Dating of Beads Sets New Timeline for Early Humans (in the Middle East)

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posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 08:31 PM
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They have obtained C-14 dates for marine shell beads found at Ksar Akil, a key archaeological site in Lebanon, which allowed them to calculate that the oldest human fossil from the same sequence of archaeological layers is probably 42,400-41,700 years old.

News report




Ksar Akil is one of the most important Palaeolithic sites in Eurasia. It consists of a 23 metre deep sequence of archaeological layers that lay undisturbed for thousands of years until a team of American Jesuit priests excavated the rockshelter in 1937-38, and again after the end of the WWII, in 1947-48


The actual study

Chronology of Ksar Akil (Lebanon) and Implications for the Colonization of Europe by Anatomically Modern Humans




posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 

And..........what is your unique comment on this? With all due respect, and as per the ATS T&C, you really should not just post news stories, without adding a personal perspective, thought, or other personal comment to a thread.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this recent study.
edit on 9/15/2013 by Krakatoa because: Fixed spelling and other fat-finger errors



posted on Sep, 15 2013 @ 11:23 PM
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Darn, way back then women expected guys to give them jewelry. I guess I can toss the "recent change in society" excuse out the door when the wife hints of jewelry as a present. Hopefully woman don't read these kind of articles.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 02:17 AM
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I don't see how it is really that big of a deal, unless you specialize in that area of study.

We know now that humans, in our current form, homo sapiens, have been around 200,000 years or so. This discovery has more significance to human migration /trade routes as the article mentions, than to anything else.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Hi Hans,
Very interesting,

Here something apropos to the discussion,


Abstract

Approximately 50 ka, one or more subgroups of modern humans expanded from Africa to populate the rest of the world. Significant behavioral change accompanied this expansion, and archaeologists commonly seek its roots in the African Middle Stone Age (MSA; ∼200 to ∼50 ka). Easily recognizable art objects and “jewelry” become common only in sites that postdate the MSA in Africa and Eurasia, but some MSA sites contain possible precursors, especially including abstractly incised fragments of ocher and perforated shells interpreted as beads. These proposed art objects have convinced most specialists that MSA people were behaviorally (cognitively) modern, and many argue that population growth explains the appearance of art in the MSA and its post-MSA florescence. The average size of rocky intertidal gastropod species in MSA and later coastal middens allows a test of this idea, because smaller size implies more intense collection, and more intense collection is most readily attributed to growth in the number of human collectors. Here we demonstrate that economically important Cape turban shells and limpets from MSA layers along the south and west coasts of South Africa are consistently and significantly larger than turban shells and limpets in succeeding Later Stone Age (LSA) layers that formed under equivalent environmental conditions. We conclude that whatever cognitive capacity precocious MSA artifacts imply, it was not associated with human population growth. MSA populations remained consistently small by LSA standards, and a substantial increase in population size is obvious only near the MSA/LSA transition, when it is dramatically reflected in the Out-of-Africa expansion.

m.pnas.org...



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 11:28 AM
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One question I have is, in light of newer work, can the use of certain things such as beads, art work and such still be used as a diagnostic tool to determine whether the site was occupied AMH?

This is one example


Excavations of Neanderthal sites more than 40,000 years old have uncovered a kind of tool that leather workers still use to make hides more lustrous and water resistant. The bone tools, known as lissoirs, had previously been associated only with modern humans. The latest finds indicate that Neanderthals and modern humans might have invented the tools independently.


www.nature.com...

Neanderthal art work,


Prehistoric dots and crimson hand stencils on Spanish cave walls are now the world's oldest known cave art, according to new dating results—perhaps the best evidence yet that Neanderthals were Earth's first cave painters.


If that's the case, the discovery narrows the cultural distance between us and Neanderthals—and fuels the argument, at least for one scientist, that the heavy-browed humans were not a separate species but only another race.


news.nationalgeographic.com...

And with sites in Eurasia and east Asia that cultural continuity between archaics and moderns, but no sign of cultural modernity until fairly late, does the presence of AMH signify the presence of cultural modernity.

edit on 16-9-2013 by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 04:11 PM
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Hey Punkinworks

I'd say we'll find more Neanderthal crafted art in the future. I travelled around the Dordogne twice going to all the classic Neanderthal sites and was impressed by the nature of the terrain. I highly suspect their are many more collapsed caves in that area and they will have more examples of this type of art. I also think we'll find Denisovian art in the near future, in the many unexplored caves in Asia.



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Hey there Hans
Yes ,I agree we will find more HSN art , but I'm not sure we will find anything relating to HSD, as the signs of cultural modernity are conspicuously absent in east and southeast Asia, until fairly late.
I've some reading over the weekend has has me questioning many aspects of what is modernity, and does physical modernity have anything to do with cultural modernity.
Clearly at some sites cultural modernity has absolutely nothing to due with physical modernity.
One thing that reared it's heavy browed, dense boned head was the so called "aquatic ape" theory.
Have to get back to work so I'll fill in in a little bit.



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by punkinworks10
 


I would say that there is a definite difference between physical and cultural modernity. Look at some of the sites in the Levantine Valley( Northern Israel/Lebanon) where there are several documented sites showing not just continuous habitation over a period of roughly 50,000 years, but of cohabitation between Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal. The interesting point of it is that while other "modern" humans were already in Europe utilizing what would be considered more modern tool making, the sites of cohabitation show a remarkably similar level of technology utilized by both groups. Morphologically these Cro-Magnon appear to be nearly modern humans yet were using more primitive technologies alongside their "cousins".



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 05:50 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Awesome find. Thanks for posting the link.

Significant changes in human behaviour, cognition and innovation become sharply evident in the archaeological record of Eurasia at 45,000 years BP and demarcate the end of the Middle Palaeolithic and the onset of the Upper Palaeolithic period. The material cultures associated with the latter include the so-called “transitional” technocomplexes (e.g., the Châtelperronian of Franco-Cantabria, the Uluzzian of Italy and the Bachokirian of Bulgaria), and the subsequent Early Upper Palaeolithic (EUP) technocomplexes, namely the (Proto- and Early) Aurignacian found throughout the continent. In the Eastern Mediterranean region (hereafter, the Levant) the earliest Upper Palaeolithic includes the Emiran and Initial Upper Palaeolithic (IUP) entities, and the succeeding EUP, locally known as the Early Ahmarian, technocomplex. When compared to the Middle Palaeolithic record, these technocomplexes exhibit technological and typological diversification in stone tools made on blades, occasional production of organic implements from bone and antler, and importantly, the sudden appearance of personal ornamentation in the form of marine shell beads. These were not part of the behavioural package of previous human populations (Neanderthals) living in the same region.



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by peter vlar
 


Hey peter v
I think a lot has to do with which population is being discussed. Like you said in the Levant ,tool tech is definitely somewhat behind the times, while in Europe we have HSN doing stuff that would be considered culturally modern, artt and music, and a sense of self identify and individualism with the use of body decoration and the use of jewelly.
What is interesting is that while "modern"humans spread around the wolrd, cultural modernity shows up in a somewhat patchy fashion not at all related to actual movement of people.

As I mentioned in my reply to Hans , I've done some reading that has changed my views somewhat, specifically some of the skeletal morphologies that are associated to "archaic" humans might actually be evolutionary adaptations to environment and lifestyle.



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 06:57 PM
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punkinworks10
reply to post by peter vlar
 


Hey peter v
I think a lot has to do with which population is being discussed. Like you said in the Levant ,tool tech is definitely somewhat behind the times, while in Europe we have HSN doing stuff that would be considered culturally modern, artt and music, and a sense of self identify and individualism with the use of body decoration and the use of jewelly.
What is interesting is that while "modern"humans spread around the wolrd, cultural modernity shows up in a somewhat patchy fashion not at all related to actual movement of people.

As I mentioned in my reply to Hans , I've done some reading that has changed my views somewhat, specifically some of the skeletal morphologies that are associated to "archaic" humans might actually be evolutionary adaptations to environment and lifestyle.


I'm inclined to agree with your assessment. I think a decent analogy would be the technology currently available worldwide is prevalent in western or wealthier countries as opposed to many 3rd world nations who have vast areas that still have little access to an electrical grid or potable water. Morphologically we are all similar worldwide but what is available technologically is not as widespread. the Levantine HSN may have developed at a slower pace because the environmental factors were very different than in Europe thus differing impetus for tool making and survival.



posted on Sep, 17 2013 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by punkinworks10
 


[mock horror] oh no AAT again[/mock horror]

It was once explained to me that all the stuff we have on both cultural and physical factors dealing with AMH can be compared to an American football field painted white and someone taking a package of twenty pencils (pre-sharpened) and throwing them up and where the points mark the paint that is the amount of stuff we have recovered from that time frame, so many thing may change in the future as we gain more info.

East and Central Asia are also much less known archaeologically than say Europe and West Asia especially Isreal. I suspect we'll find some interesting things in greater SE Asia in particular.



posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Hans,
While I was looking for an article I've read about how finger prints might have been an evolutionary adaptation among early hominids, in response to shellfish gathering in the lakes region of Africa. I came across this article , and it's recent , 2011, entitled
"Heavy heads for diving heavy legs for wading"



books.google.com...


Unfortunately it can't be pasted so I'll briefly relate it , but I reccomend reading it.

The authors do a very scientific analysis of certain physiological aspects of early humans and
how similar aspects can be found in certain aqautic mammals.
These features could be adaptations to shellfish gathering , and in my reading on paleo Indian skeletal morphologies, these features have been prominently discussed, such very heavy bone densities in the lower limbs , large heads with prominent brow ridges, with hollow spaces, aspects of the lower leg bones among people who made a living as general foragers near water.
These features have been termed archaic hold overs among modern populations



posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 09:30 AM
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reply to post by punkinworks10
 


One can't help but notice that, in the literature, the populations of paleo indians most mentioned having 'archaic" morphologies are either coastal , such as the pericue and some fuegans, or live on an inland waterway or lake, such as the proto yokuts of the san joquin valley marshes and and very early peoples of the inland lakes in Mexico.
All of these people made their living from aquatic foraging.
The article goes on to say that difference between robust and gracile versions of homo erectus may represent terrestrial and aquatic versions.



posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by punkinworks10
 


AFAIK the oldest known shell middens are about 150,000 years old, so where are the older ones? In your researching AAT you might want to consider the evidence against it too which led to its non-acceptance.

An overview of the AAT theory



posted on Sep, 18 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Hans
I'm not advocating AAT at all I'm just saying with respect to that one article, and accepted and published work on various paleo Indian skeletons, it's likely that certain skeletal traits are positively selected for, among aquatic foraging populations.
It's simple evolutionary pressure, the individual who can gather more food to feed themselves and offspring will likely pass those traits that make him more effective along.
I never was able to relocate the article I read about early shellfish foraging in the lakes region, the site they wrote about was less than a million years old and they had found broken shells of fresh water clams/mussels and snails among a river cobble tool assemblage. The author even took the leap to suggest that very early tool manufacture might have arisen from shell breaking activities. I so wish I could find that article.





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