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DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Homonid characteristics include large complex brain

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Homonid characteristics include: large, complex brain with a dominant cerebrum, erect posture, tool-using capabilities, strong community organization . The first homonids belong to the Australopithecus genus. The Oldest known homonid: Lucy, was found in Ethiopia, whose remains are over 3 million years old. Lucy's brain was only 400 cc, compared to 1350 cc. for typical human. Only three species of humans have lived on earth, and only one of these species is alive today. Homo habilis--the earliest distinctly human species, appeared almost 2 million years ago in Africa. Brain sizes 775 cc, and a tool maker and user. The name means "handy man". This species lived about 500,000 years, then went extinct . Homo Erectus evolved around 1.5 million years ago, and lasted about a million years before becoming extinct . Brain size around 1000 cc, homo erectus was a social species that hunted and used fire to cook. Remains have been found in Africa, Europe and Asia. Homo sapiens (modern humans) evolved in Africa about 500,000 years ago. The first known fossils of the species Homo erectus were discovered on the Island of Java by Eugene Dubois in 1891. According to Dubois, Java Man occupied an intermediate position in evolution between apes and man. He gave the fossils the scientific name Pithecanthropus erectus (upright ape-man). The first remains of Peking Man , a member of the species Homo erectus, were discovered in 1921 in limestone caves near Peking China. By 1929 more than 40 specimens of Peking Man had been unearthed, but the fossils all disappeared during WWII after China was occupied by the Japanese. Homo erectus was noted for using tools and fire. Homo erectus used more diverse and sophisticated tools than its predecessors. One of the tools Homo erectus used was a teardrop shaped hand axe made of stone which was chipped on both sides to form two cutting edges . Archaeology
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Archaeology is the scientific study of the material remains of past human life and activities. These include human artifacts from the very earliest stone tools to the man-made objects that are buried or thrown away in the present day: everything made by human beings—from simple tools to complex machines, from the earliest houses and temples and tombs to palaces, cathedrals, and pyramids. Archaeological investigations are a principal source of knowledge of prehistoric, ancient, and extinct culture . The word culture comes from the Greek archaia ("ancient things") and logos ("theory" or "science"). The main aim of the archaeologist is to place the material remains in historical contexts, to supplement what may be known from written sources, and, thus, to increase understanding of the past. Ultimately, then, the archaeologist is a historian: his aim is the interpretive description of the past of man. Radioactive carbon dating, which has revolutionized much of archaeological chronology, is a by-product of research in atomic physics.
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