has been a prominent hypothesis that posited that behaviorally modern humans suddenly appeared. It was once considered an abrupt event that began about 50-40 kya, but as new archeological finds are amassed, as well as recent advances in genetic research and other areas, the story is familiar. Although on the geological timescale the event was abrupt, radical, and unprecedented in life’s history on Earth, the “ramping” period seems to have lasted longer than initially thought. A likelier story is that in East Africa, which conforms to a . inherited culture and tools from their ancestors and continued along the path of inventing more complex technologies and techniques, exploiting new biomes, and reaching new levels of cognition. There does not seem to be any or development that needs to invoke divine or extraterrestrial intervention to explain the appearance and rise of . Some migrated past their African homeland during the of 130 kya to 114 kya and brought along their technology. Although they may have disappeared and perhaps became Neanderthal prey, vestiges of their fate are probably yet to be discovered. They may have contributed to the biological and technological wealth of Eurasian humans and may have begun to drive vulnerable species to extinction with their new tools and techniques. However, Africa remained the crucible of primate biological and technological innovation, as it almost always had to that time. By 70-60 kya, isolated African humans reached a level of sophistication called behavioral modernity. Art was in evidence, needles made clothes and other sophisticated possessions, and they mastered language, which was probably a unique trait among land animals. They made tools of a sophistication far advanced over other humans, which probably included projectile weapons that radically changed the terms of engagement with prey animals, predators, and other humans.


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