Lecture%2012 - Lecture 12 Late Paleolithic Culture The...

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Lecture 12 Late Paleolithic Culture – The Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH - Homo sapiens ) and the Upper Paleolithic •AMHs originated approx. 120,000 to 200,000 years ago and became prevalent after 40,000 years ago •After 25-30 kya, they were the only hominin species left •AMHs originated and spread during a period of extreme global climate variability—the Ice Ages •AMHs are morphologically distinct from Archaic H.s. and H erectus forms they replaced •AMHs appear to have more complex and elaborate behavioral and mental capacities than previous forms •The reasons for this are not absolutely clear and are hotly debated Anatomically Modern Humans are morphologically distinct from previous forms of H. heidelberhensis and H erectus •AMHs have a more gracile cranial and post-cranial skeleton •Average cranial capacity slightly smaller –Probably due to smaller body mass •The less robust skeleton is due in part to cultural adaptations that reduce muscle stress on the skeleton –Less chewing stress, reduction of face, smaller teeth –Less robust post-cranial skeleton as well, possibly due to less strenuous physical activity during growth and development Anatomically Modern Humans appear to have more complex and elaborate mental, behavioral, and cultural capacities •1) more sophisticated tool technology •2) First clear evidence of representational art and personal adornment –Burials with grave goods are much more elaborate –Evidence for tailored clothing with buttons, etc. •3) first clear evidence of sedentism in villages –Villages with numerous huts More sophisticated tools: the Blade industry •The Blade industry was a more efficient way of producing cutting edges from stone –Recall that the Levallois technique was somewhat wasteful of raw material •Required the use of higher quality stone, particularly flint and chert •Facilitated the production of a wide variety of specialized stone tools •Facilitated the production of tools and objects made of bone and antler –Bone/antler had never been used by Archaic H.s. •Facilitated the production of tailored clothing –Needles, buttons, precision cutting of hides and furs
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More sophisticated tools: composite tools •The use of hafting—attaching stone or bone points or blades—to wood or bone handles, shafts becomes widespread •Making tools out of more than one material: wood, stone, bone, leather and combinations thereof •Good evidence for composite tools among Archaic H.s. and H erectus is very sparse The Blade industry: a more sophisticated stone tool technology More sophisticated tools: ranged weapons •Upper Paleolithic people (AMHs) developed the use of ranged weapons—weapons that kill at a distance •The atlatl (spear or dart thrower), and by the end of the period, bow and arrow •Distance killing reduces the risk of being injured or killed by the prey animal
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Lecture%2012 - Lecture 12 Late Paleolithic Culture The...

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