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… 
Cultural Change, Demography, and the Archaeology of the Last 100 kyr in Southern Africa
  • J. Sealy
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 2016
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 and
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.
From hominins to humans: how sapiens became behaviourally modern
  • K. Sterelny
  • Psychology
    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.
University of Birmingham The Island Test for Cumulative Culture in Paleolithic Cultures
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 to
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.
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 to
Man in the Mirror
  • J. Shea
  • Psychology
    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, behavioral
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,
Human Paleontology and Prehistory: Contributions in Honor of Yoel Rak
This interaction explains the extraordinarily fast tempo of evolution within the genus Homo by invoking perfectly routine evolutionary processes; and it eliminates any need for special pleading in the hominid case, at least in terms of mechanism.


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 not
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.
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 the
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 results
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.
Late Pleistocene human population bottlenecks, volcanic winter, and differentiation of modern humans.
  • S. Ambrose
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    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.
Archeology and the evolution of human behavior
The difference in practice means that human paleontologists are usually ill-equipped to assess controversies in Paleolithic archeology and vice versa, and the difference in theory is more profound, since human Paleontologists unflinchingly attribute major morphological changes or differences to natural selection, mutation, gene drift, or gene flow.
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.
Demography and Cultural Innovation: a Model and its Implications for the Emergence of Modern Human Culture
  • S. Shennan
  • Biology
    Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • 2001
It is suggested that the model has major implications for the origins of modern human culture in the last 50,000 years, which may be seen not as the result of genetic mutations leading to improved cognitive capacities of individuals, but as a population consequence of the demographic growth and increased contact range which are evident at this time.
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.