Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Early humans dressed for dinner

19.02.2002


Sophisticated jewellery appeared with social events.


Jewellery appears in different places at similar times.
© Corbis



Our early ancestors glammed-up for a get-together. Humans worldwide began wearing jewellery at the same time as groups started meeting up, say US researchers. The finding counters the idea that ’modern’ behaviour swept the globe when modern humans migrated out of Africa.

Mary Stiner and her colleagues unearthed ancient necklaces at three sites in Asia, Africa and Europe. Residents of Kenya around 40,000 years ago wore beads and pendants made from ostrich eggshell; those in Turkey and Lebanon preferred seashell chic1.


Such ornaments are seen as a sign of sophisticated behaviour. "We think it typifies modern humans," says Stiner, of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Like today’s wedding rings and medallions, jewellery says a lot about availability, wealth and religion. "These trinkets really do matter," she says.

Adornments appeared when growing populations made groups more likely to encounter each other, she told the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

Suffering artists

Animal remains around the Mediterranean suggest that human diet changed 40,000-50,000 years ago. People switched from easy-to-catch shellfish and tortoises to fast-moving birds and rabbits, the team also found.

Rising population density probably made food scarce. The expansion of glaciers, forcing people south, could have worsened the crush.

These findings suggest that modern human behaviour appeared simultaneously on different continents. This counters the theory that sophisticated behaviour emerged when anatomically modern humans spread out of Africa around 40,000-50,000 years ago, replacing culturally primitive Neanderthals.

"There are many signs of modernity before then," agrees archaeologist Lawrence Straus of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Cultured behaviour was an adaptation to changing conditions, he argues. Other archaeological evidence - such as sophisticated tools and art -appear in the fossil record before anatomically modern humans.

References

  1. Kuhn, S.L. et al. Ornaments of the earliest upper Paleolithic: New insights from the Levant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98, 7641 - 7646, (2001).


HELEN PEARSON | © Nature News Service
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/020218/020218-3.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
06.08.2020 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht Tellurium makes the difference
06.08.2020 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>