lab 11

Purpose

The purpose of this lab is for you to infer appropriate conclusions about fossil hominins based on the analysis of qualitative and quantitative empirical data and identify key physical (morphological), physiological (functional), and behavioral traits in human fossil ancestors.
This assignment will help you become familiar with the following important content knowledge in anthropology:

later Homo and Homo sapiens evolution
hypotheses to explain the origins of modern humans

You will practice the following skills as you complete this assignment: 

infer specific behaviors based on anatomical traits
identify anatomical similarities and differences in the later members of the genus Homo
identify anatomical traits used to identify modern Homo sapiens in the paleoanthropological record

The knowledge you will gain and the skills you will practice by completing this lab are essential to your success in this course. Inferring appropriate conclusions based on qualitative and quantitative empirical data is a critical thinking skill you will use beyond this lab. 

Workstation 1: Archaic Homo sapiens
 
Instructions: 

Observe the 3D models of Homo heidelbergensis (archaic Homo sapiens) below.
Compare and contrast the crania. How are they similar? How are they different? 
Identify two observable traits that are present on all three crania that are also shared with Homo erectus? 

 
Kabwe, Zambia (Africa), ~275-325 kya

Homo heidlebergensis by Geospatial and Virtual Archaeology Lab and Studio on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6Rqot (click link for observation)

 
Steinheim, Germany, 250-350 kya

Homo heidelbergensis (Steinheim skull)(1979rp45) by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6QUBP (click link for observation)

                                              
 Florisbad, Orange Free State, South Africa, 250-350 kya

Homo heidelbergensis (Florisbad) (1979rp24) by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab

https://skfb.ly/6XRIN (click link for observation)
 

Workstation 2: The Neanderthals
 
Instructions: 

Observe the 3D models of the Neanderthals below.
Compare and contrast the two crania. How are they similar? How are they different? 
Identify three observable traits that are present on both crania that are derived traits in Neanderthals. 

 
La Chapelle-aux-Saints, France, 47-56 kya

(433rp7) by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6RALD (click link for observation)

 
 Gibraltar 1, ~35 kya, found in Forbes Quarry, Gibraltar (one of the youngest Neanderthal fossils, ~35 kya is super recent!!)

Gibraltar 1 Skull with Texture by Wellesley College on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6uWYR (click link for observation)

 
Workstation 3: Neanderthals vs. Modern Homo sapiens
 
Instructions: 

Observe the 3D models of mandibles from a Neanderthal and a modern Homo sapiens below.
Compare and contrast the two samples. How are they similar? How are they different? 
Identify one observable trait that is present on the Neanderthal mandible, but not present on the modern Homo sapiens mandible. 
Identify one observable trait that is present on the modern Homo sapiens mandible, but not present on the Neanderthal mandible. 

Spy Cave, Namur, Belgium, ~40 kya (Neanderthal)

(Spy 2) Mandible (433rp20) by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6YtD7 (click link to observation)
                                   
Hotu Cave, Iran, ~9,900 – 7,200 years before present (modern Homo sapiens)

Homo sapiens (Hotu Cave) (1979rp28) – mandible by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6YwDw (click link to observe)

 

Workstation 4: Evolution of Homo sapiens
 
As with other transitions in hominin evolution, modern traits do not appear fully formed or all at once. The traits common to modern Homo sapiens appeared in a mosaic manner. In this workstation, you will look at how our skull anatomy has changed over time and you will also observe geographic variation in our species.
Instructions: 

Observe the 3D models of modern Homo sapiens below. (Some of the models are a little dark. Just do the best you can.)
Describe how the cranial morphology in modern Homo sapiens has evolved (changed) over time based on your observations of the samples below. 
Identify one observable derived modern Homo sapiens trait that all the crania share. 
Which hypothesis to explain the origins of modern Homo sapiens is best supported by the morphology of these crania (Multiregional or Out of Africa)? Please be cognizant of the times and geographical areas represented by the samples. Please explain your answer and any limitations associated with the data (aside from the small sample size). 

 
Herto: Middle Awash, Ethiopia, ~160 kya 

Homo sapiens Cranium by UCFanthropology on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6SHYU (click link to observe)

 
Skhul 5 sample:  Mugharet es-Skhul, Wadi el-Mughara, Israel, 80-120 kya

Homo sapiens Skhul 5 (2501.1rp37-1) by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6QUBQ (click link to observe)

 
Wajak, East Java, Indonesia, ~28-38 kya

Homo sapiens (Wadjak 1) (1979rp11) by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6RDLR (click link to observe)
 
Cro-Magnon, Les Eyzies, Dordogne, France ~ 27 kya

Homo sapiens (Cro-Magnon I) Skull (1979rp16-1) by RLA Archaeology on Sketchfab
https://skfb.ly/6WxO9 (click link to observe)

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