Earliest evidence of modern human behaviour

Salon IFA (*** SALON 174: 22 October 2007 ***) reports:

'South Africa: origin of Homo sapiens?

In the 18 October issue of the journal Nature, an international team of researchers at Arizona State University have said that, in default of any other sites that can demonstrate earlier evidence of human behaviour, then Cave 13B at Pinnacle Point in South Africa has the best claim to being the birthplace of the human species.

Palaeo-anthropologist Curtis Marean, co-author of the report, says that the evidence from Cave 13B which includes ochre lumps with scrape marks, indicating the use of the red pigment in symbolic behaviour, along with complex bladelet tools and food harvested from the sea all dates from 164,000 years ago and is thus the earliest dated observation of human behaviour.'

Salon Editor: Christopher Catling

Making the paperCurtis Marean : Article : Nature


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