Friday, April 27, 2012

Twiggy & Georgie

Alright, alright it's time for a second supplement to podcast # 2, Paleolithic Europe. To our left here we have Twiggy, the swinging sixties model from England that defined a generation. She was the face of 1966 according to the British tabloid, The Daily Express. We can trust this quote and this tabloid because a) it was true, Twiggy was a sensation that swept all over Europe and America in the late 1960's and b) this English rag was not owned by Rupert Murdoch. Anyway, Twiggy was the it girl from 1966 - 1970 and then decided to call it quits as a model, stating that nobody would want to live as a clothing hanger forever. But, during that time she influenced not only contemporary fashion, but fashion's direction for the next 40 some odd years. Even in the 1960's she was seen as a figure too thin. Some people thought her boyish frame sent a bad message to girls about body image. Some people blame her for models' super skinny frames today. Twiggy comments that her skinniness was a genetic thing and that she ate a regular diet. The end result though is that Twiggy was very, very skinny and very, very popular in the late 1960's. So, what on earth does this have to do with Paleolithic Europe?

Well, in 1968, midway into the Twiggy madness, something rather interesting was found in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania by Peter Nzube. Peter found bits of a fossilized skull that had been buried for an estimate of 1.8 million years. Do you know what 1.8 million years of dirt and rock and earth laying on top of your skull would do to said skull? It would flatten it. So, they officially named this flattened skull OH 24. But, since it was so skinny, they unofficially named it Twiggy.

So 1.8 million years ago some human ancestor, a Homo habilis was roaming through what would become Tanzania and passed away. His homo habilis friends probably were a bit bummed, but moved on. But as this tragedy was going on in Tanzania, another modern human ancestor was traipsing around the Caucasus, Homo erectus georgicus. Sadly, he too would meet his end at about the same point in history. Georgie, as we'll call him was found near Dmanisi, Georgia in 1991 by Dr. David Lordkipanidze. Initially, it was thought that the remains found was a new species, a descendant of Homo habilis, of which Twiggy was a member, and an ancestor of Homo erectus. But, this was later debunked and now Georgie is referred to as a subspecies of Homo erectus.

So there you have it, Twiggy & Georgie. Stay with us and keep checking out the blog for updates and subscribe to the podcast using iTunes.

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