Evolution and humans: caves and jewelry (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 09, 2018, 22:58 (578 days ago) @ David Turell

We may have appeared as early as 315,000 years ago but at 67,000 years ago we were still living in caves, using stone tools and showing some early aesthetics by making some jewelry:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180509081956.htm

" The Panga ya Saidi sequence after 67,000, however, has a mix of technologies, and no radical break of behavior can be detected at any time, arguing against the cognitive or cultural 'revolutions' theorized by some archaeologists. Moreover, no notable break in human occupation occurs during the Toba volcanic super-eruption of 74,000 years ago, supporting views that the so-called 'volcanic winter' did not lead to the near-extinction of human populations, though hints of increased occupation intensity from 60,000 years ago suggests that populations were increasing in size.

***

"The deep archaeological sequence of Panga ya Saidi cave has produced a remarkable new cultural record indicative of cultural complexity over the long term. Among the recovered items are worked and incised bones, ostrich eggshell beads, marine shell beads, and worked ochre. Panga ya Saidi has produced the oldest bead in Kenya, dating to ~65,000 years ago. At about 33,000 years ago, beads were most commonly made of shells acquired from the coast. While this demonstrates contact with the coast, there is no evidence for the regular exploitation of marine resources for subsistence purposes. Ostrich eggshell beads become more common after 25,000 years ago, and after 10,000 years ago, there is again a shift to coastal shell use. In the layers dating to between ~48,000 to 25,000 years ago, carved bone, carved tusk, a decorated bone tube, a small bone point, and modified pieces of ochre were found. Though indicative of behavioral complexity and symbolism, their intermittent appearance in the cave sequence argues against a model for a behavioral or cognitive revolution at any specific point in time.

***

"'The East African coastal hinterland and its forests and have been long considered to be marginal to human evolution so the discovery of Panga ya Saidi cave will certainly change archaeologists' views and perceptions."

"Group Leader of the Stable Isotopes Lab Dr. Patrick Roberts adds, "Occupation in a tropical forest-grassland environment adds to our knowledge that our species lived in a variety of habitats in Africa.'"

Comment: More evidence of little use of our big brain for a very long time after its arrival.My interpretation is it took time to learn to use it


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