Free Red Ochre and Human Evolution Essay Sample


The field of anthropology is in no way speared the characteristics of learning that make it based on trial and error and reinvestigations to refuse existing claims. It is for this reason that there are instances where anthropologists go back on their own words and conclusions on findings.

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Summary of First Article

In the article “The Mystery Ape of Pleistocene Asia”, the writer is seen as part of a team that had come out with a previous conclusion on a piece of human jaw fragment from Longgup. The article makes claims of how the earlier conclusions conflict latest findings and studies. It is for instance stated that the age given to the jaw fragment as 1.9 million-year old may be erroneous. There is also a sharp debate on the origin of the jaw and the possibility that the origin of the organism involved, which was found in Sichuan province in China could be coming from Africa. Evidence is presented that “the mammalian fossils dug up from Longgupo belonged to the subtropical StegodonAiluropoda fauna found throughout the subtropical forested region south of China’s Qinling Mountains” and not Africa as claimed earlier. (Ciochon, 2009). Then there are arguments on the authenticity of the claim that the organism is pre-erectus status. Finally, the article debates extensively on the teething problems associated with the jaw discovered; resolving that the teething gives the writer much room to believe that the jaw found was not that of a human being but a mystery ape.

Goal and message conveyed

The goal of the article was set around an aim of correcting previous conclusions on a discovered jaw found in Sichuan province in China. The earlier conclusion was that the jaw was that of a human being but further studies and empirical research by one of the brains that had spearheaded earlier claims had come to settle that the jaw was not that of a human being. The article is therefore a rejoinder of a sort, trying to give new findings to an existing conclusion on the state of a discovered jaw.  

The author is trying to convey the message that anthropology and other scientific researches should be subject to continuous research. This is indeed a very important approach to scientific learning. If the author had not upon concluding findings on the first conclusions he gave with his colleagues gone ahead to research more, this new revelations would not have been coming up. By this gesture, the way is going to be paved for other anthropologists to come aboard with investigations on the specific jaw in question. Other scientists whose work relate to the elements in question may also come up with their own versions of research.

The message the author is trying to convey as well as the goal of the article is very important because it paves way for the world to have accurate and reliable information on what happened before anyone of us was born; what is happening around as currently and what may happen in the nearest future. In deed, scientists are not and cannot be perfectionists but their role of ensuring that the world receives the truth about their works is very important. It makes learners more informed and more discerning. With such information, it becomes possible to make right choices on issues of life.

Relation to physical anthropology

It will be observed that physical anthropology basically deals with human evolutionary biology, physical variation of human species as well as the classification of human species. For the fact that the claims of this article are directed towards the claims of the origin of the jaw that was found and by the fact that the jaw could possibly be an indication of a stage in the human evolution process makes the article and its claim have a lot of relation with physical anthropology. At least, there is a conscious effort being made to establish the truth about the true origins of humans and our classification with other living creatures.

Summary of three peer reviewed articles

In an article titled “Out of Africa I: Who, Where, and When”, the writers make claim to the fact that there are evidence to confirm the assertion that humans are indeed evolutional and that the present human species may be rooted to the African Ape. The article gives the timeline of this evolutionary claim as 5 to 10 million ago. This is to say that in some 10 million years back, the current human species were actually apes of the African Ape origin. There is also a transitional claim of where humans were first located. The claims made by the article are that humans; and indeed all humans originated from Africa and that the transitional trip took place about 1 million years ago.  In the other article titled “How We Won the Hominid Wars, and All the Others Died Out”, there is another claim to the effect that humans were in a similar identical state as other hominids. These other hominids lived with humans on the planet.

Due to a number of factors such as environmental instability, we are told that the other hominids lost their existence. There is quite a diversionary approach to the claims of this article because it does try to argue in line with the normal saying human evolution but only try to create awareness of the fact that there used to be other hominids on this planet, which lost survival due to environmental war. The final article “Red Ochre and Human Evolution: A Case for Discussion” writes on some of the most important evidences and proofs that could be used to trace the origin of the human species are neglected. Particular mention is made of ochre remains that have not been investigated by scientists though the remains hold the key to ending a lot of the controversies surrounding evolution of human species. The writer therefore laments that the implications for understanding the formative processes of color choice and color symbolism have not received the attention they deserve (Wreschner et al, 1980)

Supporting and refuting evidence

A couple of evidence and claims are made from the article “The Mystery Ape of Pleistocene Asia” that are related or partly addressed in the peer-reviewed articles referenced above. In the first place, there is a contradictory assertion that the jaw that was found was that of a mystery ape and not a human being. This contradiction could not be avoided especially as the article, “The Mystery Ape of Pleistocene Asia” was written as a direct reaction to the article “Out of Africa I: Who, Where, and When”. There are a number refuted claims and evidence in the two articles including that of the age of the jaw and the origin of it. The issue of the species that the jaw belongs is however the most controversial issue among the two articles. Since both articles seem to come up with qualitative evidence of the species that the jaw belongs, a third party enquiry research would be the best way to strike the line of claim.

The second peer review article titled “How We Won the Hominid Wars, and All the Others Died Out” comes in as a perfect evidence that could partly be related as a support for the evidence and claims made by Ciochon (2009) in his article, “The Mystery Ape of Pleistocene Asia”. This is because the former posits of the presence of other species that lived with the human species on this very planet some millions of years ago. So if these creatures have suddenly been extinct and there is another claim of a piece of jaw being that of a mystery ape and not human, then there could be some level of evidence and linkage that indeed the mystery ape could be part of the creatures who lost the environmental instability war and perished from the surface of the earth. The only variation with what Neimark (2012) claims is that the number of years is quotes is 70 million whiles that of Cichon (2009) is 2 million.

The final article though not directly related to the jaw in question comes in as the solution to the whole series of problems that anthropologists seem to be going through today. This assertion is made against the backdrop that if all evidence could be considered critically without leaving rooms for speculations, then anthropologists can always come to common conclusions on what certain discoveries represent. The author’s stake on the issues may however be a straong confirmation of what has been claimed by Chichon (2009). This is because the author gives an indication that indeed there was another species in addition to the human species.


The fact that most of their findings are based on events that happened several years ago, it is important that conclusions made on anthropological claims continue to be scrutinized, researched and challenged to ensure authentic and empirical conclusions that will stand and be considered as valid in all areas of their proof.


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