a201-11f-26-ModernHsapiens - Introduction to Biological...

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Introduction to Biological Anthropology: Notes 26 Modern Homo sapiens Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - This semester I have not discussed the interesting side branch of the Neanderthals in Europe - please review the reading on this - from 300,000 to 127,000 ya in Europe, H. heidelbergensis developed Neanderthal traits - apparently mostly due to the cold Pleistocene conditions of Europe - and the Neanderthals continued in Europe until around 30,000 ya - When we last looked at Africa, it was populated by late Homo heidelbergensis - 1200-1300 cc brain; massive, solid browridges; mode 3 flake tools - unlike the European Homo heidelbergensis , the African ones did not develop the Neanderthal traits - they were not experiencing the strong selection pressures of the cold sub-arctic European climate - instead, a bit later, from about 190,000 to 100,000 ya, the African H. heidelbergensis populations started developing physical traits of modern Homo sapiens - but at first, the new H. sapiens continued to act like their H. heidelbergensis ancestors - that is, their bones look like modern H. sapiens , but their behavior did not - they made similar mode 3 flake tools, no houses, art, etc. - only later, around 50,000 ya, were they clearly, consistently acting and thinking like modern H. sapiens - and only then did some migrate out of Africa and begin out-competing all other hominins they encountered - Physical features of Homo sapiens - smaller face - smaller teeth (all of the teeth got smaller: incisors, canines, premolars, molars) - projecting chin (“mental eminence”) - greatly reduced browridges - slightly larger cranial capacity: averages around 1400 cc - vs. our immediate predecessor, H. heidelbergensis , 1200-1300 cc - note that Neanderthals also evolved larger brains, in their separate lineage: parallel evolution - higher, more vertical forehead - taller, rounder cranium when viewed from the side - less like a football, more like a bowling ball - longer, more lightly built limbs - longer hands and fingers - don’t have the odd incisor wear found on Neanderthals - these last two points, especially, suggest increasing reliance on tools for many tasks, rather than teeth and strength - from 200,000 to 100,000, these features became more common in Africa
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Intro to Biological Anthro F 2011 / Owen: Modern Homo sapiens p. 2 - eventually shifting all the H. heidelbergensis populations of Africa towards H. sapiens - these early H. sapiens continued to make mode 3 flake tools like their H. heidelbergensis ancestors had - did not make houses, ornaments, art, etc. - had one basic, fairly inflexible set of behaviors that changed little from place to place or over time - Many populations of H. sapiens in Africa were apparently somewhat isolated from each other - allowing them to evolve differences specific to each region - these were not enough to make them separate species, just different populations - just as people from Norway look different from people from Italy - Some time between 100,000 to 50,000 ya, some African
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2012 for the course ANTHRO 201.3 taught by Professor Owen during the Fall '11 term at Sonoma.

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a201-11f-26-ModernHsapiens - Introduction to Biological...

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