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1. What are some of the consequences of the domestication of fire for human survival?
Fire must have been a major factor in the increasing success of human adaptation and the move into new, colder climates. Cooking with fire provides a number of advantages in addition to making foood more tender and palatable. These higher nutrition diets were necessary for our human ancestors to meet the growing energy demands on their large brain.
Describe the four major divisions of the Paleolithic period in terms of age and characteristics.
- Paleolithic is subdivided into several periods.
- -The Basal Paleolithic includes Oldowan tools dating
- from around 2.5 m.y.a.
- -The Lower Paleolithic includes the Acheulean assemblages,
- generally associated with Homo erectus, and extends
- from 1.8 to about 200,000 years ago.
- -The Middle Paleolithic is associated with the Neanderthals and
- other forms of early Homo sapiens.
-The Upper Paleolithic began about 40,000 years ago with an emphasis on blades and tools made from bone and antler.
3. Describe and discuss the Acheulean handaxe.
- The Acheulean handaxe was a large stone tool, and part of the Acheulean
- tradition tool kit of the Lower Paleolithic used well into the Middle
- Paleolithic. It was a more complex tool than it first appears and is symetrical in outline reflecting purpose, skill and foresight in manufacture.
4. What are the three most important discoveries at Atapuerca?
- The three most important discoveries at Atapuerca were "Sima de Los Huesos" or "Pit of Bones" an extraordinary sample of a human group living during the Lower
- Paleolithic which were put intentionally into the pit, The Gran Dolina "Great Valley" finds represent the oldest yet-discovered humans on the continent of Europe until 2008 when a new and even older find was found known as "Sima del Elefante" and included a human mandible and broken animal bones
5. One of the major questions about human behavior in the time of Homo erectus is whether these people were large game hunters. What evidence can you use to argue that they were or were not?
The spears and animal prey from Shoningen boldly document our presense as big-game hunters although Kalamo Falls emphasizes our role as hunter-gatherers in the natural environmrnt.
- -Homo erectus individuals were robust, with
- large bones and teeth, larger bodies, and significantly larger brains than
- their Homo habilis ancestors.
- -Homo erectus had brains that were about
- 1,000 cc.
- -They had low, sloping foreheads, prominent brow ridges, and
- protruding faces.
- -Homo erectus individuals were almost fully
- modern in terms of movement and locomotion.
A warm period of the Pleistocene
A term used for assemblages from the Lower Paleolithic, lacking handaxes and charecterized by large flakes with heavy retouching and notches.
- Pleistocene mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) once widespread in
- the cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere
- •Kalambo Falls, at the border of
- Tanzania and Zambia, was first discovered in 1953.
-Acheulean handaxes and cleavers were found there.
-Evidence for the use and consumption of plants is present.
- -Evidence for meat-eating in the form of animal bones is not
- represented, since the acidic sediments at the site remove all traces of bone.
- The Lower Paleolithic site of Ambrona is located 150 kilometers
- northeast of Madrid, Spain in the province of Soria, on a lakeside.
- The site
- was probably inhabited from the end of the Mindel or Elster glacial
- 300,000 to 400,000 years ago. Marques de Cerralbo first discovered
- before World War I. Ambrona was more extensively searched during the
- 1960s. The
- most recent workers to excavate the site were Howell, Aguirre, Butzer,
- Freeman., also contain animals bones and tools.
soft hammer technique
A flintknapping technique that involves the use of a hammer of bone, antler, or wood, rather than stone.
- is a large Acheulean hand-axe site in the central Rift Valley of Kenya.
- It was found in the 1970s, and its geology investigated by W.B. Jones
- and WW. Bishop. Its age is estimated in the range 800,000-1,000,000
- years. Excavations took place under John Gowlett’s direction.
- The large numbers of hand-axes allowed study both from
- excavation and surface collection. The recorded data can now be
- studied in new ways (recent papers).
- "Great Valley"
- a cave site in the Sierra de Atapuerca region of central Spain,
- approximately 15 kilometers from the town of Burgos. It is one of six
- important paleolithic sites located in the Atapuerca
- region, with occupations dated from the Lower and Middle Paleolithic
- periods of human history.
- In archaeology, Schöningen is famous for four
- ancient wooden spears found in an opencast mine near the town
- (Bamford & Henderson 2003). The spears are about 400,000 years old
- (Klein. 2005. p114), and are the world's oldest known wooden artifacts.
- Three of them were manufactured as projectile weapons, having the weight
- at the front of the spears and tapered, pointed, ends. The fourth spear
- is shorter with points at both ends and is believed to be a thrusting
- spear or a throwing stick (Bamford & Henderson 2003). They were
- found in combination with the remains of about 20 wild
- horses, whose bones contain numerous butchery marks. This is
- considered proof that early humans were active hunters with specialized tool kits.