Chapter 16 The Advent of Modern Culture

Chapter 16 The Advent of Modern Culture - Chapter 16 The...

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Chapter 16 – The Advent of Modern Culture The Later Stone Age – Upper Paleolithic Surge in Cultural Complexity - While humans achieved anatomical modernity 195,000 years ago, it was not until 100,000 to 50,000 years ago that an “explosion” of cultural complexity was experienced - Richard Klein, Thomas Wynn, and Frederick Coolidge believe that a mutation created something called EWM (enhanced working memory), where higher levels of innovation, thought experiment, and narrative complexity were experienced - This resulted in the Later Stone Age (LSA) in Africa and the Upper Paleolithic (UP) in Eurasia. The LSA and UP consisted of a number of cultural advances, including: 1. increased number of stone tool types 2. production of many sorts of bone artifacts 3. production of works of art and items for personal decoration 4. increase in burial elaboration suggesting ritual interment 5. increased subsistence efficiency and population densities Mastery of Fire - The use of iron pyrite , a stone that, when struck with flint, makes sparks that will start a fire, facilitated the use of fire among LSA/UP people - Evidence of how to construct hearths comes from sites in Central and Eastern Europe, where some hearts had shallow grooves in the bottom and a channel curving away like a tail, allowing for more air to feed the fire - In such areas, wood was scarce, and a different material was used for fires: bone (as indicated by the lack of charred wood and considerable quantities of bone ash) - Hearths also marked home areas Tool Specialization - There was a greater variety of tools from a greater variety of materials during the LSA/UP, a strong contrast from the Middle Paleolithic, which was relatively uniform in both time and space - LSA/UP implements included: 1. knives and scrapers (often “backed” or dulled along one edge) 2. drills and saws 3. burins for shaping softer materials 4. ceremonial blades 5. spear and arrow points - Blade tools were common in Upper Paleolithic cultures - Important in the UP tool kit was the burin , a type of chisel used to cut, incise, and shape
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Chapter 16 The Advent of Modern Culture - Chapter 16 The...

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