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Thread: Kenyan finds dramatically push back dates for behavioral "humanity"

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    1 members found this post helpful.

    Kenyan finds dramatically push back dates for behavioral "humanity"



    "team has uncovered a series of unexpected finds, which suggest that human behavior and culture became incredibly sophisticated well before anyone suspected—almost at the very dawn of our species, Homo sapiens.The team found obsidian tools that came from sources dozens of miles away—a sign of long-distance trade networks. They found lumps of black and red rock that had been processed to create pigments—a sign of symbolic thought and representation. They found carefully crafted stone tools that are indicative of the period known as the Middle Stone Age; that period was thought to have started around 280,000 years ago, but the Olorgesailie tools are between 305,000 and 320,000 years old."

    "Collectively, these finds speak to one of the most important questions in human evolution: When did anatomically modern people, with big brains and bipedal stances, become behaviorally modern, with symbolic art, advanced tools, and a culture that built on itself? Scientists used to believe that the latter milestone arrived well after the former, when our species migrated into Europe between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago, and went through a “creative explosion” that produced the evocative cave art of Lascaux and Chauvet. But this conspicuously Eurocentric idea has been overturned by a wealth of evidence showing a much earlier origin for modern human behavior—in Africa, the continent of our birth.


    The new discoveries at Olorgesailie push things back even further. They suggest that many of our most important qualities—long-term planning, long-distance exploration, large social networks, symbolic representation, and innovative technology—were already in place 20,000 to 40,000 years earlier than believed. That coincides with the age of the earliest known human fossils, recently found elsewhere in Africa. “What we’re seeing in Olorgesailie is right at the root of Homo sapiens,” Potts says. “It seems that this package of cognitive and social behaviors were there from the outset.”"

    See:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...utm_source=twb


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    Scientists used to believe that the latter milestone arrived well after the former, when our species migrated into Europe between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago, and went through a “creative explosion” that produced the evocative cave art of Lascaux and Chauvet. >>> I was never convinced of that hypothesis about a "cultural revolution" or "creative explosion" a mere 50,000 to 60,000 years ago. It sounded completely out of touch with the other evidences, a hypothesis without connection with the well known evidences that there were already people living in Australia and Papua 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, without much further contact with other peoples until relatively recently in historic terms, and little population replacement, and that there was no indication of a major breakthrough or change in the human body and human genetics to account for the entire humankind standing without cultural creativity for 200,000 years and "suddenly" discovering that they are able to make abstract thinking and artistic representation. That hypothesis also assumed that those cultural skils would suddenly appear everywhere from Africa to Siberia in 10,000 or 20,000 years even in the absence of evidences of a wholesale replacement of the earlier "behaviorally archaic" humankind in all those regions. Unlikely. Fortunately these new findings are causing revisions to those ideas (many of them, as text says, arguably influenced by eurocentric narrow-mindedness) and allowing us to envision a much more plausible and much more gradual and long-lasting - no sudden "boom" of creativity and culture any longer - process for the development of modern human behavior. These are really great news. I hope they get confirmed by other studies and archaeological findings.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Yeah I have also never liked the contrast between anatomically and behaviorally modern. Once the anatomy is in place I don't think there's a reason to expect primitive behavior.
    This finding is very interesting though because it contributes to the out-of-africa perspective. While it's true that not all non-african DNA comes from the Africans that moved to Asia 60k years ago, most of it does. In most people that is over 96%. And even other DNA, like neanderthals', had some African (sapiens) admixture. So over the last couple of years the multiregionalists have been hurrying to bury the out-of-africa theory way too quickly and baes on relatively unimportant results. This article shows that a lot of what makes us human was already in place in Africa by 300k years ago, which means all humans share it.

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    since the discovery of the bracelet, IMO 50 ka the Denisovans were the most advanced people, a branch outside the modern humans, with TMRCA some 600 ka, modenr humans don't have a monopoly

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    Monopoly on what?

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    on what some call ' behaviorally modern'

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    Yeah I agree that there's no monopoly, but I don't think anyone was claiming that anymore. On the other hand there were plenty of people supporting the idea of behaviorally modern having arisen in Europe, which would exclude most Africans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ownstyler View Post
    Yeah I agree that there's no monopoly, but I don't think anyone was claiming that anymore. On the other hand there were plenty of people supporting the idea of behaviorally modern having arisen in Europe, which would exclude most Africans.
    long time there was a theory that the ancestors of the modern humans out of Africa people were from the Howieson Poort in South Africa and that this was the source of modern behaviour, some 60 ka

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howiesons_Poort

    the theory has been investigated thouroughly and no connection with out of Africa has been found
    in the end, the conclusion was that this culture simply went extinct

    the invention of blade tools 50 ka leading to the expansion of haplo C (TMRCA 49.2 ka) and F (TMRCA 48.8 ka) IMO didn't happen in Africa, but in SW Asia

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    since the discovery of the bracelet, IMO 50 ka the Denisovans were the most advanced people, a branch outside the modern humans, with TMRCA some 600 ka, modenr humans don't have a monopoly
    the oldest needle was found in Denisova cave 50 ka, and the hole in the 40 ka bracelet found there was drilled with rotary borers
    these technologies were found later, some 40 ka in 'Spitsynian', Kostenki area
    these technologies were found 35 ka in Mezmayskaya cave
    it was the base for the Gravettian which rapidly spread all over Europe, along with haplo I, and Sungir clade (pre-C1a1)
    modern humans learned a lot from Denisovans

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    the oldest needle was found in Denisova cave 50 ka, and the hole in the 40 ka bracelet found there was drilled with rotary borers
    these technologies were found later, some 40 ka in 'Spitsynian', Kostenki area
    these technologies were found 35 ka in Mezmayskaya cave
    it was the base for the Gravettian which rapidly spread all over Europe, along with haplo I, and Sungir clade (pre-C1a1)
    modern humans learned a lot from Denisovans
    The point I was making was that complex behavior and possibly social organization existed in African homo sapiens even before the introduction of neanderthals and denisovan admixture. I wasn't comparing the level of advancement, I was saying this study shows we had the intrinsic ability to achieve such advancements before moving out of Africa.

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