ African, ~7 million years ago
■ Very apelike - mosaic of traits
❖ Identifying Hominins
o Key Hominin traits:
1. Skeletal traits associated with bipedalism
2. Changes to the face, teeth and jaws
3. Expansion of the brain (encephalization)
4. Tool-making behaviour
❖ Why Bipedalism?
o Advantages
■ Freeing of the hands
• Prolonged infant care
• Food carrying or provisioning activities
• Tool use
■ Elevated head
• Visibility in open grasslands
■ Energetic advantages
• Long distance slow walking
• Improved heat regulation
■ Mating advantage?
o Disadvantages (costs)
■ Lower body stresses
■ Knee, hip and lower back pain
Who were the First Hominins?
❖ Sahelanthropus tchadensis
o 6-7 mya
o Toros-Menalla, Chad
o Partial cranium, no postcranial
■ Bipedal?
o Closest common ancestor to chimps?
❖ Orrorin tugenesis
o 5.8-6 mya
o Western Kenya
o 19 specimens of jaw, teeth, finger, arm and leg bones
❖ Ardipithecus ramidus and Ar. Kadabba
o 5.8-4.4 mya
o Aramis, Ethiopia
o 1994: jaw fragment and miscellaneous teeth (Ar. Ramidus)
o 2004: 45% complete skeleton, teeth, cranial, and upper limb bone fragments (Ar. Kadabba) o Two species:
■ Ardipithecus ramidus
■ Ardipithecus kadabba 
❖ The Australopithecines
o Diverse group of early Hominins:
■ Dates range from 4.2 - 1 mya
■ Brain not much larger than modern apes
■ Variation in robusticity
• Gracile vs. robust
■ Bipedal
• Pelvis and femur
• Footprints (3.6 mya, Laetoli, Tanzania)
■ Partially arboreal
• Longer arms than legs, curved fingers
❖ Australopithecus vs. Paranthropus
o Gracile
■ A. anamensis
■ A. afarensis
■ A. africanus
■ A. garhi
■ A. bahrelghezali
❖ Australopithecus anamensis
o 4.2-3.9 mya
o Kenya
■ -anam: "Lake” in Turkana language
o Mosaic of ape and Hominin traits
o Most primitive of the genus
❖ Australopithecus afarensis
o 3.9-2.9 mya
o Ethiopia and Tanzania
o Most well-known early Hominin:
■ Lucy (AL-288)
■ Dikika child
o Laetoli footprints
■ Tanzania
■ Mary Leaky and team
■ 1 to 2 adults and one juvenile
■ Evidence of bipedalism
■ Evidence of sexual dimorphism
❖ Australopithecus africanus
o 3-2 mya
o South Africa (Taung, Serkfontein, Makapansgat)
o Bipedal
o More human-like dentition
o Taung child
❖ Australopithecus sediba o 1.95-1.78 mya o South Africa o 2 partial skeletons o Descended from A. africanus
o Derived homo-like morphology
■ Ancestral to Homo
❖ Australopithecus bahrelghazali
o 3.5-3 mya
o Chad
o First Hominin found outside of East Africa Rift Valley o Partial fragmentary jaw
❖ Australopithecus garhi
o 2.5 mya
o Middle Awash, Ethiopia
o Few skull and limb fragments
o Similar to, but definitely not, any of other australopithecines
■ Range of variation?Adaptation?
❖ Australopithecus aethiopicus
o 2.6-2.3 mya
o Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia
o Ancestral to A. boisei
o Hyper-robust
o Black skull
■ (KNM-WT17000)
■ 2.5 mya
❖ Australopithecus boisei
o 2.3-1.1 mya
o East Africa (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)
o Louis and Mary Leakey
■ Zinj or Nutcracker Man
o Toolmaker?
o Pronounced sexual dimorphism
❖ Australopithecus robustus (robust = South Africa)
o 2.8-1 mya
o South Africa
o Robert Broom
o Omnivore
o Tools?
What do we know about Early Homo?
❖ Early Hominin Tools?
o First tools recovered in East Africa
■ Earliest at Gona, Ethiopia 3.5 mya
o Most date to around 2.5 mya
■ Australopithecines?
■ Early Homo?
o Lower Paleolithic
o Oldowan tool tradition
■ Choppers and scrapers
❖ Early Homo: Variability
o 2.4-1.5 mya
o East and South Africa
o Two contemporaneous species?
1. Homo habilis (smaller body/brain, Gracile face and teeth)
2. Homo rudolfensis (larger body/brain, Robus face/teeth)
❖ Who was Homo erectus?
o 1.8 mya - 500 kya
■ Xs late as 100 kya in Asia
o Great diversity/variability anatomically
■ Just H. erectus or H. erectus AND H. ergaster
o First movement out of Africa (Out of Africa I)
■ Trinil, Java; Swanscombe, England; Atapuerca, Spain; Zhoukoudian, China
■ Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania; Lake Turkana, Kenya
■ Dmanisi, Georgia (W. Europe) = Homo georgicus
❖ Homo erectus
o Despite diversity, some typical traits can be identified in the cranium and post-cranium
■ Cranium
• Pronounced ridges, sloping forehead, receding chin
• Smaller more vertical face
• Smaller teeth
■ Post-cranium more similar to modern humans than to early Homo
• Larger body size
• Modern proportions
o Nariokotome (Turkana) boy
KNM -WT 15000
• Nearly complete H. ergaster/erectus specimen
• Dates to 1.6 my
• Sex = boy= shape of pelvis
• Age = 11 -13 = dental eruption (no 3rd molar = no wisdom teeth)
• Skeleton = 5'3"
• Projected would have stood between 5'6" and 6 ft. tall had he reached maturity
❖ Homo erectus: Culture
o Tools and other artifacts dating from 1.8 mya to 200 kya are assumed to have been produced by Homo erectus
o Culture of Homo erectus:
1. Acheulian Tool Tradition
2. Big Game Eating
3. Control of Fire
4. Language
5. Other ritual evidence
❖ The “Hobbit": Homo floresiensis
o Discovered in Liang Bua Cave on Indonesian island of Flores (2003)
o ~1m (3ft.) tall
o Fully bipedal
o Cranial capacity ~380 cc
o Fossils date: 38 - 18 kya
o Archaeological dates: 95 - 13 kya
■ Similar to that found with H. erectus species
How did Homo sapiens Evolve?
❖ Transition to Modern Humans: Context
o Archaic H. sapiens
■ First appear in the Middle Pleistocene (900 - 125 kya)
o Some persist into the late Pleistocene (125 - 10 kya)
■ Pleistocene? (Aka. Ice Age)
• Glacial: Ice cover in Northern Eurasia; Africa is dry
• Interglacial: No ice cover in Eurasia; Africa wet
■ Hominins affected by changes in climate, fauna, and flora
❖ Archaic Homo sapiens
o Also called ‘Homo heidelbergenisis'
o Found in Africa, Asia, Europe
■ Did not vastly extend the geographic range of Homo erectus
■ Some difficult to distinguish from Homo erectus
o Key traits include:
■ Larger brain
■ More globular brain case
■ Arching, heavy supraorbital torus
■ Occipital torus
■ Lowforehead
❖ Archaic Homo sapiens: Culture
o Acheulian tool tradition continues
o Some later groups used the Levallois technique (Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic culture) o Several changes to more ‘modern' culture seen:
■ Apparent use of fire
■ Simple shelters
■ Wider range of foods
■ Large animals hunted
Who were the Neandertals?
❖ Neandertals & Pop Culture
o Rosny, Quest for ire, 1991 (1981)
o HG Wells, The Grisly Folk, 1927
o William Golding, The Inheritors, 1955
o John Darnton, Neanderthal, 1996
❖ Who were the Neandertals?
o Late European/West Asian pre-moderns
■ Named after the Neander
■ Stem from earlier pre-moderns
■ First definite Neandertal remains date to 175 kya
• Biache-Saint-Vaast, France
■ Latest Neandertal remains date to 27 kya
• Mezmaiskaya Cave, Russia
Neandertal Anatomy (slide 38) - look like us but hav bigger, bolder, more enhanced features
❖ Neandertals: Adapted for Cold?
o Neandertal cranial and postcranial morphology has also been interpreted as an adaptation to cold climate
■ Body:
• Short and wide, shortened limbs
• Build may reflect need to conserve heat
■ Facial morphology:
• Large brain
• Large nasal aperture
• Mid-facial projection
• Infraorbital foramina
❖ Neandertal Anatomy
o Strenuous
■ Show many (healed) injuries
o Neandertals show injury pattern similar to modern rodeo riders
■ Proposed by Thomas Berger and Erik Trinkaus
■ May reflect more need for strength compared to recent humans
■ May reflect close approach to large prey (ex. hunting strategy)
❖ Neandertal Culture: Technology
❖ Neandertal Culture: Speech
❖ Neandertal Culture: Burials
o Definitely intentional
■ Le Moustier
■ La Ferrassie
■ Shandiar (IV)
■ Krapina
❖ Neandertal Culture: TLC?
o Healed injuries
■ Spinal, rib, limb fractures
■ Amputaion
■ Blindness
■ Degenerative joint diseases (ex. arthritis)
■ Teeth loss (bad teeth!)
o Little or no signs of infection
o Care for elders
■ Shandiar 1
• Elderly man with withered right arm (paralysis?), walked with a limp, deformity to left side of skull
❖ Us or Them?
o Differing interpretations of placement in human lineage and intelligence over time
■ Dumb brutes - flower children - social peers
■ Neandertal prejudice/racism?
❖ What happened to the Neandertals?
o Interbreeding
■ Hybrid individuals
• Fossil evidence
Genetic evidence (mtDNA)
o Genocide
o No evidence
o Extinction
o Retreat & refuge
Anatomically Modern Humans
❖ Anatomically Modern Homo sapiens
o First appear ~200,000 years ago during Middle Pleistocene
o By 50,000 years ago they has spread across the globe, even as far as Australia! o Contemporaneous with Neandertals
❖ Anatomically Modern Homo sapiens: Anatomy
o Anatomically modern Homo sapiens are characterized by:
■ A gracile skull
■ Minimal brow ridges
■ Rounded cranium, higher forehead
■ Cranial capacity ~1500 cc
■ Small teeth and jaws
■ Retracted face with an obvious chin (mental protuberance)
• New stone tool technology
• Art!
❖ Art: Cave Paintings
o After 40 kya o Location
■ Deep cold caves
■ Sound
■ Isolation - darkness
o Ritual parallels
■ Means of achieving altered state (shamans & trances)
■ Monastic practices
■ Vision quests
■ Sympathetic (hunting) magic
■ Fertility magic
❖ Mobiliary Art
o Depictions of Women
■ Venus figures
■ See "Women's art in the Upper Paleolithic?” pg. 143-145 o Bone flutes
o Bruniquel Horse o Hohlenstein figure
❖ Clothing and Ornamentation
o Body Ornamentation:
■ Pieced shells, pierced animal teeth, and bone beads were most likely work as necklaces or attached to clothing
o Lice and Clothing
■ "Human body lice reveal the birthdate of fashion” - Stoneking et al. 2003
■ Genetics of lice
■ 42-70 kya
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