Culture: Early Modern Human
Setting: initial migration, Africa/Near East ~100,000-74,000 BP
Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* Roberts 2011 p176 captions
"MIGRATION ROUTES Some time after 100,000 years ago, modern humans started to leave Africa, and, generation by generation, they gradually spread across the globe. ..."
"BARRIERS TO EXPANSION For long periods during the Pleistocene, the way out of Africa would have been blocked. During glacial periods, the climate in Africa was cold and dry, with the Sahara and Sinai deserts spreading to form an impassable barrier. However, at intervals of about 100,000 years, the climate became warmer and wetter, turning parts of the desert green, and allowing migrations out of the African continent."
* Fagan ed. 2009 p123 (John Hoffecker, "The human story" p92-141)
"Regardless of how and when modern humans acquired their language abilities and other elements of modern behaviour, they spread out of Africa no later than 50,000 years ago. Some modern humans are present in the Levant -- on the doorstep of Africa -- roughly 100,000 years ago, but their appearance seems to precede the main event. In fact, they may have been at least temporarily displaced by Neanderthals, who intruded into the Near East during the early cold phase of the last glacial period (60,000 years ago)."
* Olson 2002 p75-76
"Discussions of the interactions between Neandertals and modern humans usually center on Europe, where modern humans clearly had a more advanced culture than did their archaic relatives. But the two groups encountered each other first in the Middle East, and there they were much more evenly matched. In fact, the Neandertals prevailed in the Middle East for many thousands of years. By 80,000 years ago the populations of modern humans that had been living in Skhul and Qafzeh either had gone extinct or had retreated back into Africa. But about 45,000 years ago modern humans reappeared in the Middle East, and this time the Neandertals gave way.
"The interactions between modern humans and Neandertals in the Middle East remain mysterious in many ways. They may have been enemies fighting to the death over disputed land. Or they may have exchanged food, stone tools, and perhaps even mates. These issues have a relevance that extends far beyond the shores of the ancient Mediterranean."
* Fagan 2010 p90
"Without question, ... there were irregular human population movements across this vast, semiarid area about 100,000 years ago, perhaps through now dried-up and buried river valleys in the Sahara, which may have brought Homo sapiens groups into western Asia, either as occasional visitors or as permanent residents. There were never many migrants; they probably hunted and foraged in almost the same way as their Neanderthal contemporaries, and their technology would have been virtually identical to that of their neighbors. In appearance, they would have displayed a mingling of more archaic and modern features, with the reduced browridges and modern vocal tracts of the Skhul people. Effectively, they were moderns, but their intellectual abilities were basically those of earlier humans, even if their stone tool manufacturing was a little more efficient and flexible than that of their predecessors. The cognitive revolution that ultimately turned premoderns into moderns had not yet occurred."
* Gribbin 2001 p109
"Os humanos totalmente modernos, Homo sapiens sapiens, emergiram durante o período interglaciário anterior ao nosso, há cerca de 100.000 anos, e tiveram de resistir apenas a mais uma Época Glacial antes de começarem a edificar a civilização."
* Bigelow 1979 p65
"In colder climates, protection from the elements was first achieved by simply tossing an animal hide over the shoulders. The hide or furry animal skin was a by-product of the hunt-produced food. In time, as the need for more decorative personal adornment became dominant, animals were hunted solely for their skins which were turned into primitive garments. Humans may have ultimately concluded that animals, protected by their fur, could supply the raw material from which to create human body protection and decoration. The idea was logical, but the raw material was resistant to the creation of close-fitting garment forms."
* Fagan 2010 p90
"Interestingly, one modern human buried at es-Skhul lay with a red deer antler, while one at Kebara cave, also in the Mt. Carmel range and close to es-Skhul, had a boar jaw in his or her grave. There were perforated marine shells with the Kebara graves, while red ocher came from sources nineteen miles (thirty kilometers) away. It is as if the small modern populations had more extensive social networks than their predecessors."
* Renfrew 2007 p74
"A number of the innovatory features in the list set out .. to summarize the human revolution are, in fact, seen quite early in southern Africa. Geometric microliths that may have functioned as parts of arrowheads are found in South Africa and Tanzania, and bone artifacts including harpoons are found at Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The most striking evidence comes from Blombos Cave in South Africa, on the southern Cape shore of the Indian Ocean. Middle Stone Age bone points are found there, and numerous fragments of red ochre. One piece has signs of scraping and grinding on both flat sides and one side bears a number of crosshatched lines. Another piece carries a row of crosshatched lines in addition to long lines across the top, center, and bottom of the cross-hatching. These are about seventy-five thousand years old and seem certainly to be deliberate patterning, and hence are perhaps 'art,' although they are not representational. There are also numerous shells that appear to have been perforated for use as beads -- one of the earliest pieces of evidence for human jewelry or adornment."
* Davie 1929 p3-4
"When man discovered the art of chipping and fashioning his implements, he came to possess better weapons and developed into a more dangerous fighter. Of all stones, the most utilizable is flint, because of its hardness and mode of fracture. Other stones, and also horn and bone were used by early man. To be sure, in his rudimentary culture implements were hardly differentiated, and almost any artifact could have been used for both purposes -- as weapon and as tool. Among the finds of the Paleolithic or so-called Old Stone Age which were probably used as weapons, may be mentioned the following: stone cleavers and knives; blades of reindeer horn, bone, and flint; lance heads of flint, bone, horn, serpentine, quartz, and other materials; and even the bola. The bow and the ax, contrary to the opinion of the earlier authorities, were known in Paleolithic times. Many of these weapons were undoubtedly used for other purposes than war, since they were relatively unspecialized.
"The war club must have been one of the earliest weapons, though, being made of wood, it has left few or no traces. Hardly a savage tribe exists today which has not used or does not still use the club as a weapon, and we are forced to the view that Paleolithic man used a similar implement."
* Withers & Capwell 2010 p117 (describing a paleolithic hand axe, 100,0000-60,000BC)
"This flint core axe shows a very important development, for the maker's intention seems to have been to create a weapon or tool with a more prominent point. It is not in any sense a true stabbing blade, but the fact that a point will more effectively focus the force of a blow into a small area seems here to be well understood. The point and cutting edge have been skillfully pressure-flaked. Their patterns combined with the smooth white cortex produce a very beautiful sculptural effect."