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91 Cards in this Set

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What used to be the four main criteria for inclusion in the genus Homo?
- Brain size
- Language
- Stone tools
- Opposable thumbs
What are the criteria for inclusion in the genus homo now?
- Increased cranial vault thickness
- Increased vault height
- Increased contribution of occipital to cranium length
- Reduced post orbital constriction
- Reduced lower face prognathism
What are the differences between Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis? Why are we having trouble figuring out who was ancestral to Homo erectus?
Small brain
Moderate Browridge*
Small, gracile face*
Slight prognathism
Small human-like teeth*
Ape-like proportions

Larger brain*
Small browridge
Large, robust face
Big, Australopithecine-like teeth
Human-like proportions*
* Similar to erectus
What did body proportions look like in habilis? Is there any evidence they may have looked different in Homo rudolfensis?
Homo habilis has ape like proportions; the arms are long compared to legs. Homo rudolfensis appears to be more human like from femur morphology.
What is the Oldowan tool industry? How is it made? What are the main characteristics of the Oldowan?
The first tool industry; earliest ones found are in Gona, Ethiopia. It is made by hitting two rocks together until you achieve the desired shape. These tools are often hard to tell from naturally fractured rocks, and have been separated by some into categories based on what they believed their use was. Flaked on one side and not modified.
When does the Oldowan first appear in the fossil record?
2.5 mya
What species made the Oldowan?
Oldowan tools are most commonly associated with homo habilis. (Also found in association with A. garhi.) BUT, we aren’t really sure who made them.
Was early Homo likely to be hunting? What is the evidence that they may have scavenged and where is it from?
Early homo was likely hunting and scavenging food. Cut marks on top of tooth marks on bones at Olduvai.
When do we first see Homo erectus/ergaster? Where do we first see this species?
About 2 mya in East Africa.
What happens with brain size starting with Homo erectus/ergaster?
Rapid increase in brain size begins.
What are the advantages of a large brain?
- Information storage
- Information processing and association
- Language (has to be enough nerves coming from the brain to provide proper enervation)
- Manipulation (again, bigger brain = more nerves throughout the body, improving motor skills and sensory processing)
What are the disadvantages of a large brain?
- Parturition; cephalo-pelvic disproportion (head too damn big)
- Altriciality (developmental immaturity = bigger parental investment)
- Energetic demands during growth can lead to increased risk of death before maturity and reduced demographic viability (longer generations = higher risk for population collapse)
What are the cranial features of Homo erectus/ergaster? What do I mean when I talk about cranial superstructures?
- Big brain
- Nuchal torus (bony thickening across back of head)
- Sagittal keel (thick bone on top of head)
- Angular torus (thickened bone)
- Very thick cranial vault

Cranial superstructures are the bony thickenings on the skull.
What is Nariokatome Boy? What species is he? What does this specimen date to? How old was he when he died? What does his skeleton tell us?
A very complete African homo erectus. Dates to 1.6 mya. About 11-12 at death. Skeleton tells us he would have been about 6' at adulthood (if you go by human growth models.
Two important postcranial adaptations occurred with Homo erectus/ergaster. What are
- Increased body size
- Fully modern human body proportions
What are Allen and Bergman’s Rules?
Allen’s Rule (appendages) - relationship of body size and appendages; tall & thin lose heat faster, short & stocky lose heat slower. Animals in colder environments have shorter appendages

Bergman’s Rule (body) - relationship of body mass to surface area; the more mass you have, the slower you lose heat. Animals that live in colder climates have higher body mass.
How do Allen and Bergman’s rules affect body form in humans?
Mass and body proportions correlate with climate; Homo erectus was tall and thin with a narrow pelvis and torso and long limbs (Nariokatome boy) and this is because it was a species that evolved in a hot environment.
What is a dental enamel hypoplasia? What do they mean? Do we see them in the fossil record? When do we first see them?
Seen in the teeth due to periods of stress on the body (high fever, starvation) when the development of the tooth is temporarily stopped. After the stress has passed, the growth resumes, resulting in a line or pit in the tooth. It is first seen in homo erectus.
What is the name of the first Homo erectus/ergaster outside of Africa? What does it date to? What do the crania of the hominids found here look like? The postcrania? What type of tools are they using?
Dmanisi hominids, dating to 1.8 mya. The brains are small, only 600 - 800 cc. They have small, thin brow ridges, prognathic faces, and have larger canines than other erectus. They're short but have basically the same proportions as a human. They use Oldowan tools.
What did Homo erectus/ergaster likely look like? Skin color? Body hair?
No body hair, dark skinned, tall and skinny with long limbs.
What is the Acheulean stone tool technology? When does it first appear in the fossil record?
Stone tools that have been purposefully flaked on both sides and modified around the edges to achieve desired shape. Shows up about 1.5 mya.
What types of tools typify the Acheulean?
The handaxe was the main tool, it is teardrop shaped; cleavers have also been found (dull on top).
How could the Acheulean be interpreted as a cognitive leap over the Oldowan?
Acheulean tools show forethought and planning in the thought process; it means their makers could think of things abstractly and conceptually, and then bring them into existence based on that thought. Oldowan tools were simply two rocks smashed together and not modified further.
What is fire good for? What are its advantages?
- Provides warmth/heat
- Predator protection
- Cooking helps reduce mechanical consistency of foods and releases nutrients
- Helps to harden organic materials
- Pretreats stone for flaking
When does the first evidence for fire date to?
Burnt bone from Swartkrans dates to about 1.4 mya; but it is really hard to tell if this was controlled use of fire.
Why is it so difficult to establish when hominids first started using fire?
Because it is difficult to distinguish between wildfires and controlled use of fire.
When does Homo erectus/ergaster get to Southeast Asia?
1.8 - 1.6 mya
What are the four major sites from Southeast Asia that we discussed in class?
How have recent changes in the dating of the Southeast Asian sites changed and complicated our interpretations of human evolution in this region?
The fossils were collected a long time ago and now the revised argon-argon dating makes it appear that the species was in stasis for 1.5 million years.
What is the single important site we discussed from Northeast Asia? What happened to these fossils? Where are they now?
Zhoukoudian; the fossils were supposed to be shipped to the AMNH, but were stored at a marine base. When Japan attacked, all were lost in 1941. However, casts had been made of 45 erectus specimens.
What is this whole Homo erectus versus Homo ergaster thing? What are the differences between the Asian and African varieties of this group?
The differences are mainly geographical; ergaster is the African form, erectus is the Asian form. Asian specimens have:
- thicker, blockier supraorbital torus
- more developed sagittal keel
- shovel shaped incisors.
What is “Movius’ Line?” What are some possible explanations for it?
The line that divides the stone tool technology of Africa and East Asia from that of Europe and Western Asia. There are no handaxes in Java or China. Acheulean had possibly not developed yet when migration out of Africa occurred; or it could have been environmental issues such as differences in raw materials; or possible technology loss with migration.
After Homo erectus/ergaster, there is some controversy over how to classify the hominids that fall between Homo erectus/ergaster, on the early end, and Neandertals and modern humans, on the late end. Describe the differences in opinion.
Splitters divide by continent:
Europe: ergaster → antecessor → heidelbergensis → neandertalensis

Africa: ergaster → rhodesiensis → sapiens

Asia: ergaster → erectus → floresensis

Lumpers say they are all within range of modern humans and call them all homo sapiens.

Then there are some people who label the in-between species as “archaic homo.”
What is “archaic homo?”
Archaic homo are the species in between erectus/ergaster and Neandertals or modern humans. Included in this would be: antecessor, heidelbergensis, and rhodesiensis.
What does Homo erectus/ergaster evolve into in Asia?
The Asian form evolves into homo floresensis. (The Hobbits)
When do hominids first show up in Europe? What is the name of the site?
First archaic homo site is Gran Dolina, Spain - 780,000 years ago.
Gran Dolina, Mauer, Boxgrove, and Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca) are important European archaic homo sites. Where are they? What are their dates? Why are they significant?
Gran Dolina - Spain, 780 kya; represents earliest occupation of Europe, first sign of cannibalism (?), mix of primitive and modern characteristics. h. antecessor

Mauer - Germany, 500-400 kya; type specimen for h. heidelbergensis, small and modern teeth. Mandible has a broad, upright ramius and a receding chin. General h. erectus traits but fits better on later homo crania.

Boxgrove - England, 500 kya; one of the few specimens from England, shows adaption to colder climate

Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca) - Spain, 600 - 400 kya; site has at least 28 different individuals, good for showing population biology and variability, all at the bottom of a 50 ft pit. Evidence for toothpick use.
What does archaic Homo look like in Africa?
They look more like modern humans.
Know the significance and the dates of the sites Bodo and Broken Hill.
Bodo 600 kya: no occipital bun, evidence of defleshing, do not resemble Neandertals

Broken Hill >130 kya: rotted teeth, may indicate higher carb diet. H. rhodesiensis was similar to Archaic Homo in Europe, with a brain size of 1280cc, low forehead, and large supraorbital torus.

Still archaic; but do not look like Neandertals.
When do spears show up? Where?
The middle Pleistocene in Europe; Clacton, England and Schoningen, Germany.
What is the geographic range of Neandertals?
Western Europe to Siberia.
When do Neandertals appear? When do they disappear?
About 130 kya to 28 kya.
What are the cranial characteristics of Neandertals?
- Double arched browridges (not a bar; rounded over each eye)
- Large nasal aperture, very projecting nose
- Increasing brain size
- Mid-facial prognathism (centerline of face pulled out)
- Occipital bun (lump on back of head due to brain shape)
- Round head shape (from behind)
- Mastoid is tucked under
- Suprainaic fossa (dent thing in back of head)
- No chin
- Retromolar space
What do Neandertal teeth look like?
Varying degrees of shovel shaped incisors (with marginal ridge and lingual tubercle); insane wear patterns-- nothing but stubs left by adulthood. Strange pattern of wear on front teeth, probably from using teeth as tools. Only 4 cavities out of thousands of teeth found = low carb diet.
What do the patterns of wear on Neandertal teeth tell us about Neandertal behavior?
They ate a lot of meat, probably had a lot of grit in their food, and they used them as tools.
What do we know about Neandertal postcrania? How do they differ from modern humans?
- Bodies are super buff
- Shape differences are based on climate (they were stockier because they lived in Ice Age Europe)
- Broad shoulders
- Large bi-iliac breadth (from hipbone to hipbone)
- Huge muscle attachments
- 50% asymmetry in humerus (all right handed)
- No pilaster on femur (may indicate reduced mobility)
How does the Neandertal pectoralis major insertion differ from that of modern humans?
Their muscle attachments are HUGE compared to ours. Ours looks like a tiny little nub, theirs is several inches long.
What does Neandertal upper limb asymmetry tell us about their lives?
They were consistently working their arms (perhaps stabbing large spears at their prey) from a young age.
What does the pattern of Neandertal mortality look like? How does it differ from recent human populations?
The part of the Neandertal population with the highest mortality rate are those in the young adult range. In modern populations, mortality rates are somewhat high in the first few years, and then steadily decline until past middle age, when they begin to rise again. With Neandertals we see high mortality of neonates, then a decline through childhood, then a huge spike in mortality of young adults, and then a decline again in old age (30ish).
What are the possible explanations for the mortality distribution of Neandertals?
Hunting accidents; lack of seniors could be: senilicide, abandonment of seniors, highly mobile lifestyles, lack of purposeful burial so fewer individuals make it to the fossil record; aging or preservation biases- taphonomy might lead to us only finding certain individuals, or we could be making aging mistakes thinking that a 45 year old is like our 45 years, but they could really be more like 65.
What does the age distribution of enamel hypoplasias in Neandertals tell us about their lives?
Stress gets worse over time; the worst hypoplasias are seen in the wisdom tooth. Probably due to younger children getting more adequate nutrition from others caring for them. For Neandertals, life only got harder as it went on.
What pathologies do we see on the Neandertal La Chapelle-aux-Saints?
- Almost complete tooth loss
- Dental abscesses
- Vertebral osteoarthritis
- Humeral eburnation (bone on bone rubbing)
- Broken rib
What pathologies do we see on the Neandertal Neandertal 1?
- Scalp wound to back of skull
- Elbow fracture during growth
- Shortened forearm
What pathologies do we see on the Neandertal Shanidar 1?
- Appears to have been blind (or at least saw double in one eye)
- Right arm lesions
- Appears to have had amputation
Neandertals have a very high level of injury. What does the pattern of Neandertal injury look like across body parts? What group has a pattern most similar to this? How is this interpreted?
Neandertals have a lot of head injuries and very few injuries to the lower limbs. This is most similar to modern rodeo riders. Meaning that Neandertals were coming into close contact with large, dangerous animals.
What may be an explanation for the low level of lower body injuries seen in Neandertals?
The absence of lower limb injuries may have something to do with survivorship. It is possible that since Neandertals were such a mobile population, they did not survive serious injuries to the legs or pelvis. If they did not survive long enough to heal, we would not be able to detect the injuries.
What is con-specific care? How can levels of injury in Neandertals be used as evidence for this?
It is the idea that people were looking after each other in these groups because they were highly mobile, and people with injuries and pathologies would have most likely died without help from others.
What is the Mousterian? When does it date to?
Stone tool technology associated with Neandertals that dates to 250,000 - 30,000 BP.
What is Levallois technique? How is it a cognitive leap over the Acheulean? Is there a functional explanation for Mousterian tool types?
The prepared core technique; you knock off waste flakes from the outside edges of the core, then you knock flakes off the top of the core, then you remove the single perfect core that you really wanted-- this is the only flake you would actually use to make a tool. Planning wise, it is another layer of complexity added to the previous Acheulean tools; it requires you to plan ahead a few steps to ensure you get the perfect tool you want out of the core. Mousterian tools are the transitional industry made by the Neandertals when they started making tools that looked more like the ones modern humans used.
What is hafting? Did Neandertals do it?
Fastening a stone point to a wood shaft; yes.
What did Neandertal sites look like? Structures? Hearths?
Neanderthal sites consist of caves with a high degree of messy debris scattering. Probably also lived in open-air sites, but these sites have not thus far been preserved. Structures have little evidence- we have what may be a post hole, as well as a larger hold that has been interpreted as a possible storage pit. We do not, however, see the walls or huts that appeared throughout the Upper Paleolithic.

Neanderthal hearths are really just burnt patches on the ground that appear with enough regularity to suggest controlled use of fire.
Did Neandertals bury their dead? What is some of the evidence for this?
Yes; the evidence for this is seen in the mass of nearly complete skeletons. Usually when dead are not purposefully buried, it is quite rare to find whole specimens due to natural circumstances and scavenging animals.
Is there good evidence for ritualized burial of the dead among Neandertals? What was the deal with the Shanidar “Flower Burial?”
There is no indisputable evidence for Neandertals ever being buried with grave goods. Because their sites were littered with debris, if they simply dug a hole somewhere and covered them over, there would be a mix of items near the body that were not purposefully put there.

The Flower Burial showed evidence of pollen; researchers thought it was from other Neandertals placing flowers in with the dead. Turned out to just be rodents carrying around pollen and seeds.
How do we know that Neandertals practiced cannibalism? What is the evidence for this? What is the most likely explanation for why they practiced cannibalism?
There are several bones with specific patterns of cut-marks and holes from rocks on them indicating purposeful cannibalism. They were probably just really damn hungry, but may have also been a spiritual thing.
What else did Neandertals eat? What do the stable isotopes tell us?
Neandertals ate shitloads of meat. Nitrogen 15 increases in each level of the food chain; Neandertals were at the very top of this chain.
What is the Initial Upper Paleolithic or “transitional industry?” What species made this industry? What are the two alternative explanations for its origin?
Neandertals transitioning from from Mousterian to more modern human like tools. Some say it is the Neandertals original invention, others believe it is an example of acculturation.
What are some of the central questions surrounding the origin of modern human behavior and anatomy?
Where do you draw the line between Archaic homo and fully modern?

Are modern human behavior and modern human anatomy associated?

What are the hallmarks of fully modern anatomy?

What are the hallmarks of modern human behavior?
What are the key hallmarks of fully modern human behavior?
- Range extension
- New stone tool technology
- New raw materials
- Hafting
- Long-distance procurement of raw materials
- Intensification of resource exploitation
- Structured use of domestic space
- Self-adornment
- Notched, incised objects
- Art
- Burials with grave goods
What are the key hallmarks of fully modern human cranial anatomy?
- Large capacity
- Vault shape (forehead, less pointy occipital)
- Orognathic face
- Back of head is house shaped
- Canine fossa
- Clear chin
Specimens from Herto, Omo-Kibbish, and Klasies River Mouth are the first specimens that may represent modern humans. Where are these sites? What do they date to? What do the specimens look like?
Omo Kibish 150-195kya
East Africa
A fully modern human with the following features:
moderate brow ridge
large brain
canine fossa

Herto, Ethiopia 150-160kya
East Africa
An adult with a heavily built face
A 6-7 year old child
High, round forehead
Little prognathism
canine fossa
Max cranial breadth high

Klasies River Mouth 65-90kya
South Africa
Fragmentary remains of a lot of individuals displaying much variation.
Three with a chin, one without...
Blombos is a site with few human remains. Where is it? Why is it still important?
In South Africa; bone tools, shell beads, and ochre (8500 pieces), and ochre that is rubbed flat on one side and engraved with geometric shapes.
The sites of Skhul and Qafzeh figure prominently in the story of human origins. Where are they located? What do they look like? What is significant about them?
Located in Israel and date to 90-110 KYA
Contain collections of multiple individuals that are relatively complete and provide enough information to show that these individuals were clearly modern in their biology.
First modern humans to exhibit knowledge of the Mousterian and Levallois tool technologies.
Teeth are not shovel shaped (they are of African descent), femur neck shaft angle indicates children were not very active; crural index indicates males were tall, around 6’. Morphology indicates they are definite African migrants.
The timing and technology of these sites is the significance of these sites.
There are individuals at the site of Qafzeh that show serious pathologies. What’s wrong with them?
- Child with depressed skull fracture (healed)

- Child with hydrocephaly
What sort of stone tool technology did the individuals at Skhul and Qafzeh make? Are there any signs of sophisticated cultural development at this sites?
Basic levallois technique like the Neandertals were using. Cultural development indicated by shell beads and ochre for body decoration.
What is an explanation for the origin of modern human cognitive ability?
The running hypothesis attempts to explain modern human anatomy. What are some traits (the ones we focused on in class) that could be explained by human adaptation to running?
- Shorter face for head stabilization
- Nuchal ligament for head stabilization (we evolved this independently)
- Big glutes and erector spinae for hip stabilization
- Small waist, large shoulders, and smaller muscles that tie shoulders to head for shoulder mobility
- Large heel bone, large lower limb joints, and short femoral neck for skeletal strength
What would endurance running have been good for?
Long distance running may have been good for hunting heard animals; wearing them down by chasing them all day long makes it easier to kill them. Endurance running is our unique advantage over all other animals.
If we evolved to run, why might we be getting injured so frequently while running?
We might suffer so many injuries from running due to the fact that we run with shoes on, and have trained ourselves to land on our heels. This produces a large amount of shock that goes up from the heel into the rest of the leg and body. If we were to run and land on our mid-foot (as our ancestors did) we might not have all the injuries.
Around when did modern humans first get to Eurasia?
About 40,000 years ago
What are the main temporal divisions of the Upper Paleolithic?
Aurignacian 40 - 28 kya

Gravettian 28 - 22 kya

Solutrean 22 - 18 kya

Magdalenian 18 - 11 kya
How were the stone tools during the Upper Paleolithic period different than previously? How did the raw materials differ?
Blades are being made

People are using indirect percussion to make tools

Raw materials are transported over longer distances

Bone tools appear during this time
How did weaponry differ during the Upper Paleolithic? What is an atlatl?
We see more bone points, and stone tools that show evidence of hafting. The atlatl is a dart thrower that increases the force of the human arm by acting as an extension to it. It is really damn hard to use accurately.
How did modern human living structures differ from what we see with Neandertals?
We see a structured use of space with modern humans. Neandertals just kind of threw their trash wherever, whereas with modern humans, there is usually a designated area in the house or near it where garbage was disposed of.
What are some possible explanations for the meaning and distribution of Venus figurines?
Possible explanations of the Venus figurines include: fertility charms, pregnant women doing self portraits, and possible porn (not likely). They are all over Europe because people are all over Europe.
What are some of the significant innovations of the Upper Paleolithic period?
Textiles and clothing, ceramics, music/instruments, art, changes in tool technology: blades; use of new materials like bone, antlers, and ivory.
What is the “Replacement” or “Out of Africa” model of human origins?
Anatomically modern humans arose in Africa, migrated out from Africa, and replaced all archaic homo populations and Neandertals. (Homo sapiens could NOT have interbred with other homo populations.)
What is the “Multiregional Continuity” model of human origins?
Independent populations throughout the world evolved from regional archaic homo groups to modern homo sapiens, all at the same time. (All archaic homo were not separate species from homo sapiens-- lots of gene flow kept them from speciating.)
What is the “Partial Admixture” model of human origins?
Humans evolved in Africa and migrated out over the rest of the world.

The questions are: what did they do when they got there, and what was the degree of interbreeding?
Around when did the colonization of Australia take place? What did the first people there look like? What are some of the key issues in the colonization of Australia?
Sometime between 60-30 kya. The guy that looks more archaic dates more recently, and he has a weird forehead; they rest are highly variable. Others have smooth, round heads. Key issues: dating is highly debated; perhaps modern humans evolved sooner than we thought, or maybe there was 2 radiations of hominids.
What is the recently-found specimen from the island of Flores? What characteristics does it share with Homo erectus? What characteristics does it share with Australopithecines? When does it date to? Why did it freak everyone out?
Homo floresiensis; dates between 95 and 17 kya. Freaks everyone out because it doesn’t fit into a species nicely morphology wise, and the dates are odd (it died out very recently).

Australopithecine like features:
- Broad, flaring ilium
- Anterior nasal pillars
- Wrists (also look like habilis and African apes)

Homo erectus like features:
- Head shape
- Brain shape
- Teeth
- Thick vault
- Looks like African erectus
What are some of the alternatives to LB1 being a new species?
Could be a microcephalic, human pygmy, or have some other weird pathology.