ATH 351-01

Homo habilis

  • Oldowan choppers, origin of material culture
  • earlierst stone tool industry: 2.5mya, oldest @ Goma Ethiopia
  • shelter evidence, stone circle

Taxonomic controversies

  • H. rudolfensis & H. habilis

Why encephalization?

  • complex social network
  • complex adaptive strategies
    • stone tool manufacture & use
    • shelter construction
  • meat eating
    • source of energy
  • venous radiator
    • temperature control

phylogenetic status: chart

H.Habilis contemporary with A. boisei & A. robustus

Homo erectus

  • AKA H.ergaster, early African variant
  • H.erectus is Asian variant

Pleistocene glaciations chart

Out of Africa, with ice sheet map

Oldest Afr H.erectus

  • Koobi Fora 1.8mya (note back of cheekbone process: important)
  • Nariokotome 1.5mya (appx 9-10 yrs of age at death, 5″ in height)

H.erectus: Asia (DuBois)

  • Trinil 1 mya
  • Sangiran 1.6mya

Asian H.erectus, China

  • Zhoukoudian 770-500kya
  • David Black

Euro H.erectus

  • Ceprano, IT
    • skull
    • 800kya
    • Oldowan tools
  • Venta Micena, ES
    • skull, arm fragments
    • Oldowan tools
    • 1.6 mya

Dmanisi, Georgia

  • H.???
  • Dmanisi, Georgia 1.8mya
  • Oldowan tools
  • brain avg 700-750cc
  • smaller than Nariokotome

H.erectus in TR

  • Kocabas 500kya
  • tubercolosis lesions

taxonomic controversy

  • H.ergaster (AFR)
    • older
    • smaller brain
  • H.erectus (ASIA)
    • more recent
    • larger brain
    • saggital keel
    • sharp occipital angle
  • new fossils from Ileret Kenya
    • intermediate
    • one species (parsimony)
      • H.erectus sensu lato

H.erectus traits

  • continuous, unbroken supraorbital torus
  • sagittal keel
  • modern dentition
  • postorbital constriction, not found in H.sapiens
  • avg brain size 900-1000cc

Grandmother effect — cranial capacity chart, archaic & modern humans, H.erectus, H.habilis, Australopithecines

Endurance running chart, Achilles tendon, gluteus maximus

Achilles tendon conserves 50% of energy from running

encephalization & energy

  • brain radiator (vertebral plexus)
  • expensive tissue hypothesis

H.erectus culture

  • Achelean stone tools – hand axe
  • big game hunting & scavenging
  • control of fire at site: Gesher Benot Ya’aqov 790kya
    • burned flint Acheulean artifacts & wood; hearth
  • bifacial technique
  • handaxe – AFR, EU, ASI
  • choppers – CN

Language & speech: basicranial flexure

  • broad obtuse angle provides high, short throat (chimp)
  • sharp, acute angle provides long throat with low larynx (human, near 90°)

SUMMARY: H.erectus

  • Fast bipedalism
    • long legs, long stride – high efficiency
    • completely terrestrial
  • modern dentition
    • smaller P,M than H.habilis, Paranthropus
  • Large brains
    • 700-1200cc – 1000cc avg
  • Reduced sexual dimorphism
    • female size increased 50%
  • longer lifespan
    • grandparents
  • culture
    • Acheulean tools, shelters, fire
    • scavenging,/hunting, meat eating
  • emigration from AFR
    • colonized EU & AS
    • new environmental adaptations
  • Language (???)
  • co-existed with Paranthropus
  • Only hominin survivor 1mya
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