chapter  7
27 Pages

Almost Altogether Truly Modern Humans

More than likely it will come as little or no surprise that scholars have yet to agree on exactly what distinguishes thoroughly modern human beings-people like you-from our predecessors and when the transformation took place. To begin with, the entire matter is somewhat confused by the existence of what are called anatomically modern humans who appeared in Africa about 100,000 years ago or more and who are, in fact, a bit different anatomically from what are truly, thoroughly modern human beings. Anatomical modernity arrived in fi ts and starts. Also, these early (or what could be called archaic) modern humans were apparently a lot different behaviorally. Many people today of refi ned tastes might not fi nd these archaic modern humans desirable dinner guests (though some might), whereas the person who carved the Venus of Willendorf would —with a little work, to be sure, as with Eliza Doolittle-fi t in fairly well. Another confusing point is that anatomically modern humans

became behaviorally modern humans at different times in different parts of the globe. Or at least that is what the archaeological evidence seems to say, and we are moving now into the period when a great deal more evidence has been found in the ground, and therefore archaeology has a great deal more to say.