|Neanderthals, other Archaic Homo sapiens, and the Mousterian Tradition
Archaic Homo sapiens
•cross between characteristics of H. sapiens (large brain) and H. erectus (robust).
•“Muddle in the Middle” : hard to distinguish from H. erectus and H. sapiens.
•large brow ridges
•low and thick cranial vault
•large brain (1,000-1,400 cc)
•Modern but robust post cranium
•ancestral to H. sapiens?
European Archaic H. sapiens (Homo heidelburgensis)
•site of Sima de los Huesos ( “the bone pit”) in Spain.
•May be ancestor of Neanderthals with derived features (occipital torus and midfacial prognathism)
African Archaic H. sapiens
•Bodo, Ethiopia 600 kya. Broken Hills, Zambia 125 kya
•likely not ancestors of Neanderthals
Asian Archaic H. sapiens
•in Asia at same time as H. erectus.
•Larger vault size
•similar to H. erectus behavior
•Fire, hunting large game, camp sites with circular tent structures, wooden tools.
• Acheulean tradition or Chopping tools in Asia, and Levallois technique (like Neanderthal).
•classification still disputed. Why?
•overlap in time and geographic location with modern H. sapiens
•Europe, Near and Middle East, Western Asia
•ice age: areas where environment was very cold
•Large like modern humans (1400cc)
•fully modern organization
•long and low appearance
•Large brow ridges (supraorbital torus)
•widest part the middle
•mid-facial prognathism-projecting mouth
•large nasal cavity and orbits. Why?
•teeth as tools
•incisor wear- faceted
•cut marks on teeth
•tourodontism (hollow molars)
•short and stocky build.
•What kind of adaptation?
•thick bones with heavy muscle attachment.
•physically demanding lifestyle.
•growth patterns similar to modern humans
•health and disease
•many lived to old age (40 yrs)
•most skeletons have healed trauma
•Shanidar Cave example
•close contact with hunting animals
•healed breaks resemble modern bull riders
•head and neck injuries
•Middle Paleolithic Culture (200 kya-40kya)
•prepared a core for removal of predetermined size and shaped flake.
•more cutting edge for the amount of stone.
•spear points, scrapers, knives, notches.
•wood spears and antler and bone into handles.
•lived in cold environments
•lived in caves, rockshelters, open areas
•used fire: simple hearths
•Shanidar Cave, Iraq
•found burial ritual with flowers.
•sick and elderly were cared for by other group members.
•Use of certain caves as burial grounds: La Ferrassie rockshelter and Shanidar.
•hunters, scavengers, and gatherers
•large game (reindeer, bison, mammoth, bear, rhino), small game (rabbit and tortoise), birds, molluscs
•hunted large game at close range
•relied heavily on animals for food
•Kebara Cave: charred wild pea, grasses, acorns, pistachio nuts
•art work small and personal
•pendants, drilled bone
•ochre- symbolic purposes, found in burials
•Neandertal hyoid bone at Kebara Cave, Israel (voice box)
•brains fully developed.
•Gene controlling facial muscles
•mtDNA and nuclear DNA suggests evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in Europe roughly 365 or 853 kya.
•Some alleles (30%) may be derived from anatomically modern Homo sapiens suggesting gene flow.
Where did they go?
•Climate too cold between 28-30 kya?
•Unable to maintain large enough population
•Long birth spacing?
•Females and juveniles hunting large animals= high mortality rates?
•Relied mainly on large animals for subsistence?
•Old Technology and little ritualistic behavior?