Behavioral modernity is a suite of behavioral and cognitive traits that distinguishes current Homo sapiens from other anatomically modern humans, hominins, and primates. Although often debated, most scholars agree that modern human behavior can be characterized by abstract thinking, planning depth, symbolic behavior (e.g., art, ornamentation), music and dance, exploitation of large game, and blade technology, among others. Underlying these behaviors and technological innovations are cognitive and cultural foundations that have been documented experimentally and ethnographically. Some of these human universal patterns are cumulative cultural adaptation, social norms, language, and extensive help and cooperation beyond close kin. It has been argued that the development of these modern behavioral traits, in combination with the climatic conditions of the Last Glacial Maximum, was largely responsible for the human replacement of Neanderthals and the other species of humans of the rest of the world.
Arising from differences in the archaeological record, a debate continues as to whether anatomically modern humans were behaviorally modern as well. There are many theories on the evolution of behavioral modernity. These generally fall into two camps: gradualist and cognitive approaches. The Later Upper Paleolithic Model refers to the theory that modern human behavior arose through cognitive, genetic changes abruptly around 40,000–50,000 years ago. Other models focus on how modern human behavior may have arisen through gradual steps; the archaeological signatures of such behavior only appearing through demographic or subsistence-based changes.
To classify what traits should be included in modern human behavior, it is necessary to define behaviors that are universal among living human groups. Some examples of these human universals are abstract thought, planning, trade, cooperative labor, body decoration, control and use of fire. Along with these traits, humans possess much reliance on social learning. This cumulative cultural change or cultural "ratchet" separates human culture from social learning in animals. As well, a reliance on social learning may be responsible in part for humans' rapid adaptation to many environments outside of Africa. Since cultural universals are found in all cultures including some of the most isolated indigenous groups, these traits must have evolved or have been invented in Africa prior to the exodus.
Archaeologically, a number of empirical traits have been used as indicators of modern human behavior. While these are often debated a few are generally agreed upon. Archaeological evidence of behavioral modernity includes:
Several critiques have been placed against the traditional concept of behavioral modernity, both methodologically and philosophically. Shea (2011) outlines a variety of problems with this concept, arguing instead for "behavioral variability", which, according to the author, better describes the archaeological record. The use of trait lists, according to Shea (2011), runs the risk of taphonomic bias, where some sites may yield more artifacts than others despite similar populations; as well, trait lists can be ambiguous in how behaviors may be empirically recognized in the archaeological record. Shea (2011) in particular cautions that population pressure, cultural change, or optimality models, like those in human behavioral ecology, might better predict changes in tool types or subsistence strategies than a change from "archaic" to "modern" behavior. Some researchers argue that a greater emphasis should be placed on identifying only those artifacts which are unquestionably, or purely, symbolic as a metric for modern human behavior.
The Late Upper Paleolithic Model, or Upper Paleolithic Revolution, refers to the idea that, though anatomically modern humans first appear around 150,000 years ago, they were not cognitively or behaviorally "modern" until around 50,000 years ago, leading to their expansion into Europe and Asia. These authors note that traits used as a metric for behavioral modernity do not appear as a package until around 40–50,000 years ago. Klein (1995) specifically describes evidence of fishing, bone shaped as a tool, hearths, significant artifact diversity, and elaborate graves are all absent before this point. Although assemblages before 50,000 years ago show some diversity the only distinctly modern tool assemblages appear in Europe at 48,000. According to these authors, art only becomes common beyond this switching point, signifying a change from archaic to modern humans. Most researchers argue that a neurological or genetic change, perhaps one enabling complex language, such as FOXP2, caused this revolutionary change in our species.
Contrasted with this view of a spontaneous leap in cognition among ancient humans, some authors like Alison S. Brooks, primarily working in African archaeology, point to the gradual accumulation of "modern" behaviors, starting well before the 50,000 year benchmark of the Upper Paleolithic Revolution models. Howiesons Poort, Blombos, and other South African archaeological sites, for example, show evidence of marine resource acquisition, trade, the making of bone tools, blade and microlith technology, and abstract ornamentation at least by 80,000 years ago. Given evidence from Africa and the Middle East, a variety of hypotheses have been put forth to describe an earlier, gradual transition from simple to more complex human behavior. Some authors have pushed back the appearance of fully modern behavior to around 80,000 years ago in order to incorporate the South African data.
Others focus on the slow accumulation of different technologies and behaviors across time. These researchers describe how anatomically modern humans could have been cognitively the same and what we define as behavioral modernity is just the result of thousands of years of cultural adaptation and learning. D'Errico and others have looked at Neanderthal culture, rather than early human behavior exclusively, for clues into behavioral modernity. Noting that Neanderthal assemblages often portray traits similar to those listed for modern human behavior, researchers stress that the foundations for behavioral modernity may in fact lie deeper in our hominin ancestors. If both modern humans and Neanderthals express abstract art and complex tools then "modern human behavior" cannot be a derived trait for our species. They argue that the original "human revolution" theory reflects a profound Eurocentric bias. Recent archaeological evidence, they argue, proves that humans evolving in Africa some 300,000 or even 400,000 years ago were already becoming cognitively and behaviourally "modern". These features include blade and microlithic technology, bone tools, increased geographic range, specialized hunting, the use of aquatic resources, long distance trade, systematic processing and use of pigment, and art and decoration. These items do not occur suddenly together as predicted by the "human revolution" model, but at sites that are widely separated in space and time. This suggests a gradual assembling of the package of modern human behaviours in Africa, and its later export to other regions of the Old World.
Between these extremes is the view – currently supported by archaeologists Chris Henshilwood, Curtis Marean, Ian Watts and others – that there was indeed some kind of 'human revolution' but that it occurred in Africa and spanned tens of thousands of years. The term "revolution" in this context would mean not a sudden mutation but a historical development along the lines of "the industrial revolution" or "the Neolithic revolution". In other words, it was a relatively accelerated process, too rapid for ordinary Darwinian "descent with modification" yet too gradual to be attributed to a single genetic or other sudden event. These archaeologists point in particular to the relatively explosive emergence of ochre crayons and shell necklaces apparently used for cosmetic purposes. These archaeologists see symbolic organisation of human social life as the key transition in modern human evolution. Recently discovered at sites such as Blombos Cave and Pinnacle Point, South Africa, pierced shells, pigments and other striking signs of personal ornamentation have been dated within a time-window of 70,000–160,000 years ago in the African Middle Stone Age, suggesting that the emergence of Homo sapiens coincided, after all, with the transition to modern cognition and behaviour. While viewing the emergence of language as a 'revolutionary' development, this school of thought generally attributes it to cumulative social, cognitive and cultural evolutionary processes as opposed to a single genetic mutation.
A further view, taken by archaeologists such as Francesco D'Errico and João Zilhão, is a multi-species perspective arguing that evidence for symbolic culture in the form of utilised pigments and pierced shells are also found in Neanderthal sites, independently of any "modern" human influence.
Cultural evolutionary models may also shed light on why although evidence of behavioral modernity exists before 50,000 years ago it is not expressed consistently until that point. With small population sizes, human groups would have been affected by demographic and cultural evolutionary forces that may not have allowed for complex cultural traits. According to some authors until population density became significantly high, complex traits could not have been maintained effectively. It is worth noting that some genetic evidence supports a dramatic increase in population size before human migration out of Africa. High local extinction rates within a population also can significantly decrease the amount of diversity in neutral cultural traits, regardless of cognitive ability.
Highly speculatively, bicameral mind theory argues for an additional, and cultural rather than genetic, shift from selfless to self-perceiving forms of human cognition and behavior very late in human history, in the Bronze Age. This is based on a literary analysis of Bronze Age texts which claims to show the first appearances of the concept of self around this time, replacing the voices of gods as the primary form of recorded human cognition. This non-mainstream theory is not widely accepted but does receive serious academic interest from time to time.
Before the Out of Africa theory was generally accepted, there was no consensus on where the human species evolved and, consequently, where modern human behavior arose. Now, however, African archaeology has become extremely important in discovering the origins of humanity. Since the first Cro-Magnon expansion into Europe around 48,000 years ago is generally accepted as already "modern", the question becomes whether behavioral modernity appeared in Africa well before 50,000 years ago, as a late Upper Paleolithic "revolution" which prompted migration out of Africa, or arose outside Africa and diffused back.
A variety of evidence of abstract imagery, widened subsistence strategies, and other "modern" behaviors have been discovered in Africa, especially South and North Africa. The Blombos Cave site in South Africa, for example, is famous for rectangular slabs of ochre engraved with geometric designs. Using multiple dating techniques, the site was confirmed to be around 77,000 years old. Beads and other personal ornamentation have been found from Morocco which might be as much as 130,000 years old; as well, the Cave of Hearths in South Africa has yielded a number of beads significantly before 50,000 years ago. Specialized projectile weapons as well have been found at various sites in Middle Stone Age Africa, including bone and stone arrowheads at South African sites such as Sibudu Cave (along with an early bone needle found at Sibudu) dating approximately 60,000-70,000 years ago, and bone harpoons at the Central African site of Katanda dating ca. 90,000 years ago. Evidence also exists for the systematic heat treating of silcrete stone to increased its flake-ability for the purpose of toolmaking, beginning approximately 164,000 years ago at the South African site of Pinnacle Point and becoming common there for the creation of microlithic tools at ca. 72,000 years ago. In 2008, an ochre processing workshop likely for the production of paints was uncovered dating to ca. 100,000 bc at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Analysis shows that a liquefied pigment-rich mixture was produced and stored in the two abalone shells, and that ochre, bone, charcoal, grindstones and hammer-stones also formed a composite part of the toolkits. Evidence for the complexity of the task includes procuring and combining raw materials from various sources (implying they had a mental template of the process they would follow), possibly using pyrotechnology to facilitate fat extraction from bone, using a probable recipe to produce the compound, and the use of shell containers for mixing and storage for later use. Modern behaviors, such as the making of shell beads, bone tools and arrows, and the use of ochre pigment, are evident at a Kenyan site by 78,000-67,000 years ago. The oldest known stone-tipped projectile weapons (a characteristic tool of homo sapiens), the stone tips of javelins or throwing spears, are known from the Ethiopian site of Gademotta, and date to ca. 279,000 years ago.
Expanding subsistence strategies beyond big-game hunting and the consequential diversity in tool types has been noted as signs of behavioral modernity. A number of South African sites have shown an early reliance on aquatic resources from fish to shellfish. Pinnacle Point, in particular, shows exploitation of marine resources as early as 120,000 years ago, perhaps in response to more arid conditions inland. Establishing a reliance on predictable shellfish deposits, for example, could reduce mobility and facilitate complex social systems and symbolic behavior. Blombos Cave and Site 440 in Sudan both show evidence of fishing as well. Taphonomic change in fish skeletons from Blombos Cave have been interpreted as capture of live fish, clearly an intentional human behavior.
While traditionally described as evidence for the later Upper Paleolithic Model, European archaeology has shown that the issue is more complex. A variety of stone tool technologies are present at the time of human expansion into Europe and show evidence of modern behavior. Despite the problems of conflating specific tools with cultural groups, the Aurignacian tool complex, for example, is generally taken as a purely modern human signature. The discovery of "transitional" complexes, like "proto-Aurignacian", have been taken as evidence of human groups progressing through "steps of innovation". If, as this might suggest, human groups were already migrating into eastern Europe around 40,000 years and only afterward show evidence of behavioral modernity, then either the cognitive change must have diffused back into Africa or was already present before migration.
In light of a growing body of evidence of Neanderthal culture and tool complexes some researchers have put forth a "multiple species model" for behavioral modernity. Neanderthals were often cited as being an evolutionary dead-end, apish cousins who were less advanced than their human contemporaries. Personal ornaments were relegated as trinkets or poor imitations compared to the cave art produced by H. sapiens. Despite this, European evidence has shown a variety of personal ornaments and artistic artifacts produced by Neanderthals; for example, the Neanderthal site of Grotte du Renne has produced grooved bear, wolf, and fox incisors, ochre and other symbolic artifacts. Although burials are few and controversial, there has been circumstantial evidence of Neanderthal ritual burials. There are two options to describe this symbolic behavior among Neanderthals: they copied cultural traits from arriving modern humans or they had their own cultural traditions comparative with behavioral modernity. If they just copied cultural traditions, which is debated by several authors, they still possessed the capacity for complex culture described by behavioral modernity. As discussed above, if Neanderthals also were "behaviorally modern" then it cannot be a species-specific derived trait.
Most debates surrounding behavioral modernity have been focused on Africa or Europe but an increasing amount of focus has been placed on East Asia. This region offers a unique opportunity to test hypotheses of multi-regionalism, replacement, and demographic effects. Unlike Europe, where initial migration occurred around 50,000 years ago, human remains have been dated in China to around 100,000 years ago. This early evidence of human expansion calls into question behavioral modernity as an impetus for migration.
Stone tool technology is particularly of interest in East Asia. Following Homo erectus migrations out of Africa, Acheulean technology never seems to appear beyond present-day India and into China. Analogously, Mode 3, or Levallois technology, is not apparent in China following later hominin dispersals. This lack of more advanced technology has been explained by serial founder effects and low population densities out of Africa. Although tool complexes comparative to Europe are missing or fragmentary, other archaeological evidence shows behavioral modernity. For example, the peopling of the Japanese archipelago offers an opportunity to investigate the early use of watercraft. Although one site, Kanedori in Honshu, does suggest the use of watercraft as early as 84,000 years ago, there is no other evidence of hominins in Japan until 50,000 years ago.
The Zhoukoudian cave system near Beijing has been excavated since the 1930s and has yielded precious data on early human behavior in East Asia. Although disputed, there is evidence of possible human burials and interred remains in the cave dated to around 34-20,000 years ago. These remains have associated personal ornaments in the form of beads and worked shell, suggesting symbolic behavior. Along with possible burials, numerous other symbolic objects like punctured animal teeth and beads, some dyed in red ochre, have all been found at Zhoukoudian. Although fragmentary, the archaeological record of eastern Asia shows evidence of behavioral modernity before 50,000 years ago but, like the African record, it is not fully apparent until that time.
The oldest undisputed examples of figurative art are known from Europe and from Sulawesi, Indonesia, dated about 35,000 years old (Art of the Upper Paleolithic).
Together with religion and other cultural universals of contemporary human societies, the emergence of figurative art is a necessary attribute of full behavioral modernity.
There are, however, some examples of non-figurative designs which somewhat predate the Upper Paleolithic, beginning about 70,000 years ago (MIS 4).
These include the earliest of the Iberian cave paintings, including a hand stencil at the Cave of Maltravieso, a simple linear design, and red paint applied to speleothems, dated to at least 64,000 years ago and as such attributable to Neanderthals. Similarly, the Blombos Cave of South Africa yielded some stones with engraved grid or cross-hatch patterns, dated to some 70,000 years ago.
In September 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the earliest known drawing by Homo sapiens, which is estimated to be 73,000 years old, much earlier than the 43,000 years old artifacts understood to be the earliest known modern human drawings found previously.Art of the Upper Paleolithic
The art of the Upper Paleolithic represents the oldest form of prehistoric art. Figurative art is present in Europe as well as in Sulawesi, Indonesia, beginning at least 35,000 years ago.
Non-figurative cave paintings, consisting of hand stencils and simple geometric shapes, is at least 40,000 years old.
According to a 2018 study based on uranium-thorium dating, the oldest examples of Iberian cave art were made as early as 64,000 years ago, implying Neanderthal authorship, which would qualify as art of the Middle Paleolithic.The emergence of figurative art has been interpreted as reflecting the emergence of full behavioral modernity, and is part of the defining characteristics separating the Upper Paleolithic from the Middle Paleolithic.
The discovery of cave art of comparable age to the oldest European samples in Indonesia has established that similar artistic traditions existed both in eastern and in western Eurasia at 40,000 years ago. This has been taken to suggest that such an artistic tradition must in fact date to more than 50,000 years ago, and would have been spread along the southern coast of Eurasia in the original coastal migration movement. It is important to note that most of the art of this period is expected to have been lost, as it was submerged in the early Holocene sea level rise.
Cave art in Europe continued to the Mesolithic (at the beginnings of the Holocene) about 12,000 years ago.
European Upper Paleolithic art is also known informally as "Ice Age art", in reference to the last glacial period.In November 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the oldest known figurative art painting, over 40,000 (perhaps as old as 52,000) years old, of an unknown animal, in a cave on the Indonesian island of Borneo.Celt (tool)
In archaeology, a celt is a long, thin, prehistoric, stone or bronze tool similar to an adze, a hoe or axe-like tool.Cist
A cist ( or ; also kist ;
from Greek: κίστη or Germanic Kiste) is a small stone-built coffin-like box or ossuary used to hold the bodies of the dead. Examples can be found across Europe and in the Middle East.
A cist may have been associated with other monuments, perhaps under a cairn or long barrow. Several cists are sometimes found close together within the same cairn or barrow. Often ornaments have been found within an excavated cist, indicating the wealth or prominence of the interred individual.Cumberland point
A Cumberland point is a lithic projectile point, attached to a spear and used as a hunting tool. These sturdy points were intended for use as thrusting weapons and employed by various mid-Paleo-Indians (c. 11,000 BP) in the Southeastern US in the killing of large game mammals.Evolution of human intelligence
The evolution of human intelligence is closely tied to the evolution of the human brain and to the origin of language. The timeline of human evolution spans approximately 7 million years, from the separation of the genus Pan until the emergence of behavioral modernity by 50,000 years ago. The first 3 million years of this timeline concern Sahelanthropus, the following 2 million concern Australopithecus and the final 2 million span the history of the genus Homo in the Paleolithic era.
Many traits of human intelligence, such as empathy, theory of mind, mourning, ritual, and the use of symbols and tools, are apparent in great apes although in less sophisticated forms than found in humans, such as great ape language.Grattoir de côté
A Grattoir de côté (translates from French as Side Scraper) is an archaeological term for a ridged variety of steep-scrapers distinguished by a working edge on one side. They were found at various archaeological sites in Lebanon including Ain Cheikh and Jdeideh II and are suggested to date to Upper Paleolithic stages three or four (Antelian).Grinding slab
In archaeology, a grinding slab is a ground stone artifact generally used to grind plant materials into usable size, though some slabs were used to shape other ground stone artifacts. Some grinding stones are portable; others are not and, in fact, may be part of a stone outcropping.
Grinding slabs used for plant processing typically acted as a coarse surface against which plant materials were ground using a portable hand stone, or mano ("hand" in Spanish). Variant grinding slabs are referred to as metates or querns, and have a ground-out bowl. Like all ground stone artifacts, grinding slabs are made of large-grained materials such as granite, basalt, or similar tool stones.Homo sapiens
In taxonomy, Homo sapiens is the only extant human species. The name is Latin for "wise man" and was introduced in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus (who is himself also the type specimen).
Extinct species of the genus Homo include Homo erectus, extant during roughly 1.9 to 0.4 million years ago, and a number of other species (by some authors considered subspecies of either H. sapiens or H. erectus).
The age of speciation of H. sapiens out of ancestral H. erectus (or an intermediate species such as Homo antecessor) is estimated to have been roughly 350,000 years ago. Sustained archaic admixture is known to have taken place both in Africa and (following the recent Out-Of-Africa expansion) in Eurasia, between about 100,000 and 30,000 years ago.
The term anatomically modern humans (AMH) is used to distinguish H. sapiens having an anatomy consistent with the range of phenotypes seen in contemporary humans from varieties of extinct archaic humans. This is useful especially for times and regions where anatomically modern and archaic humans co-existed, for example, in Paleolithic Europe.Later Stone Age
The Later Stone Age (LSA) is a period in African prehistory that follows the Middle Stone Age.
The Later Stone Age is associated with the advent of modern human behavior in Africa, although definitions of this concept and means of studying it are up for debate. The transition from the Middle Stone Age to the Later Stone Age is thought to have occurred first in eastern Africa between 50,000 and 39,000 years ago. It is also thought that Later Stone Age peoples and/or their technologies spread out of Africa over the next several thousand years.The terms "Early Stone Age", "Middle Stone Age" and "Later Stone Age" in the context of African archaeology are not to be confused with the terms Lower Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic, and Upper Paleolithic.
They were introduced in the 1920s, as it became clear that the existing chronological system of Upper, Middle, and Lower Paleolithic was not a suitable correlate to the prehistoric past in Africa. Some scholars, however, continue to view these two chronologies as parallel, arguing that they both represent the development of behavioral modernity.Middle Paleolithic
The Middle Paleolithic (or Middle Palaeolithic) is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic broadly spanned from 300,000 to 30,000 years ago. There are considerable dating differences between regions. The Middle Paleolithic was succeeded by the Upper Paleolithic subdivision which first began between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago. Pettit and White date the Early Middle Paleolithic in Great Britain to about 325,000 to 180,000 years ago (late Marine Isotope Stage 9 to late Marine Isotope Stage 7), and the Late Middle Paleolithic as about 60,000 to 35,000 years ago.According to the theory of the recent African origin of modern humans, anatomically modern humans began migrating out of Africa during the Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic around 100,000 or 70,000 years ago and began to replace earlier pre-existent Homo species such as the Neanderthals and Homo erectus. However, recent discoveries of fossils originating from what is now Israel indicate that our species (Homo sapiens) lived outside of Africa 185,000 years ago; some 85,000 years earlier than previous evidence suggests.Middle Stone Age
The Middle Stone Age (or MSA) was a period of African prehistory between the Early Stone Age and the Later Stone Age. It is generally considered to have begun around 280,000 years ago and ended around 50–25,000 years ago. The beginnings of particular MSA stone tools have their origins as far back as 550–500,000 years ago and as such some researchers consider this to be the beginnings of the MSA. The MSA is often mistakenly understood to be synonymous with the Middle Paleolithic of Europe, especially due to their roughly contemporaneous time span, however, the Middle Paleolithic of Europe represents an entirely different hominin population, Homo neanderthalensis, than the MSA of Africa, which did not have Neanderthal populations. Additionally, current archaeological research in Africa has yielded much evidence to suggest that modern human behavior and cognition was beginning to develop much earlier in Africa during the MSA than it was in Europe during the Middle Paleolithic. The MSA is associated with both anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) as well as archaic Homo sapiens, sometimes referred to as Homo helmei. Early physical evidence comes from the Gademotta Formation in Ethiopia, the Kapthurin Formation in Kenya and Kathu Pan in South Africa.Paleolithic religion
Paleolithic religions are a set of spiritual beliefs thought to have appeared during the Paleolithic time period. Paleoanthropologists Andre Leroi-Gourhan and Annette Michelson believe Religious behaviour emerged by the Upper Paleolithic, before 30,000 years ago at the latest, but behavioral patterns such as burial rites that one might characterize as religious — or as ancestral to religious behaviour — reach back into the Middle Paleolithic, as early as 300,000 years ago, coinciding with the first appearance of Homo neanderthalensis and possibly Homo naledi.
There are suggested cases for the first appearance of religious or spiritual experience in the Lower Paleolithic (significantly earlier than 300,000 years ago, pre-Homo sapiens), but these remain controversial and have limited support.Pesse canoe
The Pesse canoe is believed to be the world's oldest known boat, and certainly the oldest known canoe. Carbon dating indicates that the boat was constructed during the early mesolithic period between 8040 BCE and 7510 BCE. It is now in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.Plano point
In archeology, Plano point is flaked stone projectile points and tools created by the various Plano cultures of the North American Great Plains between 9000 BC and 6000 BC for hunting, and possibly to kill other humans.
They are bifacially worked and have been divided into numerous sub-groups based on variations in size, shape and function including Alberta points, Cody points, Frederick points, Eden points and Scottsbluff points. Plano points do not include the hollowing or 'fluting' found in Clovis and Folsom points.Prehistoric technology
Prehistoric technology is technology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric, including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires, hunt, and bury their dead.
There are several factors that made the evolution of prehistoric technology possible or necessary. One of the key factors is behavioral modernity of the highly developed brain of Homo sapiens capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem solving. The advent of agriculture resulted in lifestyle changes from nomadic lifestyles to ones lived in homes, with domesticated animals, and land farmed using more varied and sophisticated tools. Art, architecture, music and religion evolved over the course of the prehistoric periods.Richard Klein (paleoanthropologist)
Richard G. Klein (born April 11, 1941) is a Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Stanford University. He is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences. He earned his PhD at the University of Chicago in 1966, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in April 2003. His research interests include paleoanthropology, Africa and Europe. His primary thesis is that modern humans evolved in East Africa some 100,000 years ago and, starting 50,000 years ago, began spreading throughout the non-African world, replacing archaic human populations over time. He is a critic of the idea that behavioral modernity arose gradually over the course of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years or millions of years, instead supporting the view that modern behavior arose suddenly in the Upper Paleolithic revolution around 50,000 or 40,000 years ago.Uniface
In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.Upper Paleolithic
The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic, Late Stone Age) is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Holocene), according to some theories coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of agriculture.
Anatomically modern humans (i.e. Homo sapiens) are believed to have emerged out of Africa around 200,000 years ago, although these lifestyles changed very little from that of archaic humans of the Middle Paleolithic, until about 50,000 years ago, when there was a marked increase in the diversity of artefacts.
This period coincides with the expansion of modern humans from Africa throughout Asia and Eurasia, which contributed to the extinction of the Neanderthals.
The Upper Paleolithic has the earliest known evidence of organized settlements, in the form of campsites, some with storage pits. Artistic work blossomed, with cave painting, petroglyphs, carvings and engravings on bone or ivory. The first evidence of human fishing is also found, from artefacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa. More complex social groupings emerged, supported by more varied and reliable food sources and specialized tool types. This probably contributed to increasing group identification or ethnicity.The peopling of Australia most likely took place before c. 60 ka. Europe was peopled after c. 45 ka.
Anatomically modern humans are known to have expanded northward into Siberia as far as the 58th parallel by about 45 ka (Ust'-Ishim man).
The Upper Paleolithic is divided by the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), during about 25 to 15 ka. The peopling of the Americas occurred during this time, with East and Central Asia populations reaching the Bering land bridge after about 35 ka, and expanding into the Americas by about 15 ka.
In Western Eurasia, the Paleolithic eases into the so-called Epipaleolithic or Mesolithic from the end of the LGM, beginning 15 ka. The Holocene glacial retreat begins 11.7 ka (10th millennium BC), falling well into the Old World Epipaleolithic, and marking the beginning of the earliest forms of farming in the Fertile Crescent.