Chapter1


1. Review of the evolution of humans: How science and reason need to work together


2. Slide 2

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

The story of human evolution began in an African landscape at least 8 million years ago. At least a dozen (hominids) have evolved and as we discover more fossil sites and explore more deeply new surprises continually occur such as the discovery of Homo floresiensis which is remarkable for its small body, small brain, and survival until relatively recent times and yet hunted large animals and used fire. Several of these hominids leave simultaneously and there is little doubt that they did interact with each other. To our knowledge the last hominid to co-exist with human died out as recently as 12 000 years Debate still reigns as to the existence of ape-like men such as the Yeti of the Himalayas, the Sasquatch of North America and the Yowie of Australia.


3. Slide 3

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Human evolution is the process of change and development, or evolution, by which human beings emerged as a distinct species. It is the subject of a broad scientific inquiry that seeks to understand and describe how this change and development occurred. The study of human evolution encompasses many scientific disciplines, most notably physical anthropology and genetics. The term 'human', in the context of human evolution, refers to the genus Homo, but studies of human evolution usually include other hominids, such as the australopithecines


4. Slide 4

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

The modern field of paleoanthropology began with the discovery of 'Neanderthal man'; and evidence of other 'cave men' in the 19th century. The idea that humans are similar to certain great apes had been obvious to people for some time, but the idea of the biological evolution of species in general was not legitimized until after Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. Though Darwin's first book on evolution did not address the specific question of human evolution- "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history," was all Darwin wrote on the subject- the implications of evolutionary theory were clear to contemporary readers. Debates between Thomas Huxley and Richard Owen focused on the idea of human evolution, and by the time Darwin published his own book on the subject, Descent of Man, it was already a well-known interpretation of his theory- and the interpretation which made the theory highly controversial. Even many of Darwin's original supporters (such as Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Lyell) balked at the idea that human beings could have evolved their apparently boundless mental capacities and moral sensibilities through natural selection.


5. Slide 5

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Ardipithecus is a very early hominin genus (subfamily Homininae). Because it shares several traits with the African great apes (genus Pan and genus Gorilla), it is considered by some to be on the chimpanzee rather than human branch, but most consider it a proto-human because of a likeness in teeth with Australopithecus. A. ramidus lived about 5.4 and 4.2 million years ago during the early Pliocene.

Two species have been described, Ardipithecus ramidus and Ardipithecus kadabba. The latter was initially described as a subspecies of A. ramidus, but on the basis of teeth recently discovered in Ethiopia has been raised to species rank. A. kadabba is dated to have lived between 5.8 million to 5.2 million years ago. The canine teeth show primitive features that distinguish them from those of more recent hominines. A. kadabba is believed to be the earliest organism yet identified that lies in the human line following its split from the lineage that gave rise to the two modern chimpanzee species.

On the basis of bone sizes, Ardipithecus species are believed to have been about the size of a modern chimpanzee. The toe structure of A. ramidus suggests that the creature walked upright, and this poses problems for current theories of the origins of hominid bipedalism: Ardipithecus is believed to have lived in shady forests rather than on the savannah, where the faster running permitted by bipedalism would have been an advantage.

The forest lifestyle poses problems for the current theories regarding the development of bipedalism, most of which focus on the savanna. New thought will be necessary in order to reconcile these savanna theories with the current knowledge of early forest-dwelling hominids.

External links

* BBC News: Amazing hominid haul in Ethiopia - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4187991.stm


6. Slide 6

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

The first discovery of Australopithecus anamensis (a single arm bone) was made by a research team in 1965. Believed to be four million years old, very little was known about the finding until 1987 when Canadian archaeologist, Allan Morton (with Harvard University's Koobi Fora Field School), discovered fragments of the specimen eroding from a hillside east of Allia Bay, near Lake Turkana, Kenya. Six years later British, Kenyan paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey and archaeologist, Alan Walker excavated the Allia Bay site and uncovered a few additional fragments of the hominid in the hot dusty terrain. The complete lower jaw found resembles that of a Common Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), but the teeth are definitely closer to those of Humans. Despite that they had uncovered hips, feet and legs; Meave believes that Australopithecus anamensis often climbed trees. Tree climbing for early hominins remained one ape-like trait that passed on until the first Homo species appeared about 2.5 million years ago. A. anamensis shares many traits similar to Australopithecus afarensis and may as well be its direct predecessor. Australopithecus anamensis is thought to have lived from 4.4 and 3.9 million years ago, coincidently when A. afarensis appears in the fossil record. Its name is derived from anam which means "lake" in the local Turkana language.

The fossils (twenty one in total) include upper and lower jaws, cranial fragments, and the upper and lower parts of a leg bone (tibia). In addition to this, a fragment of humerus that was found thirty years ago at the same site at Kanapoi has now been assigned to this species.

Australopithecus bahrelghazali is a fossil hominin that was first discovered in 1993 by Michel Brunet at Bahr el Ghazal, Chad. The findings were located roughly 2,500 kilometers West from the East African Great Rift Valley and were only a few teeth and a partial jaw found in deposits thought to be 3.0 to 3.5 million years old. The mandible KT-12 discovered in 1995 has similar features to the dentation of Australopithecus afarensis. This species is a mystery to some as it is the only australopithecine fossil found in Central Africa.


7. Slide 7

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Australopithecus afarensis is a hominid which lived between 3.9 to 3 million years ago belonging to the genus Australopithecus, of which the first skeleton was discovered on November 24, 1974 by Donald Johanson, Yves Coppens and Tim White in the Afar Depression of Ethiopia. They named it "Lucy" in reference to the famous Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", which was played as they celebrated the find.

Lucy's discovery

Donald Johanson, an American anthropologist who is now head of the Institute of Human Origins of Arizona State University, and his team, surveyed Hadar, Ethiopia during the late 1970s for evidence in interpreting Human origins. On November 24, 1974 near the River Awash, Don was planning on updating his field notes but instead one of his students Tom Gray accompanied him to find fossil bones. Both of them were on the hot arid plains surveying on the dusty terrain when a fossil caught both their eyes; arm bone fragments on a slope. As they looked further, more and more bones were found, including a jaw, arm bone, a thighbone, ribs, and vertebrae. Both Don and Tom had carefully analyzed the partial skeleton and calculated that an amazing 40% of a hominin skeleton was recovered, which, while sounding generally unimpressive, is astounding in the world of anthropology. When fossils are discovered usually only a few fragments are found; rarely are any skulls or ribs intact. The team proceded to further analysis and Don noticed the feminine stature of the skeleton and argued that it was a female. He then nicknamed it Lucy, after the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Lucy was only 3 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 29 kilograms (65 lbs) and looked somewhat like a Common Chimpanzee, but the observations of her pelvis proved that she had walked upright more like humans do.

Don Johanson claimed that Australopithecus afarensis was the last common ancestor between humans and Chimpanzees living from 3.9 to 3 million years ago, but earlier fossils have been found since the early 1970s; yet Lucy still remains a treasure among anthropologists who study Human origins. The older fossils that have been uncovered include only fragments and make difficult for anthropologist to know for sure if they were neither 100% bipedal nor actually hominines.

Johanson brought the skeleton back to Cleveland, under agreement with the government of the time in Ethiopia, and returned it according to agreement some 9 years later. Lucy was the first fossil hominin to really capture public notice, becoming almost a household name at the time. Current opinion is that the Lucy skeleton should be classified in the species Australopithecus afarensis. Lucy is preserved at the national Museum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A plaster replica is displayed instead of the original skeleton. A diorama of Australopithecus afarensis and other human predecessors showing each species in its habitat and demonstrating the behaviors and capabilities that scientists believe it had is in the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.


8. Slide 8

One of the most striking characteristics possessed by Lucy was that she had a small skull, bipedal knee structure, and molars and front teeth of human (rather than great ape) style and relative size, but a small skull and small body. The image of a bipedal hominid with small skull, but teeth like a human, was somewhat shocking to the paleoanthropological world at the time.

This was because during the period 1950-1970, it was believed that the development of a brain larger than an ape brain was the trigger that caused apes to evolve into humans. Before Lucy, a fossil called '1470' (Homo rudolfensis), with a brain capacity of about 800 cubic centimetres had been discovered, an ape with a bigger brain, and if the 'big brain' theory was correct, then all humans should have evolved from 1470. However, it turned out Lucy was older than 1470, yet Lucy had bipedalism (she walked upright) and had a brain that was only around 375 to 500 cc. This fact contradicts the 'big brain' theory.

Bipedalism

There are differing views on how Lucy or her ancestors first became bipedal full-time.

The so-called 'savanna theory' on how A. afarensis evolved bipedalism hangs on the evidence that around 6 - 8 million years ago there seems to have been a mass extinction of forest dwelling creatures incuding the oldest hominins recognizable: Sahelanthropus tchadensis and Orrorin tugenensis. This triggered a burst of adaptive radiation, an evolutionary characteristic that generates new species quickly. Lucy's genetic forebears were tree dwelling apes, but in Lucy's world the trees would have been much fewer, and Lucy would have been forced to find a living on the flat savanna. Being bipedal would have had evolutionary advantages - for example, with the eyes higher up, she could see further than quadrupeds. The disadvantages of bipedalism were great - Lucy was the slowest moving primate of her time, for example, but according to the hypothesis, the advantages of bipedalism must have outweighed the disadvantages.

There had previously been problems in the past with designating Australopithecus afarensis as a fully bipedal hominine. In fact these hominines may have occasionally walked upright but still walked on all fours like apes; the curved fingers on A. afarensis are similar to those of modern-day apes, which use them for climbing trees. The phalanges (finger bones) aren't just prone to bend at the joints, but rather the bones themselves are curved. Another aspect of the Australopithecus skeleton that differs from human skeleton is the iliac crest of the pelvic bones. The iliac crest, or hip bone, on a Homo sapiens extends front-to-back, allowing an aligned gait. A human walks with one foot in front of the other. However, on Australopithecus and on other ape and ape-like species such as the orangutan, the iliac crest extends laterally (out to the side), causing the legs to stick out to the side, not straight forward. This gives a side-to-side rocking motion as the animal walks, not a forward gait.

The so-called aquatic ape theory compares the typical elements of human locomotion (truncal erectness, aligned body, two-leggedness, striding gait, very long legs, valgus knees, plantigrady etc.) with those of chimpanzees and other animals, and proposes that human ancestors evolved from vertical wader-climbers who operated in coastal or swamp forests to shoreline dwellers who collected coconuts, turtles, bird eggs, shellfish etc. by beach-combing, wading and diving. In this view, the australopithecines largely conserved the ancestral vertical wading-climbing locomotion in swamp forests ("gracile" kind, including Australopithecus afarensis and A. africanus) and later more open wetlands ("robust" kind, including Paranthropus boisei and P. robustus). Meanwhile, Plio-Pleistocene Homo had dispersed along the African Rift valley lakes and African and Indian ocean coasts, from where different Homo populations ventured inland along rivers and lakes.

Social characteristics

These hominines were likely to be somewhat like modern Homo sapiens when it came to the matter of social behaviour, yet like modern day apes they relied on the safety of trees from predators such as lions.

Fossil sites and findings

Australopithecus afarensis fossils have only been discovered within Eastern Africa, which include Ethiopia (Hadar, Aramis), Tanzania (Laetoli) and Kenya (Omo, Turkana, Koobi Fora and Lothagam).

A major discovery made by Don Johnson after Lucy's find he discovered the "First Family" including 200 hominid fragments of A. afarensis, discovered near Lucy on the other side of the hillin the Afar region. The site is known as "site 333", by a count of fossil fragments uncovered, such as teeth and pieces of jaw. 13 individuals were uncovered and all were adults, with no injuries caused by carnivores. All 13 individuals seemed to have died at the same time, thus Don concluded that they might have been killed instantly from a flash flood.

Related work

Further findings at Afar, including the many hominin bones in "site 333", produced more bones of concurrent date, and led to Johanson and White's eventual argument that the Koobi Fora hominins were concurrent with the Afar hominins. In other words, Lucy was not unique in evolving bipedalism and a flat face.

Recently, an entirely new species has been discovered, called Kenyanthropus platyops. This had many of the same characteristics as Lucy, but is possibly an entirely different genus.

Another species, called Ardipithecus ramidus, has been found, which was fully bipedal, yet appears to have been contemporaneous with a woodland environment, and, more importantly, contemporaneous with Australopithecus afarensis. We do not yet have an estimate of the cranial capacity of A. ramidus, however.

References

* BBC - Dawn of Man (2000) by Robin Mckie| ISBN 0-7894-6262-1

* Australopithecus afarensis from The Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian Institution

External links

* Lucy at the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University

* http://www.geocities.com/palaeoanthropology/Aafarensis.html


9. Slide 9

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Australopithecus africanus was an early hominid, an australopithecine, who lived between 3.3 and 2.4 million years ago in the Pliocene. In common with the older Australopithecus afarensis, A. africanus was slenderly built, or gracile, and was thought to have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. However, fossil remains indicate that A. africanus was significantly more like modern humans than A. afarensis, with a more human-like cranium permitting a larger brain and more humanoid facial features.

Taung Child

Raymond Dart was at Taung near Kimberley, South Africa in 1924 when one of his colleagues spotted a few bone fragments and the cranium on the desk of a lime worker. The skull seemed like an odd ape creature sharing human traits such as eye orbits, teeth, and, most importantly, the hole at the base of the skull over the spinal column (the foramen magnum) indicating a human-like posture. Dart assigned the specimen the name Australopithecus africanus ("southern ape of Africa"). This was the first time the word Australopithecus was assigned to any hominid. Dart claimed that the skull must have been an intermediate species between ape and man, but his claim about Taung Child was rejected by the scientific community at the time. Sir Arthur Keith suggested that the skull belonged to a young ape, most likely from an infant gorilla.

Mr. Ples

Dart's theory was supported by Robert Broom. In 1938 Broom classified an adult endocranial cast having a brain capacity of 485cc was found by G. W. Barlow as Plesianthropus transvaalensis. On April 17, 1947, Broom and John T. Robinson discovered a skull belonging to a middle-aged female, Sts 5, while blasting at Sterkfontein. Broom classified it also as Plesianthropus transvaalensis, and it was dubbed Mrs. Ples by the press (though the skull is now thought to have belonged to a young male). The lack of facial projection in comparison to apes was noted by Raymond Dart (including from Taung Child), a trait in common with more advanced hominines. Both fossils were later classified as A. africanus.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/255725.stm


10. Australopithecus africanus

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Morphology and interpretations

Like A. afarensis, A. africanus the South African counterpart was generally similar in many traits, a bipedal hominin with arms slightly larger than the legs (a physical trait also found in chimpanzees). Despite its slightly more human-like post cranial features, seen for example in the craniums Mr. Ples and Sts 71, other more primitive features including ape-like curved fingers for tree climbing are also present.

Due to other more primitive features visible on A. africanus, some researchers believe the hominin, instead of being a direct ancestor of more modern hominins, evolved into Paranthropus. The one particular robust australopithecine seen as a descendent of A. africanus is Paranthropus robustus. Both P. robustus and A. africanus craniums seem very alike despite the more heavily built features of P. robustus that are adaptations for heavy chewing like a gorilla. A. africanus, on the other hand, had a cranium which quite closely resembled that of a chimp, yet both their brains measure about 400 cc to 500 cc and probably had an ape-like intelligence. A. africanus had a pelvis that was built for slightly better bipedalism than that of A. afarensis. No stone tools of any sort have ever been found in association with australopithecines with the exception of 2.6 million year old Australopithecus garhi.

Charles Darwin suggested that humans had originally evolved from Africa, but during the early 20th century most anthropologists and scientists supported the idea that Asia was the best candidate for human origins. However, the famous Leakey family have argued in favor of the African descent since most hominid discoveries such as the Laetoli footprints were uncovered in Eastern Africa. The species A. africanus with it's presumably slightly more Homo-like post cranial features in comparison to A. afarensis is one of several Australopithecine candidates to have evolved into the genus Homo (ie. Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis by 2.4 million years ago).

References

* BBC - Dawn of Man (2000) by Robin Mckie| ISBN 0-7894-6262-1

* (2000-2004). Early human phylogeny. Smithsonian Institution. URL accessed on 2005.

* (1999-2006). Human ancestry. ArchaeologyInfo.com. URL accessed on 2005.

* Hilton-Barber, Brett; Berger, Lee R (2004). Field guide to the cradle of humankind, Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai & environs world heritage site, 2nd revised edition, Struik. ISBN 1-77007-065-6.

External Links

* http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/ha/afri.html

* http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/evol.html


11. Slide 11

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Australopithecus garhi is a gracile australopithecine species whose fossils were discovered in 1996 by a research team led by Ethiopian paleontologist Berhane Asfaw and including Tim White, an American paleontologist researcher. The hominin remains were initially believed to be a human ancestor species and the final missing link between the Australopithecus genus and the human genus, Homo. However it is now believed that A. garhi, although more advanced than any other australopithecine, was only a competitor species to the species ancestral to Homo and therefore not a human ancestor. The remains are from the time when there is very few fossil records, between 2.0 and 3.0 million years ago. Tim White was the scientist to find the first of the key A. garhi fossils in 1996 near the village of Bouri, located in the Afar region of Ethiopia. The species was confirmed and established as A. garhi on November 20, 1997 by Y. Haile-Selassie. The species epithet "garhi" means "surprise" in the local Afar language.

Morphology and interpretations

The traits of Australopithecus garhi fossils such as BOU-VP-12/130 are somewhat distinctive from traits typically seen in Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus africanus. An example of the distinction can be seen when comparing the Hadar maxilla (A. afarensis) to the Bouri specimen of A. gahri. The cranial capacity of A. garhi measures 450cc, the same size as other australopithecines. The manible classified as Asfaw et al. has a morphology generally believed to be compatible with the same species, yet it is possible that another hominin species may have been found within the same deposits. Studies made on the premolars and molar teeth have a few similarities with those of Paranthropus boisei since they are larger than any other gracile form of australopithecine. It has been suggested that if A. garhi is ancestral to Homo (ie. Homo habilis) the maxillary morphology would have undergone a rapid evolutionary change in roughly 200,000 and 300,000 years.

Earliest stone tools

Few primitive shaped stone tool artifacts closely resembling Olduwan technology were discovered with the A. garhi fossils, dating back roughly 2.5 and 2.6 million years old. The 23 April 1999 issue of Science mentions that the tools are older than those acquired by Homo habilis, which is thought to be a possible direct descendent of more modern hominins. For a long time anthropologists assumed that only members of early genus Homo had the ability to produce sophisticated tools. However the crude ancient tools lack several techniques that are generally seen in later forms Olduwan and Acheulean such as strong rock-outcroppings. In another site in Bouri, Ethiopia, roughly 3,000 stone artifacts had been found to be an estimated 2.5 million years old in age.


12. Slide 12

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Paranthropus aethiopicus is an extinct species of Paranthropus. The finding discovered in 1985 in West Turkana, Kenya, KNM-WT 17000 (known as the "Black Skull" due to the skull having fossilized by a dark mineral), is one of the earliest examples of robust australopithecines. The skull is dated to 2.5 million years old, older than the later forms of robust australopithecines. Anthropologists suggest that P. aethiopicus lived from 2.7 and 2.5 million years ago. The features are quit primitive and share many traits with Australopithecus afarensis, thus P. aethiopicus is likely to be a direct descendent. With its face being as projecting as A. afarensis, its brain size was also quite small at 410 cc.

Paranthropus aethiopicus was first found in Ethiopia in 1968 as the first assigned specimen. Lower jaw and teeth fragments have been uncovered. P. aethiopicus had a large bony ridge at the top of its skull acting as an anchor for the powerful jaw muscles built for heavy chewing on vegetarian such as nuts and tubers (as in gorilla skulls). It also had large zygomatic arches. Not much is known about this species since the best evidence comes from the black skull and the jaw. There is not enough material to make an assessment to how tall they were, but they may have been as tall as Australopithecus afarensis.

Not all anthropologists agree that P. aethiopicus gave rise to both Paranthropus boisei and P. robustus, since the skull more closely resembles that of A. afarensis. The one clue that makes P. aethiopicus a possible descendent to both P. boisei and P. robustus is the similarity in jaw size. P. athiopicus is known to have lived in mixed savanna and woodland. More evidence must be gathered about P. aethiopicus in order to accurately describe its physiology. The "Black Skull"'s bizarre primitive shape gives evidence that P. aethiopicus and the other autralopithecines are on an evolutionary branch of the hominid tree, distinctly diverging from the Homo (human) lineage.


13. Slide 13

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Paranthropus robustus was originally discovered in Southern Africa in 1938. The development of P. robustus, namely in cranial features, seemed to be aimed in the direction of a "heavy-chewing complex". Because of the definitive traits that are associated with this robust line of australopithecine, anthropologist Robert Broom erected the genus Paranthropus and placed this species into it.

Paranthropus robustus is generally dated to have lived between 2.0 and 1.2 million years ago. P. robustus had large dorsal crests, jaws, and jaw muscles that were adapted to serve in the dry environment that they lived in. After Raymond Dart's discovery of Australopithecus africanus, Broom had been in favour of Dart's claims about Australopithecus africanus being an ancestor of Homo sapiens. Broom was a Scottish doctor then working in South Africa who began making his own excavation in Southern Africa to find more specimens, which Dart had found earlier. In 1938 at 70 years old, Broom excavating at Swartkrans, South Africa discovered pieces of a skull and teeth which resembled a lot like Dart's Australopithecus africanus find, but the skull had some "robust" characteristics. The fossils included parts of a skull and teeth; all dated to 2 million years old. Fossil sites found on Paranthropus robustus are found only in South Africa in Kromdraai and Swartkrans. In the caves near Swartkrans, the remains of 130 individuals were discovered. The study made on the dentation of the hominins revealed that the average P. robustus rarely lived past 17 years of age.

Paranthropus robustus became the first "robust" species of hominid ever uncovered well before P. boisei and P. aethiopicus. Broom's first discovery of P. robustus had been the first discovery of a robust australopithecine and the second australopithecine after Australopithecus africanus, which Dart discovered. Broom's work on the australopithecines showed that the evolution trail leading to Homo sapiens was not just a straight line, but was one of rich diversity.

Morphology

Typical of robust australopithecines, P. robustus had a head shaped a bit like a gorilla's with a more massive built jaw and teeth in comparison to hominins within the Homo lineage. Broom also noted the sagital crest that runs from the top of the skull acts as an anchor for large chewing muscles. The DNH 7 skull of Paranthropus robustus, "Eurydice", was discovered in 1994 at the Drimolen Cave in Southern Africa by Andre Keyser, and is dated to 2.3 million years old, possibly belonging to a female.

The teeth of these primates were larger and thicker than any gracile australopithecine found, due to the morphology differences Broom originally designated his find as Australopithecus robustus. On the skull, a bony ridge is located above from the front to back indicating where the jaw muscles joined. P. robustus males may have stood only 4 feet tall and weighed 54 kg (120lbs) while females stood about 3 feet 2 inches tall and weighed only 40 kg (90 lbs). Clearly there was a large sexual dimorphism between males and females. The teeth found on P. robustus are almost as large as those of P. boisei.

Broom analyzed his findings carefully and noted the differences in the molar teeth size which resembled a bit closer to a gorilla's than to Human's. Other P. robustus remains have been found in Southern Africa. The average brain size of P. robustus measured to only 410 and 530 cc, about as large as a chimpanzee. P robustus had a diet of hard gritty foods such as nuts and tubers since they lived in open woodland and savanna.


14. Slide 14

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Paranthropus boisei (originally called Zinjanthropus boisei and then Australopithecus boisei until recently) was an early hominin and described as the largest of the Paranthropus species. It lived from about 2.6 until about 1.4 million years ago during the Pliocene and Pleistocene eras in Eastern Africa.

Discovery

First discovered by anthropologist Mary Leakey on July 1959 at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, the well-preserved cranium OH 5 nicknamed "Nutcracker Man" dates to 1.75 million years old and has distinctive traits from the gracile australopithecines. Both Mary and her husband Louis Leakey classified the specimen as Zinjanthropus boisei; "boisei" for Charles Boise, the anthropologists team's funder at the time, "zinj" was an ancient word for East Africa, and "anthropus" meaning ape or ape-man. P. boisei proved to be a treasure especially when the anthropologists son Richard Leakey considered it to be the first hominin species to use stone tools. Another skull was unearthed in 1969 by Richard at Koobi Fora near the Lake Turkana region.

Morphology and interpretations

The brain volume is quite small, about 500 and 550 cm³, not much larger in comparison to Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus africanus. It had a skull highly specialized for heavy chewing and several traits seen in modern day gorillas. P. boisei inhabited the dry savannah grasslands and woodland territories. Males weighed 68 kg (150 lb) and stood 4 feet 3 inches (1.3 m) tall, while females weighed 45 kg (100 lb) and stood 3 feet 5 inches (1.05 m) tall. The average adult males were almost twice the weight and height as the females being the largest sexual dimorphism recorded out of any hominine. The back molar teeth reached about 4 times larger than in modern humans.

No stone tool implements have been found in direct association with P. boisei; when first discovered Richard Leakey believed they had mastered tools. However, the first fossil of Homo habilis proved to be one of the first to acquire tool technology. Previously Richard Leakey believed the species was a direct ancestor of Homo sapiens but more modern analysis have changed the theory and place it on a separate evolutionary route unrelated to the genus Homo. Presently it is assumed that this species was not remarkable as to acquiring unique intelligence compared with more modern hominins. Instead the dentation (especially observed in the back molars and pre-molars) was built for tough chewing materials such as ground tubers, nuts and likely leaves in the grasslands.

Fossils

In 1993, A. Amzaye found fossils of P. boisei at Kronso, Ethiopia. The partial skull's designation is KGA10-525 and is dated to 1.4 million years ago. It is the biggest skull specimen ever found of P. boisei. It has been claimed as the only remains of the species found in Ethiopia; all others have been in other parts of Eastern Africa. The oldest specimen of P. boisei was found in Omo, Ethiopia and dates to 2.3 million years old classified as (L. 74a-21) while the youngest speciemen from Olduvai Gorge dates 1.2 million years old classified as OH 3 and OH 38.

Other well preserved specimens

OH 5 "Nutcrackerman" is the first P. boisei found by Mary Leakey at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania belonging to an adult male (circa. 1.75 mya).

KNM ER 406 is a small partial cranium discovered by H. Mutua and Richard Leakey in 1969 found at Koobi Fora, Kenya displays large zygomatic arches, a cranial capacity of 510cc (circa. 1.7 mya).

KNM WT 17400 a partial cranium with similar characteristics as KNM WT 17000 "Black skull" belonging to Paranthropus aethiopicus. The skull was found at West Turkana, Kenya (circa. 1.7 mya).

ER 406 was found by Richard Leakey and H. Mutua in 1970 at Koobi Fora, Kenya is a partial cranium most likely identified as belonging to a female (circa. 1.7 mya).


15. Slide 15

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Kenyanthropus platyops is a 3.5 to 3.2 million year old (Pliocene) extinct hominin species that was discovered in Lake Turkana, Kenya in 1999 by Meave Leakey. The fossil found features a broad flat face with a toe bone that suggests it probably walked upright. Teeth are intermediate between typical human and typical ape forms. Kenyanthropus platyops, which means "Flat faced man of Kenya", is the only described species in the genus. However, if some paleoanthropologists are correct (Tim White, 2003), Kenyanthropus may not even represent a valid taxon, as the specimen (KNM-WT 40000) is so horribly distorted by matrix-filled cracks that meaningful morphologic characters are next to impossible to robustly assess. It may simply be a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis, which is known from the same time period and geographic area. Other researches speculate that the flatter face position of the rough cranium is similar to KNM ER 1470 "Homo rudolfensis" and suspect it to be closer to the genus Homo, perhaps being a direct ancestor. However the debate has not been concluded and the species remains an enigma.

References

Meave G. Leakey, Fred Spoor, Frank H. Brown, Patrick N. Gathogo, Christopher Kiarie, Louise N. Leakey and Ian McDougall (2001). New hominin genus from eastern Africa shows diverse middle Pliocene lineages. Nature, 410:433-40.

http://www.archaeologyinfo.com/kenyanthropus.htm


16. Slide 16

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Homo habilis «HOH moh HAB uh luhs» ("handy man", "skillful person") is a species of the genus Homo, which lived from approximately 2.5 million to 1.8 million years ago at the beginning of the Pleistocene. The definition of this species is credited to both Mary and Louis Leakey, who found fossils in Tanzania, East Africa, between 1962 and 1964. Homo habilis is arguably the first species of the Homo genus to appear. In its appearance and morphology, H. habilis was the least similar to modern humans of all species to be placed in the genus Homo (except possibly Homo rudolfensis). Homo habilis was very short and had disproportionately long arms compared to modern man. It is thought to have probably descended from a species of australopithecine hominid. It may have had a more immediate ancestor in the form of the somewhat more massive and ape-like, Homo rudolfensis. Homo habilis had a brain slightly less than half of the size of modern man. Despite the mophology of the species, H. habilis remains are usually found alongside primitive stone tools (ie. Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania and Lake Turkana, Kenya).

Findings

Anthropologist Richard Leakey's son Jonathon Leakey, unearthed an ape-like skull that shared human-like traits in 1964. The name itself, Homo habilis, was originally given by Raymond Dart. One set of fossil remains (OH 62) discovered by Donald Johanson and Tim White from Olduvai Gorge in 1986, included important features including the upper and lower limbs of an individual. An older (1963) finding from the Olduvai site found by N. Mbuika had included a lower jaw fragment, teeth and upper mandible possibly from a female dating 1.7 million years old. The remains from 3 skeletons[1] demonstrated an australopithecine-like body yet the face was more human-like and with smaller teeth and had a larger brain size. Compared to australopithecines, H. habilis had a 50% larger brain capacity of 590 and 650cc (considerably smaller than the 1350 to 1450cc range of modern Homo sapiens ). These hominins were small, on average standing no more than 1.3 m (4'3") tall. Due to the small size and rather primitive attributes, Richard Leakey himself previously doubted H. habilis as being a member of the genus Homo. The contraversial aspect of H. habilis was by some researchers reduced to "Australopithecus habilis" instead.

Interpretations

Homo habilis is thought to have mastered the Olduwan era (Early Paleolithic) tool case which utilized stone flakes. Though these stone flakes were primitive by modern standards, they were more advanced than any tools that had ever previously existed, and they gave H. habilis the edge it needed to prosper in hostile environments previously too formidable for primates. It remains quite controversial whether H. habilis was the first hominin to master stone tool technology, the discovery of Australopithecus garhi dating 2.6 million years old has been found along with stone tool implements over 100,000 - 200,000 years older than H. habilis.

In terms of social status most experts agree that the intelligence of H. habilis was more sophisticated than typical australopithecines or chimpanzees. Yet despite its tool usage, H. habilis was not the master hunter that its descendants proved to be, as there is ample fossil evidence that H. habilis was a major staple in the diet of large predatory animals such as Dinofelis, a large predatory cat similar to a leopard. H. habilis used tools primarily for scavenging, such as cleaving meat off of carrion, rather than defence or hunting. Homo habilis is thought to be the ancestor of the lankier and more sophisticated, Homo ergaster, which in turn gave rise to the more human-appearing species, Homo erectus. There is some debate over whether H. habilis is a direct human ancestor, and over how many known fossils are properly attributed to the species.

Homo habilis co-existed with many other Homo-like bipedal primates, such as Paranthropus boisei, which were also highly successful, some prospering for many millennia. However, H. habilis, possibly because of its early tool innovation and a less specialized diet, became the precursor of an entire line of new species, whereas Paranthropus boisei and its robust relatives disappeared from the later fossil record.


17. Slide 17

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Homo rudolfensis is a fossil hominin species originally proposed in 1986 by V. P. Alexeev for the specimen Skull 1470 (KNM ER 1470). Originally thought to be a member of the species Homo habilis, much debate surrounded the fossil and its species assignment. Skull 1470 is an estimated age of 1.9 million years. It was found by Bernard Ngeneo, a member of a team led by anthropoligist Richard Leakey, in 1972 at Koobi Fora on the east side of Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana). Assigned initially to Homo habilis, it was originally dated at nearly 3 million years old. However, this figure caused much confusion as at the time it was older than any known australopithecine, from whom Homo habilis had supposedly descended. It was thought that 2 million years ago there existed a single species in the genus Homo, and this species evolved in a linear fashion into modern humans. The differences in this skull, when compared to other habilines, are too pronounced, leading to the formulation of the species Homo rudolfensis, contemporary with Homo habilis. It is not yet certain if H. rudolfensis was ancestral to the later species in Homo, or if H. habilis was, or if some third species yet to be discovered was. Like H. habilis, there is large amount of controversy about the classification of H. rudolfensis into the Homo genus. Although no reliably associated postcranial remains have been discovered for H. rudolfensis, it is thought that like H. habilis, H. rudolfensis lacked many of the things that were unique only to later hominins such as slim hips for walking long distances, a sophisticated sweating system, narrow birth canal, legs longer than arms, noticeable whites in the eyes, smaller hairs resulting in naked appearance and exposed skins, etc. Many scientists think H. rudolfensis to be more ape-like despite their large brains and bipedal locomotion.


18. Slide 18

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

There is large amount of controversy about the classification of H. habilis into the Homo genus. Like Homo rudolfensis, H. habilis lacked many of the things that were unique only to later hominins such as slim hips for walking long distances, a sophisticated sweating system, narrow birth canal and legs longer than arms; other traits such as noticeable whites in the eyes, smaller hairs resulting in exposed skin and a naked appearance remain theoretical. Many scientists think H. habilis and its close relative H. rudolfensis to be more ape like despite their larger brains and bipedal locomotion than that of earlier species and is being re-thought on their classification into the Homo genus.

Homo georgicus is a species of hominin that was suggested in 2002 to describe fossil skulls and jaws found in Dmanisi, Georgia in 1999 and 2001, which seem intermediate between Homo habilis and H. erectus. A partial skeleton was discovered in 2001. The fossils are about 1.8 million years old. The remains were first discovered in 1991 by Georgian scientist, David Lordkipanidzeis accompanied by an international team which unearthed the hominin remains. Implements and animal bones were found alongside the ancient hominin remains.

At first, scientists thought they had found thirty or so skulls belonging to Homo ergaster, but size differences led them to consider erecting a new species, Homo georgicus, which would be the descendant of Homo habilis and ancestor of Asian Homo erectus.

At around 600cc brain volume, the skull D2700 was the smallest and most primitive hominin skull ever discovered outside of Africa. With a brain half the size compared to modern Homo sapiens, the fossils were considered the smallest until the discovery of Homo floresiensis from the island of Flores. There is a strong sexual dimorphism, with males being significantly larger than females. Due to the dwarf morphology of this hominin, no subsequent role of H. georgicus can be so far determinded. H. georgicus may be the first hominin species to settle in Europe, some 800,000 years before H. erectus.


19. Slide 19

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Homo ergaster ("working man") is an extinct hominid species (or subspecies, according to some authorities) which lived throughout eastern and southern Africa between 1.9 to 1.4 million years ago with the advent of the lower Pleistocene and the cooling of the global climate. Homo ergaster is sometimes categorized as a subspecies of Homo erectus. It is currently in contention whether H. ergaster or the later, Asian H. erectus was the direct ancestor of modern humans. H. ergaster may be distinguished from H. erectus by its thinner skull bones and lack of an obvious sulcus. Derived features include reduced sexual dimorphism, a smaller more orthognathic face, a smaller dental arcade, and a larger (700 and 850cc) brain. It is estimated that H. ergaster stood at 1.9m (6ft) tall with relatively less sexual dimorphism in comparison to earlier hominins. Remains have been found in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa. The most complete Homo ergaster skeleton ever discovered was made at Lake Turkana, Kenya in 1984. Paleanthropologists' Richard Leakey, Kimoya Kimeu and Tim White dubbed the 1.6 million year old specimen as KNM-WT 15000 (nicknamed "Turkana Boy").

The type specimen of H. ergaster is KNM-ER 992; the species was named by Groves and Mazak in 1975. The species name originates from the Greek ergaster meaning "Workman". This name was chosen due to the discovery of various tools such as hand-axes and cleavers near the skeletal remains of H. ergaster. This is one of the reasons that it is sometimes set apart distinctly from other human ancestors. Its use of advanced (rather than simple) tools was unique to this species; H. ergaster tool use belongs to the Acheulean industry. H. ergaster first began using these tools 1.6 million years ago. Charred animal bones in fossil deposits and traces of camps suggest that the species made creative use of fire.


20. Slide 20

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Homo erectus ("upright man") is a hominin species that is believed to be an ancestor of modern humans (with Homo heidelbergensis usually treated as an intermediary step). The species is found from the middle Pleistocene onwards.

Eugène Dubois discovered Java Man in Indonesia in 1891, naming it Pithecanthropus erectus. The modern species name was initially proposed by Ernst Mayr in order to unify the classification of Asian fossils. Anthropologists and geneticists throughout much of the last century have debated H. erectus' role in human evolution. Early in the century, it was believed the Asian continent was the evolutionary home of humans in contrast to naturalist Charles Darwin's prediction of humanity's African origins. However, during the 1950's and 1970's, numerous fossil finds in Africa yielded evidence of hominins far older. It is now believed that H. erectus is a descendent of more primitive ape-men such as australopithecines and early Homo species. Before their settlement of South Eastern Asia, dating fewer than 500,000 and 300,000 years ago, H. erectus originally migrated during the Pleistocene glacial period in Africa roughly 2.0 million years ago and so dispersed throughout various areas of the Old World. Fossilized remains dating 1.8 and 1 million year old fossils have been found in India, China and Indonesia. H. erectus remains an important hominine since it is believed to be the oldest representation of early human migration. However, recent discoveries and analysis indicate that H. erectus may be the Asian H. neanderthalensis, in that its lineage did not give rise to later variants of H. sapiens.

Description

The findings had fairly modern human features, with a larger cranial capacity than that of Homo habilis. The forehead is less sloping and the teeth are smaller (quantification of these differences is difficult however, see below). Homo erectus would bear a striking resemblance to modern humans, but had a brain about 75 percent () of the size of modern human. These early hominins were tall, on average standing about 1.79 m (5 feet, 10 inches) tall. The sexual dimorphism between males and females was almost the same as seen in modern Homo sapiens with males being slightly larger than females. The discovery of the skeleton KNM-WT 15000 (Turkana boy) made in near Lake Turkana, Kenya by Richard Leakey and Kamoya Kimeu in 1984 was a breakthrough in interpreting the physiological status of H. erectus.

Tool use and general abilities

Homo erectus used more diverse and sophisticated tools than its predecessors (ie. Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis). One theory is that H. erectus first used tools of the Oldowan style and then later used tools of the Acheulean style. The surviving tools from both periods are all made of stone. Oldowan tools are the oldest known formed tools and date as far back as about 2.4 million years ago. The Acheulean era began about 1.2 million years ago and ended about 500,000 years ago. The primary innovation associated with Acheulean handaxes is that the stone was chipped on both sides to form two cutting edges.

Social aspects

Homo erectus (along with Homo ergaster) was probably the first early human to fit squarely into the category of a hunter gatherer society and not as prey for larger animals. Modern day anthropologists since the beginning of the 19th century have studied various aspects of modern day hunter group societies. Among the most studied have been the desert bushmen (Kun San) peoples of the Kalahari desert in Botswana, Angola and South Africa; these peoples have barely changed their hunter lifestyles for over 22,000 years. Anthropologists such as Richard Leakey believe that H. erectus was socially closer to modern humans than the more primitive species before it. The increased larger cranial capacity generally coincides with the more sophisticated tool technology occasionally found with the species remains. The discovery of Turkana boy in 1984 has so far proven that despite H. erectus's more human like physiology, the hominins were not capable of producing highly complex sound systems that would have been on a level comparable to modern speech.

They migrated all throughout the Great Rift Valley, even up to the Red Sea. Early man, in the person of Homo erectus, was learning to master his environment for the first time. Bruce Bower suggested that H. erectus may have built rafts and travelled over oceans, although this possibility is considered controversial. Some dispute that H. erectus was able to control fire. However, the earliest (least disputed) evidence of controlled fire is around 300,000 years old and comes from a site called Terra Amata, which lies on an ancient beach location on the French Riviera. This site seems to have been occupied by Homo erectus. There are older Homo erectus sites that seem to indicate controlled use of fire, some dating back 500,000 to 1.5 million years ago, in France, China, and other areas. A discovery brought forth at the Paleoanthropology Society Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada in March of 2004 stated that controlled fires have been evidenced in excavations in Northern Israel from about 690,000 to 790,000 years ago. Regardless, it can at least be surmised that the controlled use of fire was atypical of Homo erectus until its decline and the rise of more advanced species of the Homo genus came to the forefront (such as Homo antecessor, H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis).

Classification

There is currently a great deal of discussion as to whether H. erectus and H. ergaster were separate species at all. This debate revolves around the interpretation of morphological differences between early African fossils (the classic H. ergaster) and those found in Asia (H. erectus; and late African sites). Since Erst Mayr's biological species definition cannot be tested, this issue may never be fully resolved.


21. Slide 21

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Homo antecessor is an extinct hominin species that was discovered by E. Carbonell, J.L. Arsuaga and J.M. Bermudez de Castro. They are one of the earliest known hominins in Europe, with those from the site of Dmanisi being older. The best preserved fossil is a maxillar which belong to a 10 year old individual found in Spain dated to 780,000 years ago. The average brain was 1000cc in volume. In 1994 and 1995, 80 fossils of six individuals that may have belonged to the species were found in Atapuerca, Spain. At the site were numerous examples of cuts on the bones, which indicates H. antecessor may have practiced cannibalism. Many anthropologists believe that Homo antecessor is either the same species or direct descendent to Homo heidelbergensis, who inhabited Europe from 600,000 to 250,000 years ago in the Pleistocene. It is suggested that this is the last common ancestor of Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens.

Findings

Gran Dolina

Archaeologist Eudald Carbonell of the Universidad Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain and paleanthropologist Juan Luis Arsuaga of the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain discovered Homo anteccesor remains at a site in Northern Spain known as Gran Dolina in the Atapuerca Hills (near Burgos). Over 80 bone fragments from six individuals were uncovered in 1994 and 1995. The site had also included roughly 200 stone tools and about 300 animal bones. Stone tools including a stone carved knife were found along with the ancient hominin remains. All these remains date to be at least 780,000 years old. The best preserved remains are a maxilla and a frontal bone of an individual who died at 10-11 years old.

Atapuerca

The Sierra de Atapuerca is located to the east of the city of Burgos. In this small hill the evidence for the presence of early humans and their past life ways is preserved over the course of the last one million years. Several archaeological and palaeontological sites have been found in the Atapuerca hills, some of them appeared during the construction of a railway trench (Gran Dolina, Galería, Elefante) and another one is located deep in the cave, "Sima de los Huesos" (Pit of the Bones). The Homo antecessor remains have been found in the level 6 of the Gran Dolina site (also called level TD6).

In the "Sima de los Huesos" the same team located more than 4,000 human bones with an age of 350,000 years old. Homo anteccesor is considered as one of the earliest hominids in Europe; the oldest discovery is Homo georgicus from the Republic of Georgia at 1.8 and 1.6 million years old. The fossil pit bones include a complete cranium and fragments of other craniums, mandibles, teeth, a lot of postcranial bones (femurs, hand and foot bones, spine bones, ribs, etc.) and a complete pelvis. The pit contains fossils of around 28 individuals together with remains of bears and other carnivores. Some scientists include this species as a portion of Homo heidelbergensis, a direct ancestor of Homo neanderthalensis in Europe.

Boxgrove

In 1994 British scientists had unearthed a lower hominin tibia bone just a few kilometres away from the English Channel including hundreds of ancient hand axes at the Boxgrove site. A partial leg bone is dated to 478,000 and 524,000 years old. Homo heidelbergensis was the early proto-human species that occupied both France and Briton at that time; both locales were connected by a landmass during that epoch. Prior to Gran Dolina, Boxgrove offered the earliest hominid occupants in Europe. Investigators found another particular scratched tibia indicating cannibalism had taken place.

Physiology

Homo antecessor was about 5 and a half to 6 feet tall, and males weighed roughly 200 pounds (91 kilograms). Their brain sizes were roughly 1000 to 1150 cc, smaller than Homo sapiens' 1450 to 1500 cc. Due to its scarcity, very little more is known about the physiology of Homo antecessor, yet it was likely more robust like H. heidelbergensis. Basing on teeth eruption pattern, the researchers think that Homo antecessor had the same development stages as Homo sapiens. Other features acquired by the species are a protruding post-cranium, absence of forehead and lack of chin. Some of the remains are almost indistinguishable from the fossil attributable to KNM-WT 15000 (Turkana Boy) belonging to Homo ergaster.


22. Slide 22

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Homo heidelbergensis (nicknamed "Goliath") is an extinct species of the genus Homo and the direct ancestor of Homo neanderthalensis in Europe. Similar "Archaic Homo sapiens" found in Africa (ie. Homo rhodesiensis and Homo sapiens idaltu) are thought to be direct ancestors of modern Homo sapiens. Homo antecessor is likely a direct ancestor living 750,000 years ago evolving into Homo heidelbergensis appearing in the fossil record living roughly 600,000 to 250,000 years ago through various areas of Europe.

Homo heidelbergensis remains were found in Mauer near Heidelberg, Germany and then later in Arago, France and Petralona, Greece. The best evidence found for these hominins date between 400,000 and 500,000 years ago. Homo heidelbergensis stone tool technology was considerably close to that of the Acheulean tools used by Homo erectus. The first fossil discovery of this species was made on October 21, 1907 and came from Mauer where the workman Daniel Hartmann spotted a jaw in a sandpit. The jaw was in good condition except for the missing premolar teeth, which were eventually found near the jaw. The workman gave it to professor Otto Schoetensack from the University of Heidelberg, who identified and named the fossil.

Interpretations

Both H. antecessor and H. heidelbergensis are likely descended from the morphologically very similar Homo ergaster from Africa but because H. heidelbergensis had a larger brain-case, about 93% size of the average Homo sapiens brain-case, and more advanced tools and behavior, it has been given a separate species classification. The species was tall, 1.8 m (6 ft.) on average, and more muscular than modern humans. The average cranial volume was typically between 1100 and 1400cc, 93% of the cranial capacity of modern H. sapiens.

Evidence of hunting

Cut marks found on wild deer, elephants, rhinos and horses demonstrate that they were butchered, some of the animals weighed as much as 1,500 lbs or possibly larger. During this era, now-extinct wild animals such as mammoths, European lions and Irish elk roamed the European continent.

Social behavior

In theory recent findings in Europe also suggest that H. heidelbergensis may have been the first species of the Homo genus to bury their dead, but that is contested at this time. Some experts believe that H. heidelbergensis, like its descendant H. neanderthalensis acquired a primitive form of language. No forms of art or sophisticated artifacts other than stone tools have been uncovered.

Homo cepranensis is a proposed name for a hominin species discovered in 1994 known from only one skull cap. The fossil was discovered by archeologist Italo Biddittu and was nick-named "Ceprano Man" after a nearby town 89 kilometers Southeast of Rome, Italy. The age of the fossil is older than fossils attributable to Homo antecessor from Spain and is estimated to be between 800,000 and 900,000 years old. The cranial features on the bone seem to be a cross between those found on Homo erectus and those of later species such as Homo heidelbergensis which dominated Europe long before Homo neanderthalensis. There is yet not enough material to make a complete analysis of the individual.

Rhodesian Man (Homo rhodesiensis) is a hominin fossil that was described from a cranium found in an iron and zinc mine in Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe, Zambia) in 1921 by Tom Zwiglaar, a Swiss miner. In addition to the cranium, an upper jaw from another individual, a sacrum, a tibia, and two femur fragments were also found. The skull was dubbed Rhodesian Man at the time of the find, but is now commonly referred to as the Broken Hill Skull or the Kabwe Cranium.

The association between the bones is unclear, but the tibia and femur fossils are usually associated with the skull. Rhodesian Man is dated to be between 125,000 and 300,000 years old. Previously, some reports have given erroneous dates of up to 1.75 and 2.5 million years age for the skull. Cranial capacity of the Broken Hill skull has been measured at 1,300 cm³, which, when coupled with the more recent dating, makes any direct link to older skulls unlikely and negates the 1.75 to 2.5 million year earlier dating.

The skull is described as having a broad face similar to Homo neanderthalensis (ie. large nose and thick protruding brow ridges), but with a cranium intermediate between advances Homo sapiens and Neanderthal. Most current experts believe Rhodesian Man to be within the group of Homo heidelbergensis though other designations such as Archaic Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens rhodesiensis have also been proposed. No direct linkage of the species can so far be determined.


23. Slide 23

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

The Neanderthal or Neandertal was a species of Homo (Homo neanderthalensis) that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia from about 230,000 to 29,000 years ago, during the Middle Paleolithic period. Neanderthals were adapted to the cold, as shown by their large braincases, short but robust builds, and large noses - traits selected by nature in cold climates, as observed in modern sub-arctic populations. Their brain sizes have been estimated as larger than "modern" humans, but their brains may in fact have been approximately the same as those of modern humans. On average, Neanderthal males stood about 1.65m tall (just under 5' 6") and were heavily built, and muscular due to their physical activity. Females were about 1.53 to 1.57m tall (about 5'-5'2").

The characteristic style of stone tools in the Middle Paleolithic is called the Mousterian Culture, after a prominent archaeological site where the tools were first found. The Mousterian culture is typified by the wide use of the Levallois technique. Mousterian tools were often produced using soft hammer percussion, such as bones, antlers, and wood, rather than hard hammer percussion, using stone. Near the end of the time of the Neanderthals, they created the Chatelperronian tool style, considered more "advanced" than that of the Mousterian. They either invented the Chatelperronian themselves or "borrowed" elements from the incoming modern humans who are thought to have created the Aurignacian.

Etymology and classification

The term "Neanderthal Man" was coined in 1863 by Irish anatomist William King. Neanderthal is now spelled two ways: The spelling of the German word Thal, meaning "valley or dale", was changed to Tal in the early 20th century, but the former spelling is often retained in English and always in scientific names, while the modern spelling is used in German.

The Neanderthal or "Neander valley" was named after theologian Joachim Neander, who lived there in the late seventeenth century. For many years, professionals vigorously debated about whether Neanderthals should be classified as Homo neanderthalensis or as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, the latter placing Neanderthals as a subspecies of Homo sapiens. However, recent evidence from mitochondrial DNA studies have been interpreted as evidence that Neanderthals were not a subspecies of H. sapiens. Still, some scientists argue that fossil evidence suggests that the two species interbred, and hence were the same biological species.

Discovery

A Neanderthal skull was first discovered in Forbes' Quarry, Gibraltar in 1848, eight years prior to the "original" discovery in a limestone quarry of the Neander Valley (near Düsseldorf) in August, 1856, three years before Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published. The type specimen, dubbed Neanderthal 1, consisted of a skull cap, two femora, three bones from the right arm, two from the left arm, part of the left ilium, fragments of a scapula, and ribs. The workers who recovered this material originally thought it to be the remains of a bear. They gave the material to amateur naturalist Johann Karl Fuhlrott, who turned the fossils over to anatomist Hermann Schaafhausen. The discovery was jointly announced in 1857. That discovery is now considered the beginning of paleoanthropology. These and other discoveries led to the idea that these remains were from ancient Europeans who had played an important role in modern human origins. The remains of over 400 Neanderthals have been found since.

Physical traits

The following is a list of physical traits that distinguish Neanderthals from modern humans; however, not all of them can be used to distinguish specific Neanderthal populations, from various geographic areas or periods of evolution, from other extinct humans. Also, many of these traits occasionally manifest in modern humans, particularly among certain ethnic groups. Nothing is known about the skin color, the hair, or the shape of soft parts such as eyes, ears, and lips of Neanderthals. Compared to modern humans, Neanderthals were larger in size and had distinct morphological features, especially of the cranium, which gradually accumulated more derived aspects, particularly in certain relatively isolated geographic regions. Their relatively robust stature is thought to be an adaptation to the cold climate of Europe during the Pleistocene epoch.

Cranial

Suprainiac fossa, a groove above the inion

Occipital bun, a protuberance of the occipital bone that looks like a hair knot

Projecting mid-face

Globe-shaped skull (from rear)

Low, flat, elongated skull

Supraorbital torus, a prominent browridge

1200-1700 cm³ skull capacity (10% greater than modern human average)

Receding chin

Crest on the mastoid process behind the ear opening

No groove on canine teeth

A space behind the last molars

A broad, projecting nose

Bony projections on the sides of the nasal opening

Distinctive shape of the bony labyrinth in the ear

Larger foram in skull for facial blood supply.

Post-Cranial

Considerably more muscular

Large round finger tips

Barrel-shaped rib cage

Long, gracile pelvic pubis (superior pubic ramus);

Large kneecaps

Long collar bones

Short, bowed shoulder blades

Thick, bowed shaft of the thigh bones

Short shinbones and calf bones

Based on a 2001 study, some commentators speculated that Neanderthals exhibited rufosity, and that some red-headed and freckled humans today share some heritage with Neanderthals. [1] However, more recent research indicates that this is not likely. [2]

[edit]

Language

The theory that Neanderthals lacked complex language was widespread until 1983, when a Neanderthal hyoid bone was found at the Kebara Cave in Israel. The hyoid is a small bone that holds the root of the tongue in place, a requirement to human speech and, therefore, its presence seems to imply some ability to speak. The bone that was found is virtually identical to that of modern humans.

Many people believe that even without the hyoid bone evidence, it is obvious that tools as advanced as those of the Mousterian Era, attributed to Neanderthals, could not have been developed without cognitive skills encompassing some form of spoken language.

A recent study conducted on the Neanderthal hyoid found that due to the physical characteristics of Neanderthals and the fact that their larynx would have been stouter than that of modern man, the average note emitted by Neanderthals would have been high pitched and sharper than that of modern man, contrary to the media stereotype of Neanderthals having ape-like grunts.

The base of the Neanderthal tongue was positioned higher in the throat, crowding the mouth somewhat. As a result, Neanderthal speech would most likely have been slow-paced and nasalized.

There is still some debate, however, over whether Neanderthals actually had language, or merely had the physical ability to produce a wide enough range of sounds that under certain circumstances they could have developed language.

[edit]

Tools

Neanderthal Hunter, (American Mus. Nat. Hist.)

   

Neanderthal (Middle Paleolithic) archaeological sites show both a smaller and a less flexible toolkit than in the Upper Paleolithic sites, occupied by modern humans that replaced them.

There is little evidence that Neanderthals used antlers, shell, or other bone materials to make tools: their bone industry was relatively simple. However, there is good evidence that they routinely constructed a variety of stone implements. The Neanderthal (Mousterian) tool case consisted of sophisticated stone-flakes, task-specific hand axes, and spears. Many of these tools were very sharp.

Also, while they had weapons, none have as yet been found that were used as projectile weapons. They had spears in the sense of a long wooden shaft with a spear head firmly attached to it, but these were not spears specifically crafted for flight (perhaps better described as a lance). However, a number of 400,000 year old wooden projectile spears were found at Schöningen in northern Germany. These are thought to have been made by the Neanderthal's ancestors, Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis. Generally, projectile weapons are more commonly associated with H. sapiens.

Although much has been made of the Neanderthal's burial of their dead, their burials were less elaborate than those of anatomically modern humans. The interpretation of the Shanidar IV burials as including flowers, and therefore being a form of ritual burial (Ralph Solecki 1975), has been questioned (Sommer 1999). On the other hand, five of the six flower pollens found with Shanidar IV are known to have had "traditional" medical uses, even among relatively recent "modern" populations. In some cases Neanderthal burials include grave goods such as bison and aurochs bones, tools, and the pigment ochre.

Neanderthals performed a sophisticated set of tasks normally associated with humans alone. For example, they constructed complex shelters, controlled fire, and skinned animals. Particularly intriguing is a hollowed-out bear femur with four holes spaced like four holes in the diatonic scale claimed by many to have been deliberately bored into it. This flute was found in western Slovenia in 1995 near a Mousterian Era fireplace used by Neanderthals, but its significance is still a matter of dispute.

See also: prehistoric music and Divje Babe.

[edit]

Key dates

1848: Skull of ancient human found in Forbe's Quarry, Gibraltar. Its significance is not realised at the time.

1856: Johann Karl Fuhlrott first recognizes the fossil called "Neanderthal man."

1880: The mandible of a Neanderthal child was found in a secure context, associated with cultural debris, including hearths, Mousterian tools, and bones of extinct animals.

1899: Hundreds of Neanderthal bones were described in stratigraphic position in association with cultural remains and extinct animal bones.

1908: A nearly complete Neanderthal skeleton in association with Mousterian tools and bones of extinct tools discovered.

1953-1957: Shanidar Cave, Northern Iraq: Ralph Solecki uncovers nine Neanderthal skeletons.

1975: Erik Trinkaus's study of Neanderthal feet confirms they walked like modern humans.

1987: New thermoluminescence dates in the Levant place Neanderthal levels at Kebara at ca. 60,000 BP and modern humans at Qafzeh to 90,000 BP. These dates are confirmed by ESR dates for Qafzeh (90,000 BP) and Skhul (80,000 BP).

1991: New Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) dates for Near Eastern remains show Tabun Neanderthal to be contemporaneous with modern humans from Skhul and Qafzeh.

2000: Igor Ovchinnikov, Kirsten Liden, William Goodman et al. retrieve DNA from a late (29,000 BP) Neanderthal infant from Mezmaikaya Cave in the Caucausus.

2005: The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology launches a project to reconstruct the Neanderthal genome.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/human/human_evolution/ice_people1.shtml

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/486041.stm


24. Slide 24

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

The Neanderthal or Neandertal was a species of Homo (Homo neanderthalensis) that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia from about 230,000 to 29,000 years ago, during the Middle Paleolithic period. Neanderthals were adapted to the cold, as shown by their large braincases, short but robust builds, and large noses - traits selected by nature in cold climates, as observed in modern sub-arctic populations. Their brain sizes have been estimated as larger than "modern" humans, but their brains may in fact have been approximately the same as those of modern humans. On average, Neanderthal males stood about 1.65m tall (just under 5' 6") and were heavily built, and muscular due to their physical activity. Females were about 1.53 to 1.57m tall (about 5'-5'2").

The characteristic style of stone tools in the Middle Paleolithic is called the Mousterian Culture, after a prominent archaeological site where the tools were first found. The Mousterian culture is typified by the wide use of the Levallois technique. Mousterian tools were often produced using soft hammer percussion, such as bones, antlers, and wood, rather than hard hammer percussion, using stone. Near the end of the time of the Neanderthals, they created the Chatelperronian tool style, considered more "advanced" than that of the Mousterian. They either invented the Chatelperronian themselves or "borrowed" elements from the incoming modern humans who are thought to have created the Aurignacian.

Etymology and classification

The term "Neanderthal Man" was coined in 1863 by Irish anatomist William King. Neanderthal is now spelled two ways: The spelling of the German word Thal, meaning "valley or dale", was changed to Tal in the early 20th century, but the former spelling is often retained in English and always in scientific names, while the modern spelling is used in German.

The Neanderthal or "Neander valley" was named after theologian Joachim Neander, who lived there in the late seventeenth century. For many years, professionals vigorously debated about whether Neanderthals should be classified as Homo neanderthalensis or as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, the latter placing Neanderthals as a subspecies of Homo sapiens. However, recent evidence from mitochondrial DNA studies have been interpreted as evidence that Neanderthals were not a subspecies of H. sapiens. Still, some scientists argue that fossil evidence suggests that the two species interbred, and hence were the same biological species.

Discovery

A Neanderthal skull was first discovered in Forbes' Quarry, Gibraltar in 1848, eight years prior to the "original" discovery in a limestone quarry of the Neander Valley (near Düsseldorf) in August, 1856, three years before Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published. The type specimen, dubbed Neanderthal 1, consisted of a skull cap, two femora, three bones from the right arm, two from the left arm, part of the left ilium, fragments of a scapula, and ribs. The workers who recovered this material originally thought it to be the remains of a bear. They gave the material to amateur naturalist Johann Karl Fuhlrott, who turned the fossils over to anatomist Hermann Schaafhausen. The discovery was jointly announced in 1857. That discovery is now considered the beginning of paleoanthropology. These and other discoveries led to the idea that these remains were from ancient Europeans who had played an important role in modern human origins. The remains of over 400 Neanderthals have been found since.

Physical traits

The following is a list of physical traits that distinguish Neanderthals from modern humans; however, not all of them can be used to distinguish specific Neanderthal populations, from various geographic areas or periods of evolution, from other extinct humans. Also, many of these traits occasionally manifest in modern humans, particularly among certain ethnic groups. Nothing is known about the skin color, the hair, or the shape of soft parts such as eyes, ears, and lips of Neanderthals. Compared to modern humans, Neanderthals were larger in size and had distinct morphological features, especially of the cranium, which gradually accumulated more derived aspects, particularly in certain relatively isolated geographic regions. Their relatively robust stature is thought to be an adaptation to the cold climate of Europe during the Pleistocene epoch.

Cranial

Suprainiac fossa, a groove above the inion

Occipital bun, a protuberance of the occipital bone that looks like a hair knot

Projecting mid-face

Globe-shaped skull (from rear)

Low, flat, elongated skull

Supraorbital torus, a prominent browridge

1200-1700 cm³ skull capacity (10% greater than modern human average)

Receding chin

Crest on the mastoid process behind the ear opening

No groove on canine teeth

A space behind the last molars

A broad, projecting nose

Bony projections on the sides of the nasal opening

Distinctive shape of the bony labyrinth in the ear

Larger foram in skull for facial blood supply.

Post-Cranial

Considerably more muscular

Large round finger tips

Barrel-shaped rib cage

Long, gracile pelvic pubis (superior pubic ramus);

Large kneecaps

Long collar bones

Short, bowed shoulder blades

Thick, bowed shaft of the thigh bones

Short shinbones and calf bones

Based on a 2001 study, some commentators speculated that Neanderthals exhibited rufosity, and that some red-headed and freckled humans today share some heritage with Neanderthals. [1] However, more recent research indicates that this is not likely. [2]

Language

The theory that Neanderthals lacked complex language was widespread until 1983, when a Neanderthal hyoid bone was found at the Kebara Cave in Israel. The hyoid is a small bone that holds the root of the tongue in place, a requirement to human speech and, therefore, its presence seems to imply some ability to speak. The bone that was found is virtually identical to that of modern humans.

Many people believe that even without the hyoid bone evidence, it is obvious that tools as advanced as those of the Mousterian Era, attributed to Neanderthals, could not have been developed without cognitive skills encompassing some form of spoken language.

A recent study conducted on the Neanderthal hyoid found that due to the physical characteristics of Neanderthals and the fact that their larynx would have been stouter than that of modern man, the average note emitted by Neanderthals would have been high pitched and sharper than that of modern man, contrary to the media stereotype of Neanderthals having ape-like grunts.

The base of the Neanderthal tongue was positioned higher in the throat, crowding the mouth somewhat. As a result, Neanderthal speech would most likely have been slow-paced and nasalized. There is still some debate, however, over whether Neanderthals actually had language, or merely had the physical ability to produce a wide enough range of sounds that under certain circumstances they could have developed language.

Tools

Neanderthal Hunter, (American Mus. Nat. Hist.)

   

Neanderthal (Middle Paleolithic) archaeological sites show both a smaller and a less flexible toolkit than in the Upper Paleolithic sites, occupied by modern humans that replaced them.

There is little evidence that Neanderthals used antlers, shell, or other bone materials to make tools: their bone industry was relatively simple. However, there is good evidence that they routinely constructed a variety of stone implements. The Neanderthal (Mousterian) tool case consisted of sophisticated stone-flakes, task-specific hand axes, and spears. Many of these tools were very sharp.

Also, while they had weapons, none have as yet been found that were used as projectile weapons. They had spears in the sense of a long wooden shaft with a spear head firmly attached to it, but these were not spears specifically crafted for flight (perhaps better described as a lance). However, a number of 400,000 year old wooden projectile spears were found at Schöningen in northern Germany. These are thought to have been made by the Neanderthal's ancestors, Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis. Generally, projectile weapons are more commonly associated with H. sapiens.

Although much has been made of the Neanderthal's burial of their dead, their burials were less elaborate than those of anatomically modern humans. The interpretation of the Shanidar IV burials as including flowers, and therefore being a form of ritual burial (Ralph Solecki 1975), has been questioned (Sommer 1999). On the other hand, five of the six flower pollens found with Shanidar IV are known to have had "traditional" medical uses, even among relatively recent "modern" populations. In some cases Neanderthal burials include grave goods such as bison and aurochs bones, tools, and the pigment ochre.

Neanderthals performed a sophisticated set of tasks normally associated with humans alone. For example, they constructed complex shelters, controlled fire, and skinned animals. Particularly intriguing is a hollowed-out bear femur with four holes spaced like four holes in the diatonic scale claimed by many to have been deliberately bored into it. This flute was found in western Slovenia in 1995 near a Mousterian Era fireplace used by Neanderthals, but its significance is still a matter of dispute.

See also: prehistoric music and Divje Babe.

Key dates

1848: Skull of ancient human found in Forbe's Quarry, Gibraltar. Its significance is not realised at the time.

1856: Johann Karl Fuhlrott first recognizes the fossil called "Neanderthal man."

1880: The mandible of a Neanderthal child was found in a secure context, associated with cultural debris, including hearths, Mousterian tools, and bones of extinct animals.

1899: Hundreds of Neanderthal bones were described in stratigraphic position in association with cultural remains and extinct animal bones.

1908: A nearly complete Neanderthal skeleton in association with Mousterian tools and bones of extinct tools discovered.

1953-1957: Shanidar Cave, Northern Iraq: Ralph Solecki uncovers nine Neanderthal skeletons.

1975: Erik Trinkaus's study of Neanderthal feet confirms they walked like modern humans.

1987: New thermoluminescence dates in the Levant place Neanderthal levels at Kebara at ca. 60,000 BP and modern humans at Qafzeh to 90,000 BP. These dates are confirmed by ESR dates for Qafzeh (90,000 BP) and Skhul (80,000 BP).

1991: New Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) dates for Near Eastern remains show Tabun Neanderthal to be contemporaneous with modern humans from Skhul and Qafzeh.

2000: Igor Ovchinnikov, Kirsten Liden, William Goodman et al. retrieve DNA from a late (29,000 BP) Neanderthal infant from Mezmaikaya Cave in the Caucausus.

2005: The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology launches a project to reconstruct the Neanderthal genome.


25. Slide 25

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Homo sapiens idaltu (roughly translated as "elderly wise man") is an extinct subspecies of Homo sapiens that lived almost 160,000 years ago in Pleistocene Africa. Its fossilized remains were discovered in Ethiopia in 1997 by Tim White, but first unveiled in 2003. The fossils were found at Herto Bouri, a region of Ethiopia under volcanic layers. By using radioisotopes dating, the layers date between 154,000 and 160,000 years old. Three well preserved craniums are accounted for, the most well preserved is from an adult male (BOU-VP-16/1) having a brain capacity of 1450cc. The other craniums include another partial adult male and a six year old child. All the skulls had cut marks indicating they had been de-fleshed in some kind of mortuary practice. The polishing on the skulls, however, suggests this was not simple cannibalism but more probably some kind of ritualistic behaviour.

These fossils differ slightly from those of early forms of H. sapiens such as Cro-Magnon found in Europe and other parts of the world in that its morphology has many archaic features not typical of H. sapiens (although modern human skulls do differ in certain regions around the globe). It appears to be the oldest representative of the H. sapiens species found so far. The name idaltu is an Amharic word for "elder". These specimens are likely to represent the direct ancestors of modern Homo sapiens sapiens thought to have originally evolved in Eastern Africa.


26. Slide 26

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

The Cro-Magnons (IPA: /k?oma?õ/, or anglicised IPA: /k???'mægn?n/) form the earliest known European examples of Homo sapiens, the species to which modern humans belong. The term falls outside the usual naming conventions for early man and is used in a general sense to describe the oldest modern people in Europe. The oldest H. sapiens (i.e. anatomically modern humans) first emerged in Africa around 100,000 years ago. Cro-Magnons lived from about 35,000 to 10,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic period of the Pleistocene epoch. For all intents and purposes these people were anatomically modern, only differing from their modern day descendants in Europe by their slightly more robust physiology and brains which were about 4 % larger than that of modern man. The Cro-Magnons could be descended from any number of subspecies of Homo sapiens that emerged from Africa approximately 100,000 years ago, such as Homo sapiens idaltu.

The geologist Louis Lartet discovered the first five skeletons in March 1868 in the Cro-Magnon rock shelter at Les Eyzies, Dordogne, France (a name that means "big-hole" in Old French). The definitive specimen from this find bears the name 'Cro Magnon I'. The skeletons showed the same high forehead, upright posture and slender (gracile) skeleton as modern humans. Other specimens have since come to light in other parts of Europe and in the Middle East. The European individuals probably arrived from a East African origin via South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and even North Africa. However, this is highly speculative since no Cro-Magnon remains have been found in Africa (though the East African ancestors of Cro-Magnon man would have been pre-Cro-Magnon).

The condition and placement of the remains along with pieces of shell and animal tooth in what appears to have been pendants or necklaces raises the question whether or not they were buried intentionally. If Cro-Magnons buried their dead intentionally it shows us they had a knowledge of ritual, by burying their dead with necklaces and tools, or an idea of disease and that the bodies needed to be contained.

Analysis of the pathology of the skeletons shows that the humans of this time period led a physically tough life. In addition to infection, several of the individuals found at the shelter had fused vertebrae in their necks indicating traumatic injury, and the adult female found at the shelter had survived for some time with a skull fracture. As these injuries would be life threatening even today, this shows that Cro-Magnons believed in community support and took care of each others' injuries.

Surviving Cro-Magnon artifacts include huts, cave paintings, carvings and antler-tipped spears. The remains of tools suggest that they knew how to make woven clothing. They had huts, constructed of rocks, clay, bones, branches, and animal hide/fur. These early humans used manganese and iron oxides to paint pictures and it is believed that they created the first calendar around 32,000 B.C.E.The flint tools found in association with the remains at Cro-Magnon have associations with the Aurignacian culture that Lartet had identified a few years before he found the skeletons.

Cro-Magnon people were completely modern in appearance. However, the name "Cro-Magnon", as typically used and mis-pronounced in English, sounds vaguely rough; in the popular mind this type of human tends to get confused with earlier, more primitive species such as Neanderthals, and is commonly portrayed in cartoons as a semi-erect, brutish and low-browed fellow.


27. Slide 27

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Homo floresiensis ("Man of Flores") is a species in the genus Homo, remarkable for its small body, small brain, and survival until relatively recent times. It is thought to have been contemporaneous with modern humans (Homo sapiens) on the Indonesian island of Flores. One sub-fossil skeleton, dated at 18,000 years old, is largely complete. It was discovered in deposits in Liang Bua Cave on Flores in 2003. Parts of eight other individuals, all diminutive, have been recovered as well as similarly small stone tools from horizons ranging from 94,000 to 13,000 years ago. The first of these fossils was unearthed in 2003; the publication date of the original description is October 2004; and confirmation of species status is expected to appear soon, following the March 2005 publication of details of the brain of Flores Man.

Flores has been described (in the journal Nature) as "a kind of Lost World", where archaic animals, elsewhere long extinct, had evolved into giant and dwarf forms through allopatric speciation, due to its location East of the Wallace Line. The island had dwarf elephants (a species of Stegodon, a prehistoric elephant) and giant monitor lizards akin to the Komodo dragon, as well as H. floresiensis, which can be considered a species of diminutive human.

The discoverers have called members of the diminutive species "hobbits", after J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional race of roughly the same height. In the mythology of the island, there were common references to a small furry man called Ebu Gogo even into the 19th century.

Discovery

The first (and so far only) specimens were discovered by a joint Australian-Indonesian team of paleoanthropologists and archaeologists looking on Flores for evidence of the original human migration of H. sapiens from Asia into Australia. They were not expecting to find a new species, and were quite surprised at the recovery of the remains of at least seven individuals of non-H. sapiens, from 38,000 to 13,000 years old, from the Liang Bua limestone cave on Flores. An arm bone, provisionally assigned to H. floresiensis, is about 74,000 years old. Also widely present in this cave are sophisticated stone implements of a size considered appropriate to the 1 m tall human: these are at horizons from 95,000 to 13,000 years and are associated with juvenile Stegodon, presumably the prey of Flores Man.

The specimens are not fossilized, but were described in a Nature news article as having "the consistency of wet blotting paper" (once exposed, the bones had to be left to dry before they could be dug up). Researchers hope to find preserved mitochondrial DNA to compare with samples from similarly unfossilised specimens of Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. The likelihood of there being preserved DNA is low, as DNA degrades rapidly in warm tropical environments - sometimes in as little as a few dozen years. Also, contamination from the surrounding environment seems highly possible given the moist environment in which the specimens were found.

Small bodies

Homo erectus, thought to be the immediate ancestor of H. floresiensis, was approximately the same size as another descendant species, modern humans. In the limited food environment on Flores, however, H. erectus is thought to have undergone strong island dwarfing, a form of speciation also seen on Flores in several species, including a dwarf Stegodon (a group of proboscideans that was widespread throughout Asia during the Quaternary), as well as being observed on other small islands. However, the "island dwarfing" theory has been subjected to some criticism.

Despite the size difference, the specimens seem otherwise to resemble in their features H. erectus, known to be living in Southeast Asia at times coinciding with earlier finds of H. floresiensis. These observed similarities form the basis for the establishment of the suggested phylogenetic relationship. Despite a controversial reported finding by the same team of alleged material evidence, stone tools, of a H. erectus occupation 840,000 years ago, actual remains of H. erectus itself have not been found on Flores, much less transitional forms.

The type specimen for the species is a fairly complete skeleton and near-complete skull of a 30-year-old female, nicknamed Little Lady of Flores or Flo, about 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in height. Not only is this drastically shorter than H. erectus, it is even somewhat smaller than the three million years older ancestor australopithecines, not previously thought to have expanded beyond Africa. This tends to qualify H. floresiensis as the most "extreme" member of the extended human family. They are certainly the shortest and smallest discovered thus far.

Homo floresiensis is also rather tiny compared to the modern human height and size of all peoples today. The estimated height of adult H. floresiensis is considerably shorter than the average adult height of even the physically smallest populations of modern humans, such as the African Pygmies (< 1.5 m, or 4 ft 11 in), Twa, Semang (1.37 m, or 4 ft 6 in for adult women), or Andamanese (1.37 m, or 4 ft 6 in for adult women). Mass is generally considered more biophysically significant than a one-dimensional measure of length, and by that measure, due to effects of scaling, differences are even greater. The type specimen of H. floresiensis has been estimated as perhaps about 25 kg.

Homo floresiensis had relatively long arms, perhaps allowing this small hominid to climb to safety in the trees when needed.

Small brains

In addition to a small body size, H. floresiensis had a remarkably small brain. The type specimen, at 380 cm³

is at the lower range of chimpanzees or the ancient australopithecines. The brain is reduced considerably relative to this species' presumed immediate ancestor H. erectus, which at 980 cm³ (60 in³) had more than double the brain volume of its descendant species. Nonetheless, the brain to body mass ratio of H. floresiensis is comparable to that of Homo erectus, indicating the species was unlikely to differ in intelligence.

Indeed, the discoverers have associated H. floresiensis with advanced behaviors. There is evidence of the use of fire for cooking. The species has also been associated with stone tools of the sophisticated Upper Paleolithic tradition typically associated with modern humans, who at 1310-1475 cm³ (80-90 in³) nearly quadruple the brain volume of H. floresiensis (with body mass increased by a factor of 2.6). Some of these tools were apparently used in the necessarily cooperative hunting of local dwarf Stegodon by this small human species.

An indicator of intelligence is the size of region 10 of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, which is associated with self-awareness and is about the same size as that of modern humans, despite the much smaller overall size of the brain.

Flores remained isolated during the Wisconsin glaciation (the most recent ice age), despite the low sea levels that united much of the rest of Sundaland, because of a deep neighboring strait. This has led the discoverers of H. floresiensis to conclude that the species or its ancestors could only have reached the isolated island by water transport, perhaps arriving in bamboo rafts around 100,000 years ago (or, if they are H. erectus, then about 1 million years ago). This perceived evidence of advanced technology and cooperation on a modern human level has prompted the discoverers to hypothesize that H. floresiensis almost certainly had language. These suggestions have proved the most controversial of the discoverers' findings, despite the probable high intelligence of H. floresiensis.

Recent survival

The other remarkable aspect of the find is that this species is thought to have survived on Flores until at least as recently as 12,000 years ago. This makes it the longest-lasting non-modern human, surviving long past the Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis) who went extinct about 30,000 years ago. Homo floresiensis certainly coexisted for a long time with modern humans, who arrived in the region 35,000-55,000 years ago, but it is unknown how they may have interacted.

Local geology suggests that a volcanic eruption on Flores was responsible for the demise of H. floresiensis in the part of the island under study at approximately 12,000 years ago, along with other local fauna, including the dwarf elephant Stegodon.

The discoverers suspect, however, that this species may have survived longer in other parts of Flores to become the source of the Ebu Gogo stories told among the local people. The Ebu Gogo are said to have been small, hairy, language-poor cave dwellers on the scale of H. floresiensis. Widely believed to be present at the time of the Dutch arrival during the 16th century, these strange creatures were apparently last spotted as recently as the late 19th century. There is also Tonga Island folklore that "small people" were living on 'Ata Island (the southernmost island of the group) at the time of the arrival of the Polynesians.

Similarly, on the island of Sumatra, there are reports of a one-metre tall humanoid, the Orang Pendek, which a number of professional scholars take seriously. Both footprints and hairs have been recovered. Scholars working on the Flores man have noted that the Orang Pendek may also be surviving Flores men still living on Sumatra.

Significance

The discovery is widely considered the most important of its kind in recent history, and came as a surprise to the anthropological community. The new species challenges many of the ideas of the discipline.

Homo floresiensis is so different in form from other members of genus Homo that it forces the recognition of a new, undreamt-of variability in the genus, and provides evidence against linear evolution.

No doubt, this discovery provides more fuel for the perennial debate over the out-of-Africa or multiregional models of speciation of modern humans (despite H. floresiensis not itself being an ancestor of modern humans). Already, further arguments have been made on either side.

The discoverers of H. floresiensis fully expect to find the remains of other, equally divergent Homo species on other isolated islands of Southeast Asia, and think it possible, if not quite "likely", that some lost Homo species could be found still living in some unexplored corner of jungle.

Henry Gee, a senior editor of the journal Nature, has agreed, saying, "Of course it could explain all kinds of legends of the little people. They are almost certainly extinct, but it is possible that there are creatures like this around today. Large mammals are still being found. I don't think the likelihood of finding a new species of human alive is any less than finding a new species of antelope, and that has happened"

Gee has also written that "The discovery that Homo floresiensis survived until so very recently, in geological terms, makes it more likely that stories of other mythical, human-like creatures such as Yetis are founded on grains of truth....Now, cryptozoology, the study of such fabulous creatures, can come in from the cold"

An alternative suggestion is that Homo floresiensis was actually a rainforest-adapted type of modern Homo sapiens, like Pygmies and Negritos, only of a more extreme type.

Reaction

When the first skull (that of 'Flo') was found, the first assumption was that it was a child. When it turned out to be a grown individual (closed fontanelles and worn teeth), it was thought to be microcephalic, but that theory is still disputed. And comparisons with modern human achondroplasiacs (about 1.2 m, or 3 ft 11 in) or other dwarfs, are also flawed, as these people are not generally proportionally smaller than other humans, only short-limbed.

Professor Teuku Jacob, chief paleontologist of the Indonesian Gadjah Mada University and other scientists reportedly disagree with the placement of the new finds into a new species of Homo, stating instead, "It is a sub-species of Homo sapiens classified under the Austrolomelanesid race". He contends that the find is from a 25-30 year-old omnivorous subspecies of H. sapiens, and not a 30-year-old female of a new species. He is convinced that the small skull is that of a mentally defective modern human, probably a Pygmy, suffering from the genetic disorder microcephaly or nanocephaly. Some scientists reportedly believe the skeleton found may be of a male and not a female.

When interviewed on the Australian television program Lateline, Professor Roberts reportedly conceded that the skeleton may be that of a male rather than a female but he strenuously maintained the fossil is of a new species. A paper published in Science disputes the microcephaly theory.

Access controversy

In late November and early December 2004, in an apparent arrangement with discoverer Radien Soejono, Professor Jacob borrowed most of the remains from Soejono's institution, Jakarta's National Research Centre of Archaeology, for his own research (apparently without the permission of the Centre's directors). Some expressed fears that, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, important scientific evidence would be sequestered by a small group of scientists who neither allowed access by other scientists nor published their own research. However, Jacob returned the remains to the Centre, except for two leg bones, on 23 February 2005 [10].


28. Slide 28

Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

Humans (Homo sapiens) are bipedal primates of the superfamily Hominoidea, together with the other apes-chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons. They are the dominant sentient species on planet Earth and define themselves in biological, social, and spiritual terms. The scientific name for humans, Homo sapiens, comes from the Latin for "wise man." Humans have an erect body carriage that frees their upper limbs for manipulating objects and using tools. The human brain is capable of abstract thought, reason, speech, language, and introspection. Bipedal locomotion appears to have evolved before the development of a large brain. The origins of bipedal locomotion and of its role in the evolution of the human brain are topics of ongoing research. The human mind has several distinct attributes. It is responsible for complex behavior, especially language. Curiosity and observation have led to a variety of explanations for consciousness and the relation between mind and body. Psychology attempts to study behavior from a scientific point of view. Religious perspectives emphasize a soul, qi or atman as the essence of being, and are often characterized by the belief in and worship of God, gods or spirits. Philosophy, especially philosophy of mind, attempts to fathom the depths of each of these perspectives. Art, music and literature often express these concepts and feelings. Like all primates, humans are inherently social. They create complex social structures composed of co-operating and competing groups. These range from nations and states down to families, and from the community to the self. Seeking to understand and manipulate the world around them has led to the development of technology and science. Artifacts, beliefs, myths, rituals, values, and social norms have each played a role in forming humanity's culture.

Terminology

In general, the word "people" is a collective noun used to define a specific group of humans. However, when used to refer to a group of humans possessing a common ethnic, cultural or national unitary characteristic or identity, "people" is a singular noun, and as such takes an "s" in the plural; (examples: "the English-speaking peoples of the world", "the indigenous peoples of Brazil").

Juvenile males are called boys, adult males men, juvenile females girls, and adult females women. Humans are commonly referred to as persons or people, and collectively as man, mankind, humankind, humanity, or the human race. Until the 20th century, "human" was only used adjectivally ("pertaining to mankind"). As an adjective, "human" is used neutrally (as in "human race"), but "human" and especially "humane" may also emphasize positive aspects of human nature, and can be synonymous with "benevolent" (versus "inhumane"; cf. humanitarian).

A distinction is maintained in philosophy and law between the notions "human being", or "man", and "person". The former refers to the species, while the latter refers to a rational agent (see, for example, John Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding II 27 and Immanuel Kant's Introduction to the Metaphysic of Morals).

Anatomy and physiology

Human body types vary substantially, with some of this variation being caused by environmental and historical factors. Although body size is largely determined by genes, it is also significantly influenced by diet and exercise. The average height of a North American adult female is 162 centimetres (5 feet 4 inches), and the average weight is 62 kilograms (137 pounds). Human males are typically larger than females: the average height and weight of a North American adult male is 175 centimeters (5 feet 9 inches) and 78 kilograms (172 pounds). Although humans appear relatively hairless compared to that of other primates, with notable hair growth occurring chiefly on the top of the head, underarms and pubic area, the average human has more hair on its body than the average chimpanzee. The main distinction is that human hairs are shorter, finer, and less colored than the average chimpanzee's, thus making them harder to see. The color of human hair and skin is determined by the presence of pigments called melanins. Human skin color can range from very dark brown to very pale pink, while human hair ranges from blond to brown to red. Most researchers believe that skin darkening was an adaptation that evolved as a defense against ultraviolet solar radiation: melanin is an effective sun-block. The skin color of contemporary humans is geographically stratified, and in general correlates with the level of ultraviolet radiation. Human skin and hair color is controlled in part by the genes Mc1r and SLC24A5. For example, the red hair and pale skin of some Europeans is the result of mutations in Mc1r. Human skin has a capacity to darken (sun tanning) in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation; this is also controlled in part by Mc1r.

Humans are capable of fully bipedal locomotion, thus leaving the arms available for manipulating objects using their hands, aided especially by opposable thumbs. Because human physiology has not fully adapted to bipedalism, the pelvic region and spinal column tend to become worn, creating locomotion difficulties in old age.

The need for regular intake of food and drink is prominently reflected in human culture, and has led to the development of food science. Failure to obtain food leads to hunger and eventually starvation, while failure to obtain water leads to thirst and dehydration. Both starvation and dehydration cause death if not alleviated -- generally, most humans can survive for over two months without food, but at most between ten to fourteen days without water. In modern times, obesity amongst some human populations has increased to almost epidemic proportions, leading to health complications and increased mortality in some developed countries, and is becoming problematic elsewhere.

The average sleep requirement is between seven and eight hours a day for an adult and nine to ten hours for a child (elderly people usually sleep for six to seven hours). Negative effects result from restriction of sleep. For instance a sustained restriction of adult sleep to four hours per day has been shown to correlate with changes in physiology and mental state, including fatigue, aggression, and bodily discomfort. It is common in modern societies for people to get less sleep than they need, leading to a state of sleep deprivation.

Genetics

Humans are a eukaryotic species. Each diploid cell has two sets of 23 chromosomes, each set received from one parent. There are 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. At present estimate, humans have approximately 20,000-25,000 genes and share 98.4% of their DNA with their closest living evolutionary relatives, the two species of chimpanzees. [1] Like other mammals, humans have an XY sex determination system, so that females have the sex chromosomes XX and males have XY. The X chromosome is larger and carries many genes not on the Y chromosome, which means that recessive diseases associated with X-linked genes affect men more often than women. For example, genes that control the clotting of blood reside on the X chromosome. Women have a blood-clotting gene on each X chromosome so that one normal blood-clotting gene can compensate for a flaw in the gene on the other X chromosome. But men are hemizygous for the blood-clotting gene, since there is no gene on the Y chromosome to control blood clotting. As a result, men will suffer from hemophilia more often than women.

Evolution

The study of human evolution encompasses many scientific disciplines, but most notably physical anthropology and genetics. The term "human", in the context of human evolution, refers to the genus Homo, but studies of human evolution usually include other hominids and hominines, such as the australopithecines. Humans are defined as hominids of the species Homo sapiens, of which the only extant subspecies is Homo sapiens sapiens (Latin for "very wise man"); Homo sapiens idaltu (roughly translated as "elderly wise man") is the extinct subspecies. Modern humans are usually considered the only surviving species in the genus Homo, although some argue that the two species of chimpanzees should be reclassified from Pan troglodytes (Common Chimpanzee) and Pan paniscus (Bonobo/Pygmy Chimpanzee) to Homo troglodytes and Homo paniscus respectively, given that they share a recent ancestor with man. Full genome sequencing resulted in these conclusions: "After 6 [million] years of separate evolution, the differences between chimpanzee and human are just 10 times greater than those between two unrelated people and 10 times less than those between rats and mice." In fact, chimpanzee and human DNA is between 96% and 99% identical.

It has been estimated that the human lineage diverged from that of chimpanzees about five million years ago, and from gorillas about eight million years ago. However, in 2001 a hominid skull approximately seven million years old, classified as Sahelanthropus tchadensis, was discovered in Chad and may indicate an earlier divergence. Two prominent scientific theories of the origins of contemporary humans exist. They concern the relationship between modern humans and other hominids: The single-origin or "out of Africa" hypothesis proposes that modern humans evolved in Africa and later replaced hominids in other parts of the world. The multiregional hypothesis proposes that modern humans evolved at least in part from independent hominid populations.

Geneticists Lynn Jorde and Henry Harpending of the University of Utah proposed that the variation in human DNA is minute compared to that of other species; and that during the Late Pleistocene, the population was reduced to a small number of breeding pairs (no more than 10,000), resulting in a very small residual gene pool. Various reasons for this possible bottleneck have been postulated, the most popular is called the Toba catastrophe theory.

Human evolution is characterized by a number of important physiological trends:

expansion of the brain cavity and brain itself, which is typically 1,400 cm³ in volume, over twice that of a chimpanzee or gorilla. The pattern of human postnatal brain growth differs from that of other apes (heterochrony), allowing for an extended period of social learning in juvenile humans. Physical anthropologists argue that a reorganization of the structure of the brain is more important than cranial expansion itself;

canine tooth reduction;

bipedal locomotion;

descent of the larynx and hyoid bone, making speech possible.

How these trends are related and what their role is in the evolution of complex social organization and culture are matters of ongoing debate. One field of inquiry that has emerged in recent years to address this issue of "gene-culture coevolution" is dual inheritance theory.

Life cycle

The human life cycle is similar to that of other placental mammals. New human life develops viviparously from conception. An egg is usually fertilized inside the female by sperm from the male through sexual intercourse, though in vitro fertilization methods are also used. The fertilized egg is called a zygote. The zygote divides inside the female's uterus to become an embryo which over a period of thirty-eight weeks becomes the fetus. At birth, the fully grown fetus is expelled from the female's body and breathes independently as a baby for the first time. At this point, most modern cultures recognize the baby as a person entitled to the full protection of the law, though some jurisdictions extend personhood to human fetuses while they remain in the uterus. Compared with that of other species, human childbirth is relatively complicated. Painful labors lasting twenty-four hours or more are not uncommon, and may result in injury to the child or the death of the mother, although the chances of a successful labour increased significantly during the twentieth century in wealthier countries. Natural childbirth remains a more dangerous ordeal in remote, underdeveloped regions of the world.

Human children are born after a nine-month gestation period, with typically 3-4 kilograms (6-9 pounds) in weight and 50-60 centimeters (20-24 inches) in height in developed countries. Helpless at birth, they continue to grow for some years, typically reaching sexual maturity at twelve to fifteen years of age. Boys continue growing for some time after this, reaching their maximum height around the age of eighteen. These values vary too, depending on genes and environment. The human life-span can be split into a number of stages: infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, maturity and old age, although the lengths of these stages, especially the later ones, are not fixed.

There are striking differences in life expectancy around the world. The developed world is quickly getting older, with the median age around 40 years (highest in Monaco at 45.1 years), while in the developing world, the median age is 15-20 years (the lowest in Uganda at 14.8 years). Life expectancy at birth is 77.2 years in the U.S. as of 2001. The expected life span at birth in Singapore is 84.29 years for a female and 78.96 years for a male, while in Botswana, due largely to AIDS, it is 30.99 years for a male and 30.53 years for a female. One in five Europeans, but one in twenty Africans, is 60 years or older, according to The World Factbook.

The number of centenarians in the world was estimated by the United Nations at 210,000 in 2002. The current maximum life span of humans is about 120 years (Jeanne Calment lived for 122 years and 164 days). Worldwide, there are 81 men aged 60 or over for every 100 women of the same age, and among the oldest, there are 53 men for every 100 women. The philosophical questions of when human personhood begins and whether it persists after death are the subject of considerable debate. The prospect of death may cause unease or fear. People who are near death sometimes report having a near-death experience, in which they have visions. Burial ceremonies are characteristic of human societies, often inspired by beliefs in an afterlife. Institutions of inheritance or ancestor worship may extend an individual's presence beyond his physical lifespan.

Race and ethnicity

Humans often categorize themselves and others in terms of race or ethnicity, although the scientific validity of human races as categories is disputed. Human racial categories are based on visible traits, especially skin color and facial features, language, and ancestry. Self identification with an ethnic group is based on kinship and descent. Race and ethnicity can lead to variant treatment and impact social identity, giving rise to the theory of identity politics. An ethnic group is a culture or subculture whose members are readily distinguishable by outsiders based on traits originating from a common racial, national, linguistic, regional or religious source. Although most humans recognize that variances occur within a species, it is often a point of dispute as to what these differences entail, their importance, and whether discrimination based on race (racism) is acceptable. Race and intelligence, scientific racism, xenophobia and ethnocentrism are just a few of the many bases for such practices. Some societies have placed a great deal of emphasis on race, others have not. Four disparate examples include the "melting pot" of Ancient Egypt, slavery and Jim Crow laws in the United States, (the latter eventually supplanted by Civil Rights Act), and the racial policy of Nazi Germany. The five human racial divisions were proposed in Carleton Coon's The Origin of Races (1962) are Australian, African Bushman (San), Caucasian, East Asian and African.

Habitat

The view most widely accepted by the anthropological community is that the human species originated in the African savanna between 100 and 200 thousand years ago, had colonized the rest of the Old World and Oceania by 40,000 years ago, and finally colonized the Americas by 10,000 years ago. Homo sapiens displaced groups such as Homo neanderthalensis, Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis through more successful reproduction and competition for resources. (See Human evolution, Vagina gentium, and Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness.) Technology has allowed humans to colonize all of the continents and adapt to all climates. Within the last few decades, humans have explored Antarctica, the ocean depths, and space, although long-term habitation of these environments is not yet possible. Humans, with a population of over six billion, are one of the most numerous of the large mammals. Most humans (61%) live in Asia. The vast majority of the remainder live in the Americas (14%), Africa (13%) and Europe (12%), with 5% in Oceania. (See list of countries by population and list of countries by population density.)

The original human lifestyle was hunting-gathering, which was adapted to the savanna. Other human lifestyles are nomadism (often linked to animal herding) and permanent settlements made possible by the development of agriculture. Humans have a great capacity for altering their habitats by various methods, such as agriculture, irrigation, urban planning, construction, transport, and manufacturing goods.

Permanent human settlements are dependent on proximity to water and, depending on the lifestyle, other natural resources such as fertile land for growing crops and grazing livestock, or seasonally by populations of prey. With the advent of large-scale trade and transport infrastructure, proximity to these resources has become unnecessary, and in many places these factors are no longer a driving force behind growth and decline of population. Nonetheless, the manner in which a habitat is altered (i.e., factors such as whether it has climate control, is a slum, has infrastructure such as schools and electricity, etc.) is often a major determinant in population change.

Human habitation within closed ecological systems in hostile environments (Antarctica, outer space) is expensive, typically limited in duration, and restricted to scientific, military, or industrial expeditions. Life in space has been very sporadic, with a maximum of thirteen humans in space at any given time. Between 1969 and 1972, two humans at a time spent brief intervals on the Moon. As of 2005, no other celestial body has been visited by human beings, although there has been a continuous human presence in space since the launch of the initial crew to inhabit the International Space Station on October 31, 2000.

Food and drink

Humans are omnivorous animals who can consume both plant and animal products. Evidence shows that early Homo Sapiens employed a Hunter-gatherer methodology as their primary means of food collection. This involved combining stationary plant and fungal food sources (such as fruits, grains, tubers, and mushrooms) with wild game which must be hunted and killed in order to be consumed. However, many modern humans choose to be vegans or vegetarians. Additionally, it is believed that humans have used fire to prepare food prior to eating since the time of their divergence from Homo erectus, possibly even earlier.

At least ten thousand years ago, humans developed agriculture, which has altered substantially the kind of food people eat. This has led to a variety of important historical consequences, such as increased population, the development of cities, and, due to increased population density, the wider spread of infectious diseases. The types of food consumed, and the way in which they are prepared has varied widely by time, location, and culture.

The last century or so has produced enormous improvements in food production, preservation, storage and shipping. Today almost every locale in the world has access to not only its traditional cuisine, but also to many other world cuisines.

Population

From 1800 to 2000, the human population increased from one to six billion. In 2004, around 2.5 billion out of 6.3 billion (or, 39.7%) people lived in urban areas, and this percentage is expected to rise throughout the 21st century. Problems for humans living in cities include various forms of pollution, crime, and poverty, especially in inner city and suburban slums.

Intelligence

Human beings are considered more intelligent than other animals. While other animals are capable of creating structures (mostly as a result of instinct) and using simple tools, human technology is more complex, constantly evolving and improving with time. Even the most ancient human tools and structures are far more advanced than any structure or tool created by another animal. The human ability to think abstractly may be unparalleled in the animal kingdom. Human beings are one of six species to pass the mirror test - which tests whether an animal recognizes its reflection as an image of itself - along with common chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, dolphins and pigeons. Human beings under the age of 2 usually fail the test.

Mind

Consciousness is a state of mind, said to possess qualities such as, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one's environment. The way in which the world is experienced is the subject of much debate and research in philosophy of mind, psychology, brain biology, neurology, and cognitive science. Humans, often mentioned with other species, are variously said to possess consciousness, self-awareness, and a mind, the fruition of which are senses and perceptions. Each human has a subjective view of existence, the passage of time, and free will. There are many debates about the extent to which the mind constructs or experiences the outer world, and regarding the definitions and validity of many of the terms used above. Cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett, for example, argues that there is no such thing as a narrative centre called mind, but that instead there is simply a collection of sensory inputs and outputs: different kinds of software running in parallel (Dennett, 1991) .

Psychology and human ethology

Psychology is an extremely broad field, encompassing many different approaches to the study of mental processes and behavior.

Psychology does not necessarily refer to the brain or nervous system and can be framed purely in terms of phenomenological or information processing theories of the mind. Increasingly, though, an understanding of brain function is being included in psychological theory and practice, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence, neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience. The nature of thought is another core interest in psychology. Cognitive psychology studies cognition, the mental processes underlying behavior. It uses information processing as a framework for understanding the mind. Perception, learning, problem solving, memory, attention, language and emotion are all well researched areas. Cognitive psychology is associated with a school of thought known as cognitivism, whose adherents argue for an information processing model of mental function, informed by positivism and experimental psychology. Techniques and models from cognitive psychology are widely applied and form the mainstay of psychological theories in many areas of both research and applied psychology. Largely focusing on the development of the human mind through the life span, developmental psychology seeks to understand how people come to perceive, understand, and act within the world and how these processes change as they age. This may focus on intellectual, cognitive, neural, social, or moral development. The examination of developmental psychology from an evolutionary perspective is called evolutionary developmental psychology. Social psychology intertwines sociology with psychology in their shared study of the nature and causes of human social behavior, with an emphasis on how people think towards each other and how they relate to each other. Social Psychology aims to understand how we make sense of social situations. The behavior and mental processes of animals (human and non-human) can be described through animal cognition, ethology, evolutionary psychology, and comparative psychology as well. Human ecology is an academic discipline that investigates how humans and human societies interact with their environment, nature and the human social environment. A similar academic discipline is human behavioral ecology.

Philosophy

Philosophy is a discipline or field of study involving the investigation, analysis, and development of ideas at a general, abstract, or fundamental level. It is the discipline searching for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means comprising as its core logic, ontology or metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology which includes the branches of ethics and aesthetics. The term covers a very wide range of approaches, and is also used to refer to a worldview, to a perspective on an issue, or to the positions argued for by a particular philosopher or school of philosophy. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of "first principles" and "being" (ontology). Problems that were not originally considered metaphysical have been added to metaphysics. Other problems that were considered metaphysical problems for centuries are now typically relegated to their own separate subheadings in philosophy, such as philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, philosophy of perception, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science. In rare cases subjects of metaphysical research have been found to be entirely physical and natural. The mind is the term most commonly used to describe the higher functions of the human brain, particularly those of which humans are subjectively conscious, such as personality, thought, reason, memory, intelligence and emotion. Other species of animals share some of these mental capacities, and it is also used in relation to supernatural beings, as in the expression "the mind of God." The term is used here only in relation to humans. There are many Philosophies of mind, the most common relating to the nature of being, and ones way of being, or purpose.

Adi Shankara in the East proposed Advaita Vedanta, a popular argument for monism (the metaphysical view that all is of one essential essence, substance or energy). Another type of monism is physicalism or materialism, which holds that only the physical is real, and that the mental can be reduced to the physical. Idealism and phenomenalism, on the contrary, assert the existence of the mind and deny, or at the least deny the importance of, an external reality that exists independently of the mind.

René Descartes proposed that both mind and matter exist, and that the one cannot be reduced to the other. This represents the philosophy of mind form of dualism. Dvaita is the Hindu philosophy that incorporates a form of dualism that distinguishes God from souls.

Johannes Jacobus Poortman proposed a Pluralist classification of a number of different mystical and metaphysical views. Vishishtadvaita is the Hindu philosophy incorporating pluralism.

Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Hume, Kant, Locke, Spinoza, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein are also philosophers of note in the history of human thought.

Many religions and spiritual traditions hold that humans have both a body and a soul, usually proposing that the soul can in some way survive the death of the body. Although the soul sometimes is equated with the mind, this is not always the case.

As a finer distinction between religion and philosophy, esoteric cosmology is distinguished from religion in its more sophisticated construction and reliance on intellectual understanding rather than faith, and from philosophy in its emphasis on techniques of psycho-spiritual transformation.

In between the doctrines of religion and science, stands the philosophical perspective of metaphysical cosmology. This ancient field of study seeks to draw logical conclusions about the nature of the universe, humanity, god and/or their connections based on the extension of some set of presumed facts borrowed from religion and/or observation. What might be called the core metaphysical problems would be the ones which have always been considered metaphysical. What most of such problems have in common is that they are the problems of ontology, the science of being or existence as well as the basic categories thereof-trying to find out what entities and what types of entities exist. Ontology has strong implications for the conceptions of reality.

Motivation

Motivation is based on emotion, specifically, on the search for satisfaction (positive emotional experiences), and the avoidance of conflict; positive and negative are defined by the individual brain state, not by social norms: a person may be driven to self-injury or violence because their brain is conditioned to create a positive response to these actions. Motivation is important because it is involved in the performance of all learned responses. Within psychology, conflict avoidance and the libido are seen to be primary motivators. Within economics motivation is often seen to be based on Financial incentives, Moral incentives, or Coercive incentives. Religions generally posit Godly or demonic influences.

For many love is the central motivation in life. The classical Greeks had four words for love:

Eros : Romantic love

Philia : Friendship, Love (but especially platonic love).

Agape : Divine, unconditioned love. Many religious persons will refer to the love that they feel towards, or receive from God as divine love or Agape.

Storge : Natural familial affection.

Happiness or being happy is a condition which humans can have. The definition of happiness is one of the greatest philosophical topics, at least since the time of Socrates, and is especially central to Ethics, being the starting point of Aristotle's ethical works. Some people might define it as the best condition which a human can have - a condition of mental and physical health. Others may define it as freedom from want and distress; consciousness of the good order of things; assurance of one's place in the universe or society, inner peace, and so forth. Aristotle conceived of Eudaimonia, a society governed by pursuit of happiness.

"The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion and does not consist of amusement. If Eudaimonia, or happiness, is an activity in accordance with excellence, it's reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence, and will be that of the best thing in us."

Aristotle, "Nicomachean Ethics"

Self-reflection and humanism

Thales of Miletus, when asked what was difficult, answered in a well-known apophthegm: "To Know Thyself" ????? ??????? (also attributed to Socrates, and inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi). Humans often consider themselves to be the dominant species on Earth, and the most advanced in intelligence and ability to manage their environment. This belief is especially strong in modern Western culture. Alongside such claims of dominance we often find radical pessimism because of the frailty and brevity of human life. In the Hebrew Bible, for example, dominion of man is promised in Genesis 1:28, but the author of Ecclesiastes bewails the vanity of all human effort. The Ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras made the famous claim that "Man is the measure of all things; of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not." Aristotle describes man as the "communal animal" (???? ?????????), i.e. emphasising society-building as a central trait of human nature, and "animal with sapience" (???? ????? ????, animal rationale), a term that also inspired the species' taxonomy, Homo sapiens. This philosophy is today called "Humanism". Humanism as a philosophy defines a socio-political doctrine the bounds of which are not constrained by those of locally developed cultures, but which seeks to include all of humanity and all issues common to human beings. Because spiritual beliefs of a community often manifests as religious doctrine, the history of which is as factious as it is unitive, secular humanism grew as an answer to the need for a common philosophy that transcended the cultural boundaries of local moral codes and religions. Many humanists are religious, however, and see humanism as simply a mature expression of a common truth present in most religions. Humanists affirm the possibility of an objective truth and accept that human perception of that truth is imperfect. The most basic tenets of humanism are that humans matter and can solve human problems, and that science, freedom of speech, rational thought, democracy, and freedom in the arts are worthy pursuits or goals for all peoples. Modern humanism depends on reason and logic and rejects the supernatural.

From a scientific viewpoint, H. sapiens certainly is among the most generalised species on Earth, and few single species occupy as many diverse environments as humans. Various attempts have been made to identify a single behavioral characteristic that distinguishes humans from all other animals, e.g. the ability to make and use tools, the ability to alter the environment, language use, and the development of complex social structures. Some anthropologists think that these readily observable characteristics (tool-making and language) are based on less easily observable mental processes that might be unique among humans: the ability to think symbolically, in the abstract or logically. Others, that human capacity for symbolic thought is a development from the capacity to manipulate tools or the development of speech. It is difficult however to arrive at a set of attributes that includes all humans, and humans only. The wish to find unique human characteristics could be more a matter of anthropocentrism than of zoology in the end.

Culture

Culture is defined here as a set of distinctive material, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual features of a social group, including art, literature, lifestyles, value systems, traditions, rituals, and beliefs. Culture consists of at least three elements: values, social norms, and artifacts. A culture's values define what it holds to be important. Norms are expectations of how people ought to behave. Artifacts - things, or material culture - derive from the culture's values and norms together with its understanding of the way the world functions.

Language

Values, norms and technology are dependent on the capacity for humans to share ideas. The faculty of speech is a defining feature of humanity, possibly predating phylogenetic separation of the modern population. (See Origins of language.) Language is central to the communication between humans. Language is central to the sense of identity that unites cultures and ethnicities. The invention of writing systems some 5000 years ago, allowing the preservation of speech, was a major step in cultural evolution. Language, especially written language, was sometimes thought to have supernatural status or powers -- hence the term "hieroglyphics", or "sacred carvings". The science of linguistics describes the structure of language and the relationship between languages. There are estimated to be some 6,000 different languages, including sign languages, currently in use.

Religion

The largest religious human gathering on Earth. Around 70 million people from around the world participated in Kumbh Mela at one of the Hindu Holy city Prayaga (also known as Allahabad) in India. Humans apply different approaches in an attempt to answer fundamental questions about topics such as the nature of the universe (cosmology), its creation (cosmogony) and destruction (eschatology), and our place in it - who we are, why we are here, what happens after life, and more. Broadly speaking, these questions can be addressed and beliefs formed from a number of approaches and perspectives, such as religion, science, philosophy (particularly ontology within metaphysics), esotericism, and mysticism. However, these approaches are not mutually exclusive. For example, an expert scientist can be highly religious, have a philosophy of life, and follow any number of esoteric or mystical practices.

Four major approaches to forming beliefs about the nature of the universe include religious cosmology, scientific or physical cosmology, metaphysical cosmology and esoteric cosmology. The earliest form of cosmology appears in the origin beliefs of many religions as they seek to explain the existence and nature of the world. In many cases, views about the creation (cosmogony) and destruction (eschatology) of the universe play a central role in shaping a framework of religious cosmology for understanding a person's role in the universe and its relationship to one or more divine beings.

Religion-sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system"-is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions and rituals associated with such belief. In the course of its development, it has taken on many forms that vary by culture and individual perspective. There are a number of perspectives regarding the fundamental nature and substance of humans. These are by no means mutually exclusive, and this list is by no means exhaustive.

Materialism holds that humans are physical beings without any supernatural or spiritual component. Materialism holds to naturalism and rejects supernaturalism.

Monotheism believes that a single deity, who is either the only one in existence, or who incorporates or excels all lesser deities, created humanity. Humans are thus bound by filial and moral duty, and cared for by paternal providence. In all the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), humans are lord or steward over the earth and all its other creatures. The Bible and Koran hold that humankind was created as a spiritually and physically perfect entity, but through the sins of self-idolatry and disobedience lost its perfection.

Pantheism holds that human beings, as part of the world, are a part of God, who is identified with the world (and vice versa). (Panentheism is similar, but holds that the world is God, but that God is more than the world.) Monism, animism, Vedic religion, and other forms of Eastern philosophy have related beliefs.

Monism is the metaphysical view that all things are of one essential essence, substance or energy. Monistic theism, a variant of both monism and Monotheism, views God as both immanent and transcendent. Both are dominant themes in Hinduism and Surat Shabd Yoga, that hold humans are special in that they can conceptualise God and strive to achieve him, but their soul is akin to a divine spark just as an animal's is.

Taoism may be rendered as religion, morality, duty, knowledge, rationality, ultimate truth, path, or taste. Its semantics vary widely depending on the context. Tao is generally translated into English as "The Way".

In polytheistic religions, a whole pantheon of gods holds sway. Polytheistic deities often have individual interests or portfolios, and are arranged in a hierarchy of their own- for example, Zeus is the Greek god of thunder as well as king of the gods. Humans are mainly characterized by their inferiority to the gods, sometimes reflected in a hierarchical society ruled by dynasties that claim divine descent.

Animism is the belief that objects and ideas including other animal species, tools, and natural phenomena have or are expressions of living spirits. Rituals in animistic cultures are often performed by shamans or priests, who are usually seen as possessing spiritual powers greater than or external to the normal human experience.

Esotericism refers to "hidden" knowledge available only to the advanced, privileged, or initiated, as opposed to exoteric knowledge, which is public. It is used especially for spiritual practices.

Mysticism (meaning "that which is concealed") is the pursuit of achieving communion with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct, personal experience (intuition or insight); the belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible through personal experience; or the belief that such experience is an important source of knowledge.

Emotion and sexuality

Human emotion has a significant influence on, or can even be said to control, human behavior. Emotional experiences perceived as pleasant, like love, admiration, or joy, contrast with those perceived as unpleasant, like hate, envy, or sorrow. There is often a distinction seen between refined emotions, which are socially learned, and survival oriented emotions, which are thought to be innate.

Human exploration of emotions as separate from other neurological phenomena is worth note, particularly in those cultures where emotion is considered separate from physiological state. In some cultural medical theories, to provide an example, emotion is considered so synonymous with certain forms of physical health that no difference is thought to exist. The Stoics believed excessive emotion was harmful, while some Sufi teachers (in particular, the poet and astronomer Omar Khayyám) felt certain extreme emotions could yield a conceptual perfection, what is often translated as ecstasy.

In modern scientific thought, certain refined emotions are considered to be a complex neural trait of many domesticated and a few non-domesticated mammals, developed commonly in reaction to superior survival mechanisms and intelligent interaction with each other and the environment; as such, refined emotion is not in all cases as discrete and separate from natural neural function as was once assumed. Still, when humans function in civilized tandem, it has been noted that uninhibited acting on extreme emotion can lead to social disorder and crime.

Human sexuality, besides ensuring reproduction, has important social functions: it creates physical intimacy, bonds and hierarchies among individuals; may be directed to spiritual transcendence; and in a hedonistic sense to the enjoyment of activity involving sexual gratification. Sexual desire or libido, is experienced as a bodily urge, often accompanied by strong emotions, both positive (such as love or ecstasy) and negative (such as jealousy). As with other human self-descriptions, humans propose that it is high intelligence and complex societies of humans that have produced the most complex sexual behaviors of any animal, including a great many behaviors that are not directly connected with reproduction.

Human sexual choices are usually made in reference to cultural norms, which vary widely. Restrictions are largely determined by religious beliefs. Most sexologists, starting with the pioneers Alfred Kinsey and Sigmund Freud, believe that the majority of homo sapiens are attracted to males and females, being inherently bisexual. This belief is based upon the human species close relatives' sexual habits such as the bonobo apes, and historical records particularly the widespread ancient practices of paederasty.

Music

Music is a natural intuitive phenomenon operating in the three worlds of time, pitch, and energy, and under the three distinct and interrelated organization structures of rhythm, harmony, and melody. Composing, improvising and performing music are all art forms. Listening to music is perhaps the most common form of entertainment, while learning and understanding it are popular disciplines. There are a wide variety of music genres and ethnic musics.

Science and technology

In the mid- to late 20th century humans achieved a level of technological mastery sufficient to leave the atmosphere of Earth for the first time and explore space. Human cultures are both characterized and differentiated by the objects that they make and use. Archaeology attempts to tell the story of past or lost cultures in part by close examination of the artifacts they produced. Early humans left stone tools, pottery and jewelry that are particular to various regions and times. Improvements in technology are passed from one culture to another. For instance, the cultivation of crops arose in several different locations, but quickly spread to be an almost ubiquitous feature of human life. Similarly, advances in weapons, architecture and metallurgy are quickly disseminated. Such techniques can be passed on by oral tradition. The development of writing, itself a type of artifact, made it possible to pass information from generation to generation and from region to region with greater accuracy. Together, these developments made possible the commencement of civilization and urbanization, with their inherently complex social arrangements. Eventually this led to the institutionalization of the development of new technology, and the associated understanding of the way the world functions. This science now forms a central part of human culture. In recent times, physics and astrophysics have come to play a central role in shaping what is now known as physical cosmology, that is, the understanding of the universe through scientific observation and experiment. This discipline, which focuses on the universe as it exists on the largest scales and at the earliest times, begins by arguing for the big bang, a sort of cosmic explosion from which the universe itself is said to have erupted ~13.7 ± 0.2 billion (109) years ago. After its violent beginnings and until its very end, scientists then propose that the entire history of the universe has been an orderly progression governed by physical laws.

Government, politics and the state

A state is an organized political community occupying a definite territory, having an organized government, and possessing internal and external sovereignty. Recognition of the state's claim to independence by other states, enabling it to enter into international agreements, is often important to the establishment of its statehood. The "state" can also be defined in terms of domestic conditions, specifically, as conceptualized by Max Weber, "a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory." Government can be defined as the political means of creating and enforcing laws; typically via a bureaucratic hierarchy. Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within governments, politics is also observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions. Many different political systems exist, as do many different ways of understanding them, and many definitions overlap. The most common form of government worldwide is a republic, however other examples include monarchy, social democracy, military dictatorship and theocracy. All of these issues have a direct relationship with economics.

Trade and economics

Trade is the voluntary exchange of goods, services, or both, and a form of economics. A mechanism that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and services. Modern traders instead generally negotiate through a medium of exchange, such as money. As a result, buying can be separated from selling, or earning. The invention of money (and later credit, paper money and non-physical money) greatly simplified and promoted trade. Trade exists for many reasons. Due to specialization and division of labor, most people concentrate on a small aspect of manufacturing or service, trading their labour for products. Trade exists between regions because different regions have an absolute or comparative advantage in the production of some tradable commodity, or because different regions' size allows for the benefits of mass production. As such, trade between locations benefits both locations. Economics is a social science that studies the production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services. Economics, which focuses on measurable variables, is broadly divided into two main branches: microeconomics, which deals with individual agents, such as households and businesses, and macroeconomics, which considers the economy as a whole, in which case it considers aggregate supply and demand for money, capital and commodities. Aspects receiving particular attention in economics are resource allocation, production, distribution, trade, and competition. Economic logic is increasingly applied to any problem that involves choice under scarcity or determining economic value. Mainstream economics focuses on how prices reflect supply and demand, and uses equations to predict consequences of decisions.

War

An act of war - the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945, effectively ending World War II. The bombs over Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki immediately killed over 120,000 people. War is a state of widespread conflict between states, organizations, or relatively large groups of people, which is characterized by the use of lethal violence between combatants or upon civilians. A common perception of war is a series of military campaigns between at least two opposing sides involving a dispute over sovereignty, territory, resources, religion or other issues. A war said to liberate an occupied country is sometimes characterized as a "war of liberation", while a war between internal elements of a state is a civil war. There have been a wide variety of rapidly advancing tactics throughout the history of war, ranging from conventional war to asymmetric warfare to total war and unconventional warfare. Techniques have nearly always included hand to hand combat, the usage of ranged weapons, propaganda, Shock and Awe, and ethnic cleansing. Military intelligence has always played a key role in determining victory and defeat. In modern warfare, soldiers and armored fighting vehicles are used to control the land, warships the seas, and air power the skies. Throughout history there has been a constant struggle between defense and offense, armor and the weapons designed to breach it. Modern examples include the bunker buster bomb, and the bunkers for which they are designed to destroy. Many see war as destructive in nature, and a negative correlation has been shown between trade and war.


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Extract from Wikipedia ~ http://en.wikipedia.org

The so-called Piltdown Man was fragments of a skull and jaw bone collected in the early years of the twentieth century from a gravel pit at Piltdown, a village near Uckfield, in the English county of Sussex. The fragments were claimed by experts of the day to be the fossilised remains of an hitherto unknown form of early man. The latin name Eoanthropus dawsoni was given to the specimen.

The significance of the specimen remained the subject of controversy until it was exposed in 1953 as a forgery, consisting of the lower jaw bone of an ape combined with the skull of a fully developed, modern man. It has been suggested that the forgery was the work of the person said to be its finder, Charles Dawson, after whom it was named. This view is strongly disputed and many other candidates have been proposed as the true creators of the forgery.

The finding

The finding of the Piltdown skull was poorly documented, but at a meeting of the Geological Society of London held in December 1912, Dawson claimed to have been given a fragment of the skull four years earlier by a workman at the Piltdown gravel pit. According to Dawson, workmen at the site had discovered the skull shortly before his visit and had broken it up. Revisiting the site on several occasions, Dawson found further fragments of the skull and took them to Arthur Smith Woodward, keeper of the Geological Department at the British Museum. Greatly interested by the finds, Woodward accompanied Dawson to the site where between June and September 1912 they together recovered more fragments of the skull and half of the lower jaw bone. At the same meeting, Woodward announced that a reconstruction of the fragments had been prepared which indicated that the skull was in many ways similar to that of modern man, except for the occiput (the part of the skull that sits on the spinal column) and for brain size, which was about two-thirds that of modern man. He then went on to indicate that save for the presence of two human-like molar teeth the jaw bone found would be indistinguishable from that of a modern, young chimpanzee. From the British Museum's reconstruction of the skull, Woodward proposed that Piltdown man represented an evolutionary missing link between ape and man, since the combination of a human-like cranium with an ape-like jaw tended to support the notion then prevailing in England that human evolution was brain-led.

Almost from the outset, Woodward's reconstruction of the Piltdown fragments was strongly challenged. At the Royal College of Surgeons copies of the same fragments used by the British Museum in their reconstruction were used to produce an entirely different model, one that in brain size and other features resembled modern man. Despite these differences however, it does not appear that the possibility of outright forgery arose in connection with the skull.

In 1915, Dawson claimed to have found fragments of a second skull (Piltdown II) at a site about two miles away from the site of the original finds. So far as is known the site in question has never been identified and the finds appear to be entirely undocumented. Woodward does not appear ever to have visited the site.

The exposure

The exposure of the Piltdown forgery in 1953 by workers at the British Museum and other institutions was greeted in many academic quarters with relief. Piltdown man had for some time become regarded as an aberration that was entirely inconsistent with the mainstream thrust of human evolution as demonstrated by fossil hominids found elsewhere. Piltdown Man was shown to be a composite forgery, part-ape and part-man. It consisted of a human skull of medieval age, the 500-year-old lower jaw of a Sarawak orangutan and chimpanzee fossil teeth. The appearance of age had been created by staining the bones with an iron solution and chromic acid. For the forger, the area where the jaw joined the skull posed problems that were overcome by the simple expedient of breaking off the terminals of the jaw. The teeth in the jaw had been filed to make them fit and it was this filing that led to doubts about the veracity of the whole specimen, when, by chance, it was noticed that the top of one of the molars sloped at a very different angle to the other teeth. Microscopic examination revealed file-marks on the teeth and it was deduced from this that filing had taken place to change the shape of the teeth, as ape teeth are different in shape from human teeth.

The degree of technical competence exhibited by the Piltdown forgery continues to be the subject of debate. However, the genius of the forgery is generally regarded as being that it offered the experts of the day exactly what they wanted: convincing evidence that human evolution was brain-led. It is argued that because it gave them what they wanted, the experts taken in by the Piltdown forgery were prepared to ignore all of the rules that are normally applied to evidence. It has been suggestion that nationalism and racism also played a role in the acceptance of the fossil as genuine, as it satisfied European expectations that the earliest humans would be found in Eurasia. The British, it has been claimed, also wanted a first Briton to set against fossil hominids found elsewhere in the world, including France and Germany.

Who forged it?

The identity of the Piltdown forger remains unknown. The finger of suspicion has been pointed at Dawson, Woodward, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (who worked at the site in 1913 with Dawson and discovered a tooth) and even the name of Arthur Conan Doyle has been mentioned, among many others. The motives of the forger also remain unknown, but it has been suggested that the hoax was a practical joke that rapidly ran out of hand. Thought by some to be a very promising candidate for the role of the Piltdown forger, Martin A.C. Hinton left a trunk in storage at the Natural History Museum in London that in 1970 was found to contain animal bones and teeth carved and stained in a manner similar to the carving and staining on the Piltdown finds. In 2003, the Natural History Museum held an exhibition to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the exposure of the hoax.


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