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Part 2 complete: LSA and UP

This is an introduction to the Hunter-Gatherer condition and the development and spread of modern behaviour.

Dennis Sandgathe

on 28 September 2015

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Transcript of Part 2 complete: LSA and UP

Mobile Pedestrian
Group Size
Group Mobility
2 approaches to H-G mobility and exploiting wild resources
1/ very small groups: 'Foragers'
2/ Larger Groups (50-125):
Group Structure
Band Interaction
The Basic Hunter-Gatherer Condition
H-Gs must:
1/ be mobile because resources are limited and easily exhausted in any one locale
2/ limit material possessions because everything must be carried from place to place
3/ share resources because they are limited and often cannot be guaranteed to be acquired
4/ avoid competition for resources because this would rapidly result in over-exploitation of the resources: individualism is actively discouraged
5/ form alliances with adjacent groups through social/kinship ties. A group can then rely on these neighbours during periods of resource stress in their own region and acquire marriage partners when needed.
The Emergence of Modern Behaviour
H-Ging, but with some more complex behaviours
Anatomically Modern Humans
Homo sapiens sapiens
c. 200,000 bp
Homo erectus
Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
but, between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago ...
Use of Symbolism
South Africa
appearance of more complex technologies and behaviours - earlier here than anywhere else:
microblade technology
small bifacial projectile points
bone tool technology
red ochre processing
shell beads
microblade technology
small bifacial projectile points
bone tools
red ochre processing
shell beads
The Spread of Modern Behaviour
represents the spread of modern humans out of Africa between 100,000 and 50,000 bp
The Upper Palaeolithic
40,000 to 10,000 bp
Upper Palaeolithic (UP) Cultures
Aurignacian: 40 to 30,000 bp

Gravettian: 30 to 20,000 bp

Solutrean: 20 to 15,000 bp

Magdalenian: 15 to 10,000 bp
UP stone tools
blade technology
Solutrean point
Bone/ivory tools
Personal Ornamentation
Upper Palaeolithic Art
1/ mobiliary art (carved figurines)

2/ parietal art (cave wall art)

mobiliary art
mainly animals

lots of humans

'venus' figurines

rare 'shamanic' figures

e.g. Dolni Vestonice, Czech Rebublic
Interpretatations of Mobiliary Art?
Earth Mother Goddess
Individual commemoratives
paintings and etchings
Lascaux Cave, France
Pech Merle, France
Font de Gaume, France
Chauvet Cave, France
Altamira Cave, Spain
Sympathetic Hunting Magic
Shamanic Devices
Initiation Ceremonies
Clan Totems

Parietal Art
compared to the Middle Palaeolithic (250,000 to 40,000 bp), in the Upper Palaeolithic we see:
many more sites
much larger sites
a lot more stuff at sites (stone tools, animal bones, fire residues)
resources being carried greater distances
need for more effective communication WITHIN a group
individual status becomes more important
personal ornamentation increases
sub-groups develop (clans, age groups, secret societies)
communication BETWEEN groups becomes more important
'signalling' group membership
maintaining territorial boundaries
Elaborate Burials
e.g., Sunghir, Russia
adult male and 2 children
c. 25,000 bp
3000 bone beads
Achieved Status ...
... vs Ascribed Status
Climate Change and Prehistory
Later Stone Age/
Upper Palaeolithic

All UP cultures had similar general components.

made stone tools from blades
lots of endscrapers - for hide processing
finely crafted bone/ivory tools (points, needles)
personal ornaments of bone and ivory
elaborate art
lived in larger groups - probably 'Collectors'
"Shoe Tree"
Homo habilis
Homo erectus
Homo heidelbergenis
Homo sapiens
Homo sapiens sapiens

50,000 to 12,000 years ago
Full transcript