An early and enduring advanced technology originating 71,000 years ago in South Africa

  title={An early and enduring advanced technology originating 71,000 years ago in South Africa},
  author={Kyle S. Brown and Curtis W. Marean and Zenobia Jacobs and Benjamin J. Schoville and Simen Oestmo and Erich C. Fisher and Jocelyn Bernatchez and Panagiotis Karkanas and Thalassa Matthews},
There is consensus that the modern human lineage appeared in Africa before 100,000 years ago. But there is debate as to when cultural and cognitive characteristics typical of modern humans first appeared, and the role that these had in the expansion of modern humans out of Africa. Scientists rely on symbolically specific proxies, such as artistic expression, to document the origins of complex cognition. Advanced technologies with elaborate chains of production are also proxies, as these often… 

Technological complexity and the global dispersal of modern humans

One explanation for the contrast between the two out‐of‐Africa dispersals is that the modern humans who expanded into Eurasia 120,000 years ago lacked the functionally and structurally complex technology of recent hunter‐gatherers.

Genetic and archaeological perspectives on the initial modern human colonization of southern Asia

This work presents an alternative model based on a combination of genetic analyses and recent archaeological evidence from South Asia and Africa that supports a coastally oriented dispersal of modern humans from eastern Africa to southern Asia ∼60–50 thousand years ago (ka).

Palaeoanthropology: Sharpening the mind

A previously unrecognized advanced stone tool technology from Pinnacle Point in South Africa, dating back to around 71,000 years ago, is described, which provides strong evidence for advanced projectile weapons such as spearthrowers, or even bows and arrows.

Human Evolution in Late Quaternary Eastern Africa

Eastern Africa (broadly Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) has yielded the earliest fossils of modern humans, the earliest evidence for Mode 3 technologies (Middle Stone

Rethinking Modern Human Origins: Getting out of Out of Africa

Twenty five years after the Out of Africa model was proposed, Africa remains at the heart of most theories for modern human origins. For all the ardour of its proponents, multiregional evolution

Cognitive Evolution, Population, Transmission, and Material Culture

It will be demonstrated how neuro-cognition can be assimilated with population dynamics and the transmission of information between individuals and groups that can provide important insights as to the nature and origins of modern human cognition.

Those marvellous millennia: the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa

  • L. Wadley
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2015
Africa's Middle Stone Age (MSA) may have lasted almost half a million years, but its earliest expression is not yet well understood. The MSA is best known for innovations that appear in the

Earliest Stone-Tipped Projectiles from the Ethiopian Rift Date to >279,000 Years Ago

Data from velocity-dependent microfracture features, diagnostic damage patterns, and artifact shape reported here indicate that pointed stone artifacts from Ethiopia were used as projectile weapons (in the form of hafted javelin tips) as early as >279,000 years ago, and isolate eastern Africa as a source of modern cultures and biology.

Alternative Pathways to Complexity: Evolutionary Trajectories in the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age

The 145th symposium of the Wenner-Gren Foundation took place June 1–8, 2012, in Häringe Slott near Stockholm, Sweden. The primary goal of the symposium was to reframe discussions of behavioral

Hominin technological behavior during the later middle Pleistocene in the Gademotta formation, main Ethiopian rift

The evidence now strongly supports an African origin of the first Homo sapiens. Currently, the best-known fossil evidence for the earliest H. sapiens derives from the Omo Kibish and Herto sites in



Late Pleistocene Demography and the Appearance of Modern Human Behavior

A population model shows that demography is a major determinant in the maintenance of cultural complexity and that variation in regional subpopulation density and/or migratory activity results in spatial structuring of cultural skill accumulation.

Evolution, revolution or saltation scenario for the emergence of modern cultures?

The need for further inquiry into the relationship between climate and demographic/cultural change is demonstrated in order to better understand the mechanisms of cultural transmission at work in Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens populations.

The Big Deal about Blades: Laminar Technologies and Human Evolution

Despite the rapid expansion of archaeological knowledge of the Paleolithic over the past several decades, some generalized interpretive frameworks inherited from previous generations of researchers

Fire As an Engineering Tool of Early Modern Humans

Replication experiments and analysis of artifacts suggest that humans in South Africa at this time, and perhaps earlier, systematically heated stone materials, including silcrete to improve its flaking properties in making tools.

Deep divergences of human gene trees and models of human origins.

It is shown that an ancient bottleneck in the Middle Pleistocene, possibly arising from an ancestral structured population, can reconcile the contradictory findings from the mitochondrion on the one hand, with the autosomes and the X chromosome on the other hand.

Backed tools in Middle Pleistocene central Africa and their evolutionary significance.

  • L. Barham
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of human evolution
  • 2002
Investigating the potential mixing of Middle and Later Stone Age deposits at the two sites and the possible creation of misleading assemblages concludes that Lupemban tools lack the standardization of the Howiesons Poort backed pieces, but form part of a regionally distinctive and diverse assemblage of heavy and light duty tools.

Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa: Implications for Human Behavior and Dispersal

Age ages for nine sites from varied climatic and ecological zones across southern Africa show that both industries were short-lived (5000 years or less), separated by about 7000 years, and coeval with genetic estimates of population expansion and exit times.

Interpretations of prehistoric technology from ancient Egyptian and other sources.: Part II: Prehistoric arrow forms in Africa as shown by surviving examples of the traditional arrows of the San Bushmen

The historic bows and arrows of the San Bushmen of southern Africa are described. The arrows include bone pointed examples and others in which the head consists of two microliths set in mastic at an

Human Evolution and Human History : A Complete Theory

A new resolution of the human uniqueness problem is reviewed, which ostensibly accounts parsimoniously for every major nonstochastic feature of thehuman story from the origin of Homo approximately 2.0 to 2.5 million years ago through the present instant.