Late Pleistocene Demography and the Appearance of Modern Human Behavior

  title={Late Pleistocene Demography and the Appearance of Modern Human Behavior},
  author={Adam Powell and Stephen Shennan and Mark George Thomas},
  pages={1298 - 1301}
War and Peace? Modern behavior, including the development of advanced tools, musical instruments, and art, seems to have arisen in humans in stages. The earliest hints are seen in Africa about 70 to 90,000 years ago, but later in Europe about 45,000 years ago. An ongoing discussion centers on the origins and significance of human prosociality. During early human development, could the benefits of altruistic behavior have outweighed its costs (see the Perspective by Mace)? Bowles (p. 1293… Expand
The evolution of human culture during the later Pleistocene: Using fauna to test models on the emergence and nature of “modern” human behavior
Faunal remains from Sibudu Cave are analyzed, focusing on the Howieson’s Poort (HP), a phase in which modern behaviors are evidenced, and the post-HP MSA, when classical signatures of such behavior have disappeared, to test models of the emergence of modern behaviors and environmental degradation and/or demographic stress. Expand
Cultural Change, Demography, and the Archaeology of the Last 100 kyr in Southern Africa
Recent research has highlighted the role of demography in cultural innovation and transmission. Some authors have suggested that changes in population size may be associated with the appearance andExpand
Cumulative Cultural Evolution and Demography
Examination of a mathematical model by Joseph Henrich and an agent-based adaptation thereof, devised by Powell et al. to explain the emergence of modern behaviour in the Late Pleistocene, shows that, some qualifications notwithstanding, Henrich’s model largely withstands my robustness tests. Expand
From hominins to humans: how sapiens became behaviourally modern
  • K. Sterelny
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2011
It is argued that the model is evolutionarily plausible: the elements of the model can be assembled incrementally, without implausible selective scenarios, and the model coheres with the broad palaeoarchaeological record. Expand
The Island Test for Cumulative Culture in the Paleolithic
Early Stone Age artifacts have long been assumed to reflect the material record of communities whose members possessed the ability to transmit ideas, behaviors, and technologies from individual toExpand
Craniofacial Feminization, Social Tolerance, and the Origins of Behavioral Modernity
It is argued that temporal changes in human craniofacial morphology reflect reductions in average androgen reactivity, which in turn reflect the evolution of enhanced social tolerance since the Middle Pleistocene. Expand
Man in the Mirror
  • J. Shea
  • History
  • Current Anthropology
  • 2012
In his comment, Hodgson reiterates his theory (2010) that emergent qualities of the Middle–Late Pleistocene archeological record associated with Homo sapiens—wide behavioral variability, behavioralExpand
Demography and Cultural Evolution
Trying to explain the increase in cultural complexity over the long term of human history has long been an interest of anthropology and of historical social sciences more generally. In recent years,Expand
Evolution of religious capacity in the genus homo: Origins and building blocks
The large, ancient ape population of the Miocene reached across Eurasia and down into Africa. From this genetically diverse group, the chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and humans evolved fromExpand
Human Paleontology and Prehistory: Contributions in Honor of Yoel Rak
Nowhere in the entire fossil record of life do we find more dramatically accelerated accumulation of evolutionary novelty than we do in the genus Homo. Quite simply, and by whatever criteria youExpand


The Emergence of Ornaments and Art: An Archaeological Perspective on the Origins of “Behavioral Modernity”
The earliest known personal ornaments come from the Middle Stone Age of southern Africa, c. 75,000 years ago, and are associated with anatomically modern humans. In Europe, such items are notExpand
The impossible coincidence. A single‐species model for the origins of modern human behavior in Europe
The Upper Paleolithic revolution in Europe is described as reflecting preeminently an explosion in explicitly symbolic behavior and expression, which would be inconceivable in the absence of highly structured language systems and brains closely similar, if not identical to, the authors' own. Expand
Demography and Cultural Evolution: How Adaptive Cultural Processes Can Produce Maladaptive Losses—The Tasmanian Case
A combination of archeological and ethnohistorical evidence indicates that, over an approximately 8,000-year period, from the beginning of the Holocene until European explorers began arriving in theExpand
Archaeological Evidence for the Emergence of Language, Symbolism, and Music–An Alternative Multidisciplinary Perspective
In recent years, there has been a tendency to correlate the origin of modern culture and language with that of anatomically modern humans. Here we discuss this correlation in the light of resultsExpand
The revolution that wasn't: a new interpretation of the origin of modern human behavior.
The African Middle and early Late Pleistocene hominid fossil record is fairly continuous and in it can be recognized a number of probably distinct species that provide plausible ancestors for H. sapiens, and suggests a gradual assembling of the package of modern human behaviors in Africa, and its later export to other regions of the Old World. Expand
Late Pleistocene human population bottlenecks, volcanic winter, and differentiation of modern humans.
  • S. Ambrose
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Journal of human evolution
  • 1998
If Toba caused the bottlenecks, then modern human races may have differentiated abruptly, only 70 thousand years ago, and high genetic diversity in modern Africans may reflect a less severe bottleneck rather than earlier population growth. Expand
Archeology and the evolution of human behavior
Human paleontology and Paleolithic archeology both focus on the most ancient phases of human prehistory, and they often draw their materials from the same sites. Yet, since the mid-19th century whenExpand
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. Expand
Demography and Cultural Innovation: a Model and its Implications for the Emergence of Modern Human Culture
  • S. Shennan
  • Sociology
  • Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • 2001
In recent years there has been a major growth of interest in exploring the analogies between the genetic transmission of information from one generation to the next and the processes of culturalExpand
Recovering the geographic origin of early modern humans by realistic and spatially explicit simulations.
An approach based on realistic simulations of the genetic diversity expected after an expansion process of modern humans into the Old World from different possible areas and their comparison to observed data finds that the geographic origin of the expansion can be correctly recovered and it is possible to unambiguously distinguish between a unique origin and a multiregional model of human evolution. Expand