Dispersal of Premodern Humans (04:06)
Robert Martin states the earliest fossil record of Homo sapiens is a skull from Ethiopia that is approximately 200,000 years old. Merrilee Guenther discusses variations that accompany the expansion of humans into different environments. Lowering sea levels and land bridges impacted the dispersal of humans; Martin cites the Clovis.
Premodern Human Fossil Record (05:15)
The two main groups of premodern humans are Australopithecines (Australopithecus afarensis) and the genus Homo. Guenther discusses the development of bipedalism. Martin discusses the belief that Neanderthals are the ancestors of modern humans and compares characteristics.
Cultural and Technological Development of Premodern Humans (05:03)
Evidence from the Miocene period suggests the development of the ability to use tools; humans utilized tools during the Pleistocene period. Approximately 40,000 years ago, humans developed more modern cultural capabilities; hear examples. Martin discusses the concepts of hunter gatherers and domestication with Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.
Understanding Modern Human Origins (03:13)
Competing hypothesis explain the origin of human evolution and dispersal. Guenther states that molecular and fossil data support the complete replacement model.
Holocene Hunters and Gatherers (03:59)
Evidence suggests more complex social structures partly built around hunting and gathering. Populations gathered in areas of high resources; climate change affected migration patterns. Martin states human settlement and domestication likely emerged at least 10 times in different places independently.
Food Production Technology and Social Development (04:46)
Agricultural origins emerged approximately 10,000 years ago, allowing increasing complexity in human societies and resulting in modifications to tools, selective breeding, animal domestication, task compartmentalization, and diet change. Martin discusses common trends in societal development.
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