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Unformatted text preview: volved was that plant and animal species harvested in the latter but not the former areas included ones that automatically evolved domesticates, as already discussed. Thus, there were not just 5–9, but several dozen, independent trajectories of intensification in the Holocene. On the other hand, my formulation of the question also overstates the puzzle. Only behaviourally modern Homo sapiens was biologically and mentally capable of the technological advances and foraging efficiency that resulted in intensified hunting and gathering, and (sometimes) in food production40. But behaviourally modern Homo sapiens did not emerge until around 55,000–80,000 years ago (the exact date is debated), so we should say that the independent simultaneous emergences were not concentrated in the last 0.2% of hominid history, but ‘only’ in the last 15% of modern human history. Still, even that seems too concentrated a bout of simultaneous emergences to be coincidental. Was it just that the origins of behaviourally modern Homo sapiens set clocks ticking by chance at...
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- Fall '08