“Modern Human Origin
Starting shortly after 2 million years ago, the genus Homo, our genus, makes its appearance, initially on the African continent, but Homo erectus was the first of our Hominid ancestors to venture out of the continent. Choose to answer one, and only one, of the options below:
A: Describe the evolution of tool manufacture, from Homo habilis over Neanderthals to the first Homo sapiens. What tools were manufactured, where were they found, and what do we think they were used for? Lastly, discuss what tool manufacture may show in terms of cognitive skills and social organization. Be specific and use the correct names of the different tool traditions. While you do not need to provide specifics of all stone tool discoveries, ensure you provide appropriate evidence for stone tool traditions associated with Homo habilis, homo erectus, Neanderthals and the earliest Homo sapiens.
B: Explain the origins of our species, Homo sapiens. First, describe where and when scientists think modern humans originated. Supply specific evidence for the claims. Then, discuss how Homo sapiens relate to other hominin species such as but not limited to Homo neanderthalensis, Homo naledi and Denisovans. Things to consider would be whether one of the species was ancestral to the other or which ancestor they have in common, whether there was gene exchange, and whether the species met.
Things change quickly in paleoanthropology, and to catch up on the newest discoveries that change some dates and locations, make sure to watch this lecture:
VIDEO: COPY and PASTE to see below
If you are having trouble starting this video, please access it here (Links to an external site.).
Note that no textbook can be fully updated due to fast pace of new discoveries and how those can change location and dates. This does not mean what we know are guesses or incorrect, merely that specifics are continuously refined.