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Premodern humans

• Hominids following Homo erectus
• Includes "Homo heidelbergensis"
• And others such as Neandertal

When did premodern humans exist?

The Pleistocene aka the Ice Age

When did most premodern hominids in this chapter live?

Middle Pleistocene

What is interglacial?

• Ice sheets retreating and becoming smaller
• Certain migration routes reopened

Where did Middle Pleistocene Hominids disperse?

Throughout Old World

Premoderns generally succeeded Homo erectus except...

coexisted for long periods in Asia

What characteristics did middle pleistocene have?

• Earliest premoderns
• Some Homo erectus characteristics
• And modern features

Homo heidelbergensis

• Premodern fossils from Africa and Europe
• Placed within Homo heidelbergensis

Archaic homo sapiens

• Premoderns were recently considered an early, primitive, transitional "Homo sapiens" and called "Archaic Homo sapiens"

Who is the probable ancestor to both modern humans and Neandertals?

Homo heidelbergensis

Premodern Humans of the Middle Pleistocene

1) Africa
2) Europe
3) Asia

What are the Premodern fossils found at several sites in South and East Africa?

Kabwe and Bodo

What is one of the earliest Homo heidelbergensis in Africa?


What parts of Europe are middle Pleistocene fossils found?

Gran Dolina
Sima de los Huesos

What fossil was found in Gran Dolina?

Homo antecessor

Sima de los Huesos Morphology

Some indications of early Neandertal-like pattern

Where in Asia were fossils found?


Some isolated regional populations died out
and others continued..
In Africa, they evolved into modern Homo sapiens:
In Europe, they evolved into:

- Homo sapiens
- Neandertal 1

The Levallois Technique

Technique for stone tool making

Middle Pleistocene Life Reconstruction of fire?

• Some evidence for controlled use of fire

Middle Pleistocene Life Reconstruction of shelter?

• Evidence of temporary shelters at several sites
• Including Terra Amata site

Terra Amata?

• France
• reconstruction of a shelter


• Germany (400,000 years ago)
• Three preserved wooden spears
• finely made and expertly balanced
• Throwing spears for large animals.
• Spears indicates advanced hunting

Hunting in the shelters?

Some strong cases for hunting especially the recent find at Schoningen

What are Neandertals?

Premodern Humans of the Late Pleistocene

What are classic Neandertals of Europe?

• Most Neander fossils found in Europe
• In Europe more "robust" than other areas
• Called "Classic" Neandertals in western Europe

What are some neandertal features?

• Brain is larger than today's humans
• Cold weather adaptation
• Brow ridges arched
• Face projects
• Robust, barrel-chested, powerful muscles
• Shorter limbs
• Adaptation to living in cold climate

Neandertal Discoveries in Western Europe?

La Chapelle-aux-Saints
• Southwest France

Who is Macellin Boule?

• Famous paleontologist studied the La Chapelle skeleton
• Unusually robust
• Described find as brutish and bent-kneed and not fully bipedal

MORE RECENT Neandertal discoveries in Western Europe?

St. Cesaire
• Some "Upper Paleolithic" tools
• Neandertal borrowing tool making techniques from anatomically modern humans

Upper Paleolithic

• A cultural period usually associated with modern humans

Central Europe

• Kaprina
• Vindija
• among most recent Neandertals found
• smaller browridge and slight chin development

Western Asia

Tabun Cave
Kebara Cave
Shanidar Cave

Tabun Cave

• Contemporary with modern H. sapiens nearby

Kebara Cave

• First "hyoid" bone found
• (base of tongue)

Shanidar Cave

• Deliberate burials
• Severely injured person survived

Central Asia

• Teshik-Tash Site
- Neandertal range extended eastward into Central Asia

Neandertal associated with what cultural period?

"Middle Paleolithic"

Neandertal associated with what stone industry?


What is Mousterian?


Neandertal associated with what technology?

• Used many flake tools
• Bone, ivory, antler tools very rare

Neandertal substinence

• Neandertals were successful hunters
• Used close-proximity spears
• No long distance weapons
• Dangerous - many injuries
• Numerous fractures, head and neck injuries
• Neandertal artwork not common

Neandertal speech and symbolic behavior

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

Neandertail burials

• Neandertals deliberately buried their dead
• Many placed in flexed position
• Body bent with arms and legs drawn up to chest

Neandertal grave goods

• Neandertal graves
• Not elaborate
• Frequently lacked artifacts

Genetic evidence of neandertals: results of DNA comparison

• Neandertal seem more different from contemporary Homo sapiens (based on DNA)
• Seem isolated from other hominins
• Nuclear DNA confirms early divergence

First modern homo sapiens evolve where? And where do descendants spread?

Old World

Modern Homosapiens

• All contemporaries are placed in this species
• First are probably descendents of premodern humans
• Particularly African populations of H. heidelbergensis

Three theories of Modern Human Origins

Complete Replacement Model
The Partial Replacement Model
The Regional Continuity Model

Complete Replacement Model

• Modern populations arose in Africa (only)
• ONE species - no admixture
• Migrated from Africa, replacing populations in Europe and Asia.
• ("single origin")

Mitochondrial DNA

• Evidence of African origin
• Genetic data - living peoples
• Mitochondrial DNA (inherited through mother)
• Concluded the world's population
• descended from single African lineage.

Y chromosome

• Variation in DNA less compared to other primates
• Bolsters complete replacement model

Neandertal DNA


The Partial Replacement Model

• Gradual dispersal of H. sapiens sapiens out of Africa.
• Modern humans mixed with local archaic populations in Eurasia
• Some interbreeding

The Regional Continuity Model

• Local populations in Europe, Asia and Africa evolve into anatomically modern humans

Why similar

• Gene flow between these archaic populations
• Moderns humans not separate species
• Never independent.

The earliest discoveries of modern humans in Africa

Omo Kibish
Klasies River Mouth Cave
Border Cave

Omo Kibish

Earliest of the fully modern found in africa

Klasies River Mouth Cave

-Southern Africa on coast
-humans appeared in East Africa and migrated to southern Africa

Border Cave

migration from east Africa to south Africa


• Well-preserved and well-dated H. sapiens fossils
• Most conclusive evidence of African origin of modern humans

Near East

• Early modern H. sapiens sites
• Sites in Israel
• Skhul Cave
• Qafzeh

Near East: Israel

Skhul Cave
• Earliest good evidence anatomically modern humans out of Africa
Qafzeh Cave
Tabun Cave
• is a nearby Neandertal site
• Indicates modern H. sapiens and Neandertals occupations overlapped.


• Chinese paleoanthropologists see continuous evolution
• from Homo erectus to archaic H. sapiens to AMH
• Oppose complete replacement model


• Australia not connected to mainland
-Lake Mungo
earliest finds in Austrailia
-Kow Swamp

Western Europe

Cro-Magnon (France)
Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Portugal)

Cro-Magnon (France)

• Most famous site early modern
• Best known western European samples
• France's earliest anatomically modern human
• Discovered in 1868 in a shelter in southern
• An Upper Paleolithic industry

Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Portugal)

• Mixture of traits
• Best evidence for hybridization
• Four-year-old child's skeleton
• Some modern features
• Some Neandertal features
• Evidence of hybridization between
• Neandertal and anatomically modern
• Humans

Homo floriensis

• Homo erectus in Java survives a long time
• Other population branched off from some early inhabitants of Indonesia


• Java
• Small-bodied and
small-brained hominid
• Nicknamed "hobbits"

Homo floresiensis

• Three feet tall
• Probably descended from H. erectus populations
• Isolated island population diverged
• Natural selection favors reduced body size

Upper Paleolithic had Five cultural periods based on what?

Stone tool technologies

What is the late ice age?

Last glacial period of Ice Age

What is a terrain?

• Treeless tundra and steppe in Eurasia


Abundant pasture for herbivorous animals
large hers


-near moscow
-most spectacular burial

What are cultural innovations?

• Better shelters
• Sewn tailored clothing
• Increased use of bone, ivory, antler

Age of technological innovation?

• Anatomically modern humans
• Upper Paleolithic
• Invented new and specialized tools

Solutrean Blades

• Most highly developed Upper Paleolithic industry
• So delicate considered as possible "art"

Spear Thrower, harpoon, bow and arrow

• Spear thrower or "atlatl"
• A hooked rod enhancing force and distance
• Bow and arrow


• Common Upper Paleolithic tool
• Pointed stone blade
• Working wood, bone, and antler
• Small chisel-like for engraving
• Burins (chisel-like) to engrave bone

Upper Paleolithic Art

• Best known in Europe
• Includes Africa, Australia

Art in Europe and other places

• Symbolic representations or "art" well known in Western Europe
• Also known in Africa, , Australia

Portable Art

• Numerous small sculptures in Europe
• Elaborate engravings


• Female figurines throughout Europe
• Perhaps for fertility or ritual purposes

Cave Art

• Majority in France and Spain
• People in other areas didn't use deep caves for art
• Painted and carved on rock surfaces in open
• Eroded away
-Lascaux Cave, Altamira Cave, Grotte Chauvet

Art in Southern Africa

• Apollo 11 Rock Shelter (Namibia)
• Blombos Cave
• Pinnacle Point

Art in Central Africa

• Congo
• Excavations show remarkable bone craftsmanship.

End of Upper Paleolithic

• Temperature rises, glaciers retreat
• End of the Ice Age
• Traditional prey animals disappear
• (decrease in herds of large animals)
• (grassland natural pastures replaced by forests)
• Ice Age ends


• Idea of "race improvement" by forced sterilization

Biological determinism

• Concept that behavior governed by biological(genetic) factors

Polytypic Species

• Populations differ with regard to the expression of one or more traits

Polygenic characteristics

• Characteristics influenced by several genes
• Continuous range of expression

Typologies and classification and what is the more recent approach?

A) Outdated approach of identifying large geographical "groups"
B) focus on examining allele frequencies

Anthropologists recognize that what is not a valid concept


Genetics over Phenotype

• Examination of actual genetic characteristics
• Replaced traditional descriptions of superficial phenotypic characteristics

Human polymorphisms

• Main focus of human variation studies
• Characteristics with different phenotypic expressions are called polymorphisms.
• A genetic trait is polymorphic if the locus that governs it has two or more alleles.

What are the clinical distributions of human polymorphisms?

• By 1960s study of "clinal distributions" of individual polymorphisms became important
• A cline is a gradual change in the frequency of a trait or allele in populations dispersed over geographical space

Human biocultural evolution

• Humans live in cultural environments that are continually modified by their activities.
• Evolutionary processes can be understood only within this cultural context.

Slash and burn agriculture example

- land-clearing practice
- fields are abandoned

Sickle Cell Allele

• Stagnant pools rain water provided mosquito breeding areas close to human settlements.
• The increase in the frequency of the sickle-cell allele

Lactose Intolerance

• The geographical distribution of lactose tolerance is related to a history of cultural dependence on fresh milk products.

Population genetics

• The study of the frequency of alleles, genotypes, and phenotypes in populations from a microevolutionary perspective.
Used to understand microevolutionary patterns of human variation

Gene Pool

• A gene pool is the total complement of genes shared by the reproductive members of a population.

Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium

• The central theorem of population genetics.
• The mathematical relationship expressing the predicted distribution of alleles in populations
• Provides a tool to establish whether allele frequencies in a human population are changing.

Human variation is the result of adaptations to what?

• Environmental conditions

Physiological response to the environment operates at two levels:

Long-term: evolutionary changes
Short-term: temporary physiological response is called acclimatization.


• Physiological responses to changes in the environment.

Ultraviolet Rays and Skin Damage

-Ultraviolet Rays penetrate the skin and can eventually damage DNA within skin cells.
-Melanin (darker) protects

UV and Vitamin B

• UV decreases Vitamin B Folate production
• Melanin protects

Lighter skin and vitamin D

• UV needed for Vitamin D production

Long-term adaptations to heat evolved in our ancestors:

- Sweat Glands
- Vasodilation
- Body form

Bergmann's Rule

Body size

Allen's Rule


Short-term responses to cold:

• Metabolic rate and shivering
• Narrowing of blood vessels to reduce blood flow from the skin, vasoconstriction.

Multiple factors produce stress on the human body at higher altitudes:

• Hypoxia (reduced available oxygen)

Infectious disease

• Caused by invading micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
• Throughout evolution, disease has exerted selective pressures on human populations.
• Disease influences the frequency of certain alleles that affect the immune response.

What are the cultural factors of infectious disease?

• Before 10-12,000 years ago all humans lived in small nomadic hunting and gathering groups
• Minimal contact with vectors from refuse heaps

What are the vectors of infectious disease?

• Agents that serve to transmit disease from one carrier to another.
• Mosquitoes are vectors for malaria, just as fleas are vectors for bubonic plague.

What is the endemic of infectious disease?

• Continuously present in a population.
• Sufficient numbers of people must be present

Infectious disease from domesticated animals

• With settled living by domesticated animals
• Diseases from cattle and fowl spread to humans

What is Zoonotic?

• Disease spread from animals to humans
• An extensive outbreak of disease affecting large numbers of individuals over a wide area; potentially a worldwide phenomenon.

Impact of infectious disease

• Increases in the prevalence of infectious disease may be due to overuse of antibiotics.

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