although our study indicated that a large increase

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Unformatted text preview: that characterize that later period.) Although our study indicated that a large increase in grandparents was unique to anatomically modern humans, it alone could not distinguish between the biological explanation and the cultural one, because the modern humans we looked at were both anatomically and behaviorally modern. Could we trace longevity back to earlier anatomically modern humans who were not yet behaviorally modern? To address this question, Lee and I analyzed Middle Paleolithic humans from sites in western Asia dating to between about 110,000 and 40,000 years ago. Our sample included both Neandertals and modern humans, all associated with the same comparatively simple artifacts. This approach allowed us to compare the OY ratios of two biologically distinct groups (many scholars consider them to be separate species) who lived in the same region and had the same cultural complexity. We found that the Neandertals and modern humans from western Asia had statistically identical OY ratios, ruling out the possibility that a biological shift accounted for the increase in adult survivorship...
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