To be totally honest I am feeling a tad smug right about now and a little vindicated too I would say. It wasn’t even a full 24 hours after my last post about the latest revelations pushing back the timeline for modern humans that we get more blockbuster news hot off the press from India.
The new evidence suggests that a Middle Paleolithic culture was present in India around 385,000 years ago — roughly the same time that it is known to have developed in Africa and in Europe.
Stone tools above recovered at the Attirampakkam site in India from the middle paleolithic — including Levallois technology. Photo: Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India
“Our study presents a paradigm shift in thinking about the origin and spread of Middle Paleolithic cultures in South Asia, suggesting a far greater antiquity and more complex story than we thought,” Professor Shanti Pappu of Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, who led the research team, told India Science Wire.
An excavation team in Attirampakkam village, near Chennai
I love some of the explanations given for the find that are trying not to say modern humans made these modern human tool kits. It was a transfer of ideas says one noted anthropologist, nothing more. So, let me get this straight. Modern humans in Africa developed the tool techniques and then Neanderthals in Europe and India watched a youtube video and learned about them. Nice. I guess that’s one way to ‘trade ideas’.
Of course, an alternate to the youtube theory is an increasingly more collaborated view that maybe modern humans migrated out of Africa way sooner than conventional theories have them leaving. But that would mean, gasp, modern humans are way older than currently accepted theories.
I dearly Love this quote by the leader of the research team.
“What this site has taught us is to expect the unexpected, and it is a deeply humbling experience when preconceived ideas crumble around us. When we got the dates, we immediately realised the implications were mind-blowing. Dr. Akhilesh and I went back to the table to crosscheck our data again and again and to re-examine the stone artefact assemblages to be sure of our interpretation,” recalled Prof Pappu.
So, looking good for modern humans being in Europe and India at least as far back as 385,000 years ago. Considering they are finding artifacts as old as 385,000 we can safely assume the individuals that made them were around well before that time. The recent mounting evidence and speculation that modern man ‘birthed’ some 500,000 years ago is looking much better today.