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Dramatic shifts in the East African climate may have driven toolmaking advances and the development of trading networks among Homo sapiens or their close relatives by the Middle Stone Age, roughly 320,000 years ago. That’s the implication of discoveries reported in three papers published online March 15 in Science.
Newly excavated Middle Stone Age tools and red pigment chunks from southern Kenya’s Olorgesailie Basin appear to have been part of a long trend of climate-driven behavior changes in members of the Homo genus that amped up in H. sapiens. Locations of food sources can vary unpredictably on changing landscapes. H. sapiens and their precursors responded by foraging over larger areas with increasingly smaller tools, the researchers propose. Obsidian used for the Middle Stone Age tools came from far away, raising the likelihood of long-distance contacts and trading among hominid populations near humankind’s root.
Still, factors other than climate fluctuations, such as hominid population declines or surges, may also have spurred ancient tool innovations to acquire more or different types of food, cautions archaeologist Yonatan Sahle of the University of Tübingen in Germany.
originally posted by: ketsuko
We can adapt or we can try to stagnate it.
originally posted by: JoshuaCox
a reply to: Krakatoa
I watched a video that made the same case..
It said humanity is pretty much ONLY a product of the fact Africa has no mountain ranges.
See our brains, hands and thumps come from climbing/swinging through the trees .. but we needed those trees to vanish and become grasslands to evolve the legs and tools we needed to advance..
Perhaps the most intriguing of Terence McKenna's fascinating theories and observations is his explanation for the origin of the human mind and human culture.
To summarize: McKenna theorizes that as the North African jungles receded toward the end of the most recent ice age, giving way to grasslands, a branch of our tree-dwelling primate ancestors left the branches and took up a life out in the open -- following around herds of ungulates, nibbling what they could along the way. Among the new items in their diet were psilocybin-containing mushrooms growing in the dung of these ungulate herds. The changes caused by the introduction of this drug to the primate diet were many -- McKenna theorizes, for instance, that synesthesia (the blurring of boundaries between the senses) caused by psilocybin led to the development of spoken language: the ability to form pictures in another person's mind through the use of vocal sounds. About 12,000 years ago, further climate changes removed the mushroom from the human diet, resulting in a new set of profound changes in our species as we reverted to pre-mushroomed and frankly brutal primate social structures that had been modified and/or repressed by frequent consumption of psilocybin. McKenna's theory has great appeal and intuitive strength, but it is necessarily based on a great deal of supposition interpolating between the few fragmentary facts we know about hominid and early human history.