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Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:13 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline
Evidence of innovation dates to a period when humans faced an unpredictable and uncertain environment, according to three new studies

Date: March 15, 2018

Source: Smithsonian

Summary: Scientists discovered that early humans in East Africa had -- by about 320,000 years ago -- begun trading with distant groups, using color pigments and manufacturing more sophisticated tools than those of the Early Stone Age, tens of thousands of years earlier than previous evidence has shown in eastern Africa. As earthquakes remodeled the landscape and climate fluctuated between wet and dry conditions, technological and social innovation would have helped early humans survive unpredictable conditions.
Anthropologists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and an international team of collaborators have discovered that early humans in East Africa had -- by about 320,000 years ago -- begun trading with distant groups, using color pigments and manufacturing more sophisticated tools than those of the Early Stone Age. These newly discovered activities approximately date to the oldest known fossil record of Homo sapiens and occur tens of thousands of years earlier than previous evidence has shown in eastern Africa. These behaviors, which are characteristic of humans who lived during the Middle Stone Age, replaced technologies and ways of life that had been in place for hundreds of thousands of years.

Evidence for these milestones in humans' evolutionary past comes from the Olorgesailie Basin in southern Kenya, which holds an archeological record of early human life spanning more than a million years. The new discoveries, reported in three studies published March 15 in the journal Science, indicate that these behaviors emerged during a period of tremendous environmental variability in the region. As earthquakes remodeled the landscape and climate fluctuated between wet and dry conditions, technological innovation, social exchange networks and early symbolic communication would have helped early humans survive and obtain the resources they needed despite unpredictable conditions, the scientists say.

"This change to a very sophisticated set of behaviors that involved greater mental abilities and more complex social lives may have been the leading edge that distinguished our lineage from other early humans," said Rick Potts, director of the National Museum of Natural History's Human Origins Program.

Potts has been leading the Human Origin Program's research in Olorgesailie for more than 30 years in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya. He is the lead author on one of the three Science publications that describe the adaptive challenges that early humans faced during this phase of evolution. Alison Brooks, a professor of anthropology at George Washington University's Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology and an associate of the museum's Human Origins Program, is lead author on the paper that focuses on the evidence of early resource exchange and use of coloring materials in the Olorgesailie Basin. A third paper, by Alan Deino at the Berkeley Geochronology Center and colleagues, details the chronology of the Middle Stone Age discoveries.
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Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:23 pm
by OlegTheBatty
There you have it. Neanderthals became extinct when H. sapiens invented tariffs, making the N's products less competitive. Take that, protectionists!

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:23 am
by Matthew Ellard
I have a problem with the word "trading" to explain how technologies were moving between different Neanderthal troops (tribes) 320,000 years ago. I can't see how anyone can conclude it was trading rather than pillaging or just plain killing and taking. during inter tribal warfare.

Then again, I'm wondering about genetic diversity and dowry. Perhaps tools did get handed over with daughters. Perhaps dowry is an innate thing to allow for genetic diversity.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:14 am
by Gawdzilla Sama
Perhaps it was easier to trade than to make war.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:34 am
by Matthew Ellard
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Perhaps it was easier to trade than to make war.
I'm not 100% sure what I'm claiming. :lol:

I'm sitting and thinking about other ways technologies would get transferred between Neanderthal tribes.

My gut feeling is that neanderthal tribes had to exchange sons and daughters with other tribes to keep up genetic diversity and perhaps this is the simple answer. Basically were are talking about knaping stone tools and weaving leaf baskets to carry things. It's not like passing across a complex cooking recipe.

That's my current gut feeling, which may be 100% wrong.
:D

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:29 am
by Gawdzilla Sama
Trading wives with other tribes is still the practice in some societies today.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:52 am
by TJrandom
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Trading wives with other tribes is still the practice in some societies today.
Erm... trading husbands, no? I mean, just look at Trump... loaned out while wifey was having a child. Waste not want not....

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:38 pm
by salomed
Matthew Ellard wrote:I have a problem with the word "trading" to explain how technologies were moving between different Neanderthal troops (tribes) 320,000 years ago. I can't see how anyone can conclude it was trading rather than pillaging or just plain killing and taking. during inter tribal warfare.
By finding comparable distributions of relevant traded goods in the archeological records of the relevant trading partners, at comparable times in the past.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:18 pm
by Matthew Ellard
salomed wrote: By finding comparable distributions of relevant traded goods in the archeological records of the relevant trading partners, at comparable times in the past.
Salomed? Can you tell us what things were being exchanged to allow "trade" 320,000 year ago? :lol:

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:13 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
It's not impossible. We've found seashells well away from the coasts. PRETTY! is a tradable commodity.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:29 pm
by Matthew Ellard
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:It's not impossible. We've found seashells well away from the coasts. PRETTY! is a tradable commodity.
I'm fine with that.

I'm just saying that a distant tribe adopting another tribe's method of knapping stone tools, may as well be members of the tribe leaving and taking the knowledge with them to the next tribe. Tribes with existing alpha males, do have leaving members.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:41 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
Matthew Ellard wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:It's not impossible. We've found seashells well away from the coasts. PRETTY! is a tradable commodity.
I'm fine with that.

I'm just saying that a distant tribe adopting another tribe's method of knapping stone tools, may as well be members of the tribe leaving and taking the knowledge with them to the next tribe. Tribes with existing alpha males, do have leaving members.
And "humans" were knowledge buckets. You could trade a flint knapper for a fletcher, or an expert at fish traps for a kid who had leather tanning down pat.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:34 am
by Gord
Matthew Ellard wrote:I'm sitting and thinking about other ways technologies would get transferred between Neanderthal tribes.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:04 am
by TJrandom
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:It's not impossible. We've found seashells well away from the coasts. PRETTY! is a tradable commodity.
Is there any landmass that wasn’t under water at some prior time?

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:51 am
by Gawdzilla Sama
TJrandom wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:It's not impossible. We've found seashells well away from the coasts. PRETTY! is a tradable commodity.
Is there any landmass that wasn’t under water at some prior time?
Eh?

Oh.

Seashells that are fresh look substantially different from ones that have been in the ground for as long as you've been alive.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:22 pm
by TJrandom
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:It's not impossible. We've found seashells well away from the coasts. PRETTY! is a tradable commodity.
Is there any landmass that wasn’t under water at some prior time?
Eh?

Oh.

Seashells that are fresh look substantially different from ones that have been in the ground for as long as you've been alive.
Yea, I knew that - having retrieved shells in ocean sediment on mountain road cuts... I was just throwing out {!#%@}... :)

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:11 pm
by salomed
Matthew Ellard wrote:
salomed wrote: By finding comparable distributions of relevant traded goods in the archeological records of the relevant trading partners, at comparable times in the past.
Salomed? Can you tell us what things were being exchanged to allow "trade" 320,000 year ago? :lol:
Shells?

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:57 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
And information. "Show me how you sewed that coat together so neatly and I'll get Ugg to show you how to build a fish trap."

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:22 pm
by scrmbldggs
Such a short time from pointy stick to USB stick...

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:52 pm
by Gord
scrmbldggs wrote:Such a short time from pointy stick to USB stick...
Ohhhh, is THAT what's wrong with JO#s' computer!

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:02 pm
by scrmbldggs
:laff:

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:16 am
by Gawdzilla Sama
Excerpt:
Skilled female artisans

In traditional societies it is usually women who are in charge of the pottery craft and it is also common for women to relocate upon marriage. Corded Ware burials show that females were more likely to receive pottery as burial gifts, and analyses from European cemeteries show that the women were more likely to relocate during their lifetime.

It is likely that the first Corded Ware Culture artisans to arrive at the Fenno-Baltic and Swedish coasts were women who had learned their craft at their place of birth. They would have begun to use the clay available at their new home, but they mixed it with crushed pieces of pottery they had brought with them. Perhaps this was a way to preserve the older pottery which had been made in their previous homelands, thus maintaining a symbolic connection to their families and the members of their former communities in their everyday lives.

The study posits that skilled female artisans arrived in Sweden particularly from Estonia and Finland, as both the geochemical origin and cultural links of the imported pottery indicates a connection to the region. Cultural similarities in turn link the first Corded Ware communities in Finland and Estonia to the eastern part of the Bay of Finland, present day Russia.

The exchange network also suggests that even during the Stone Age, the Baltic Sea was less an obstacle and more a connection between communities, attaching Finland to a broader European culture

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:15 am
by carrollrobert 4 + Y
The Bible has allegorical stories which might suggest the emergence of human consciousness at about 3000 years BC. Julian Jaynes wrote about "The Bicameral Mind" in 1977. This is the point that humans started using written language. However, it appears that consciousness does not just become universal in a matter of a few weeks. This tells me that "contemporary" consciousness might go back into history some thousands of years.

So my question, assuming Jaynes is correct that contemporary conciousness emerged about 3000 years ago, how far back could contemporary consciousness been emerging in human populations before a kind of critical mass pushed the entire population of earth into consciousness?

I should define consciousness: Our consciousness is aware of itself as well as its object. Our body and mind are the same. We have a mind/body consciousness. Our consiousness is the seat of our intellect as well as its emotions.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:50 am
by Gawdzilla Sama
The Sumerians had a civilization well before 3,000 years ago.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:02 pm
by scrmbldggs
Does one need to be conscious to appreciate tunes?

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:21 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
scrmbldggs wrote:Does one need to be conscious to appreciate tunes?
I thought that was where you were going. :D

Imagine rythmic chanting to coordinate labor, like moving megalyths. Some genius puts words to the chant. 8-)

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:39 pm
by scrmbldggs
An' a one, an' a two, an' a one two three... :-P

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:29 pm
by Poodle
carrollrobert 4 + Y wrote:The Bible has allegorical stories which might suggest the emergence of human consciousness at about 3000 years BC. .
I suggest that you ditch the Bible as a reference. By 3000 BC we were ending the Neolithic period, and those guys were undoubtedly conscious.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 7:40 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
One of my favorite "maps": doesn't go back quite far enough, doesn't include Western Hemisphere. I always wonder why Egypt doesn't continue if China does? I think China has a continuous WRITTEN record of their history back 3000 years or so...Pyramids are older, certainly the product of a conscious mind?

The Great Flood and humans being reduced to the Family of Moses has always struck me as a sticking point. How did so few people multiple and spread out all over the world? No time to do it.......yet.....its an article of faith....not to mention the animals, pillars of salt that would have been washed away and so forth.

Faith.

Image

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:36 pm
by scrmbldggs
I bet Moses would have been in quite some demand during Noah's time. :heh:

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:59 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
scrmbldggs wrote:I bet Moses would have been in quite some demand during Noah's time. :heh:
Ha, ha.......thanks Eggs. thats about the 3-4th time Ive confused the two. I just don't care enough?==>but I do need to be accurate.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:37 am
by landrew
We know about dark ages right? Where accumulated knowledge is lost for a time due to strife, until it's rediscovered at a later time? When we dig up surprising technology or art from an earlier time, more sophisticated that we expect, we get all excited about how much more advanced our ancestors were, but we've had a brain capable of such things going back a long way on the evolutionary tree.

It shouldn't really be such a surprise. Life was pretty tough back then, with saber-tooth cats and short-faced bears roaming around, and we were trying to cope with ices age and such. It's asking a lot to expect that our ancestors should be able to have libraries or oral traditions to preserve all that knowledge throughout our prehistory. It sounds reasonable that it would get lost several times along the way.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:55 am
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Nature had a two hour show "From Ape to Human" last week. Seems the hands were capable of fine motor manipulation way before the brain was large enough to take advantage of the capability....ie: tool making may have been driven ((In some way of thinking about it)) from "outside" of the brain. chicken and egg issue but still interesting. How could a smarter brain think to make a tool if it didn't have the hands to do it with? aka: smart octopuses have a limitation. Eating meat has always interested me and using fire: allowing quality protein to be more easily accessed allowing for smaller mouths and teeth and the muscles and bone structure to support them: ALLOWING FOR: larger brains. Evolution is fascinating.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:01 am
by Matthew Ellard
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Nature had a two hour show "From Ape to Human" last week. Seems the hands were capable of fine motor manipulation way before the brain was large enough to take advantage of the capability....ie: tool making may have been driven ((In some way of thinking about it)) from "outside" of the brain.
Yep. Australopithecus, was about 4 to 2.5 million year ago. It could walk but still had the brains of an ape. It evolved walking because the African rain forests were drying up and being replaced by grass savanna. It was still basically an ape.

Then up pops Homo habilis, from Australopithecus, about 2.5 to 1.5 million years ago. This creature had a brain that was about the third the size of a human but it could use rocks to smash bones and eat the bone marrow. It was over that 1 million year period that human brains really evolved as the stone tools became more sophisticated.

However there are heaps of other "human" like species floating around at the same time. I think the interesting thing is that today, we are the only "humans". The "dwarf" homo habilis on Flores Island, only died out about 12,000 years ago.

Can you imagine how different the world would be if we had "smart homo sapiens" and "dumb homo erectus" living today? Would we have made them slaves? Would we have killed them off? Who knows?

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:34 am
by Gord
carrollrobert 4 + Y wrote:I should define consciousness: Our consciousness is aware of itself as well as its object. Our body and mind are the same. We have a mind/body consciousness. Our consiousness is the seat of our intellect as well as its emotions.
So, like a gorilla?

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:47 am
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Thanks Matt: yes the Ape to Human show was about finding the missing link between the Australopithecus lineage and the homo lineage. They have found them in the Rift Valley at a site with 1000's of bones including near complete skeletons. Evidently...an early burial site our dumb ape ancestors used. Its this site that shows the pithecus developing homo hands and jaws before the brain started to evolve to establish the homo species. Fascinating stuff.

………..and of course: dumbs homos would be enslaved, or for the squeamish: pets.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:51 am
by Gawdzilla Sama
NOVA: Dawn of Humanity. Prof. Lee Berger of the U. of Witwatersrand. The video is online.

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:52 am
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
That's another good show covering much the same area IIRC. Ape to Human just was on TV most recently.....probably not on line yet?

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:45 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama

Re: Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:05 pm
by landrew
Human evolution could have gone in many directions, and it has, resulting in many dead ends. Neanderthalensis was well-adapted to ice-age Europe, but couldn't compete with the southern cousins who moved in later. Fortunately for us, cooperative social groups rose above the solitary killers, and we have some of the comforts of civilization.
I never rejected Elaine Morgan's Aquatic Ape Theory. It sounds plausible to me that for a time in our evolutionary past, after we moved out of Africa, we lived along the coastlines for an extended time, and began the early stages of semi-aquatic development. It does a plausible job of explaining some of the adaptations we possess to this day, and I wouldn't declare the theory debunked, despite the consensus.