Chapter 11 Environment, Technology, and Society of Homo erectus

Chapter 11 Environment, Technology, and Society of Homo erectus

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Chapter 11 – Environment, Technology and the Society of Homo erectus Homo erectus: New Questions about an Old Species - Homo erectus is distinct in being the first hominin species to exist outside of Africa, enjoying an impressive longevity as a species and great geographic spread Habitat - Environmental flexibility was a primary characteristic of Homo erectus, which managed to make a living in a wide variety of climates, habitat types, and animal communities - Their level of intelligence and the cultural advances that big brains made possible allowed for them to achieve this level of ecological adaptability - H. erectus resided in the tropical environment of East Africa, the moderately dry and temperate Mediterranean climate of the Dmanisi site in Georgia, and temperate-to-cold conditions in China near the fortieth parallel Stone Tools - Stone tool technology probably got its start with either the australopiths or early Homo, and by the time H. erectus was around, Oldowan choppers and flake tools were in use for at least a half a million years - Around 1.7 million years ago, the development of the Acheulean industry of bifacially flaked tools appeared, along with the development of the hand ax - The Acheulean industry also included Oldowan-type choppers and flakes, indicating that the more primitive tools still had their use - The ideal stone for tool making is hard, tough, and of a smooth, fine-grained consistency (stones of this type fracture into sharp flakes rather than crumbling) - The finer grained the stone, the flatter and more leaflike the flakes that can be chipped loose from it Core and Flake Tools - Two basic categories of tools: 1. Core Tools – the core of stone that remains from a lump that had chips knocked from it until a desired shape and size resulted 2. Flake Tools – typically the chip struck from a core - The Acheulean industry is noted for its use of a prepared core in the production of its characteristic tool, the biface , which had two sharp sides to it - An improvement in shaping the stones also occurred, with the use of bone or wood
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Chapter 11 Environment, Technology, and Society of Homo erectus

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