Does Anthropology go back 2 million years+?

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Does Anthropology go back 2 million years+?

#1  Postby Macdoc » Dec 02, 2018 2:09 am

Image

Researchers excavated stone cores like this one that early human ancestors used to strike off sharp-edged cutting flakes. M. SAHNOUNI

Strongest evidence of early humans butchering animals discovered in North Africa

On a high grassy plateau in Algeria, just 100 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea, early human ancestors butchered extinct horses, antelopes, and other animals with primitive stone tools 2 million to 2.4 million years ago. The dates, reported today, push back the age of the oldest tools in North Africa by as much as a half a million years and provide new insight into how these protohumans spread across the continent.

For decades, east Africa has been considered the birthplace of our genus Homo, and the epicenter of early toolmaking for almost 1 million years. The oldest known Homo fossils date back 2.8 million years in Ethiopia. Nearby, just 200,000 years later, scientists have found simple tools, such as thumb-size stone flakes, and fist-size cores from which such flakes were struck, in the nearby Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Claims of even older tools and animal bones with cutmarks stretch back 3.4 million years in east Africa, but those claims are controversial.

Regardless, the long-standing view has been that once hominins, or members of the human family, invented stone tools in east Africa, they didn’t travel far with them until 1.8 million years ago (or, more controversially, 2 million years ago, in China) when tools turn up in Algeria, Georgia, and China.


more
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11 ... rth-africa
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Re: Does Anthropology go back 2 million years+?

#2  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Dec 02, 2018 8:14 am

I don't quite understand the question that is the title of this thread.
Anthropology is a field of scientific inquiry. Are you asking whether it investigates as far back as 2+ million years or whether humans (the subject of anthropology) go back 2+ million years?
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Re: Does Anthropology go back 2 million years+?

#3  Postby Macdoc » Dec 02, 2018 10:45 am

I was curious if anthropology included our primate ancestors or was limited to modern humans.

This seems to indicate a special branch does

Early humans and dawn of human information sharing
Team challenges accepted notions of cultural transmission
Date:
November 1, 2017
Source:
Washington State University
Summary:
Researchers are challenging a widely accepted notion, first advanced by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey, that a 2-million-year-old rock represents the dawn of human ancestors sharing information with each other.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 092021.htm

Since we are discovering tool use further and further in the past, I was curious as to where the past time boundary might lie. A paleoanthropologist clearly explores this area between modern humans and ancestral forms but where is the cut off.

This pair is studying 6 million year old evidence

An analysis of the femur of one of the oldest human ancestors reveals the six-million-year-old "Millenium Man" was bipedal but lived in the trees. The research, led by Stony Brook University researchers and their team of international paleoanthropologists, could provide additional insight to the origins of human bipedalism and is published in Nature Communications.



https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 181252.htm

So clearly it seems anthropology extends much further back in time than modern humans.
Led to some interesting reading :coffee:
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Re: Does Anthropology go back 2 million years+?

#4  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 18, 2019 1:40 am

Macdoc wrote:I was curious if anthropology included our primate ancestors or was limited to modern humans.


Biological / Physical Anthropology includes primates, ancestor or otherwise, in a comparative function.

In my undergraduate course, I would estimate around 30% of the courses were on non-human primates, whether that be primate morphology, or behavioral ecology.
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Re: Does Anthropology go back 2 million years+?

#5  Postby Hermit » Apr 18, 2019 6:05 am

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