End of Chapter 09 Questions

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright May 2018


1. Discuss the major differences between the australopiths (see Capter 8) and Homo erectus. What are the major differences in cranial morphology, brain size, body size, and limb proportions?

2. Why is the nearly complete skeleton from Nariokotome so important? What kinds of evidence does it provide?

3. What fundamental questions of interpretation do the fossil hominins from Dmanisi raise? Does this evidence completely overturn the earlier views (hypotheses) concerning H. erectus dispersal from Africa? Explain why or why not.

4. How has the interpretation of H. erectus behavior at Zhoukoudian been revised in recent years? What kinds of new evidence from this site have been used in this reevaluation, and what does that tell you about modern archaeological techniques and approaches?


1. The differences were that Homo erectus had a larger cranial capacity which meant a larger brain, and a larger body with longer straighter legs. It was much more a ground walker and tool user than the australopiths, but not as much as homo sapiens.

2. The Nariokotome site showed that Homo erectus was also evolving in Africa, not just in Asia and Indonesia.

3. The heated question is where did H. erectus start and when did it start disbursing. The Dmanisi site is in Georgia, between Russia and Turkey. This is a long way from Africa.

4. Like other H. erectus sites, the dating question at Zhoukoudian is heated. Also a hot topic is how much tool use and how much meat eating was going on at this site. Was it an inhabited cave or a garbage site?



--The End--