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The Dawn of Human Culture
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Authors Tim Winton Sarah J. Top Pick. Klein , Blake Edgar. HardCover March 27, The premier anthropologist in the country today. Maasai pastoralists who once occupied this region in central Kenya called the place Enkapune Ya Muto, or Twilight Cave. The cave's sediments record important cultural changes during the past few thousand years, including the first local experiments with agriculture and with sheep and goat domestication. Buried more than three meters deep in the sand, silt, and loam at Enkapune Ya Muto, however, lie the traces of an earlier and even more significant event in human prehistory.
Tens of thousands of pieces of obsidian, a jet-black volcanic glass, were long ago fashioned into finger-length knives with scalpel-sharp edges, thumbnail-sized scrapers, and other stone tools, made on the spot at an ancient workshop. In his conclusions he still, however, returns to the argument of a neurological evolutionary i. Even before we consider the evidence, we can see that this argument implies a biologically deterministic approach to cultural evolution.
As I mentioned in the Prologue, human or other primate culture is first invented, then learnt and added to from generation to generation. Each advance or skill does not come out of a new gene.
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Rather, new behaviours come first and the genetic modifications that best exploit those new behaviours come afterwards. In other words, the change of culture precedes the change of body — not the other way round.
Early humans and dawn of human information sharing
Furthermore, there are predictable geographical differences of culture. If a particular invention in one region led to other local inventions, the accelerated pace of innovation would give that region a head start. So regional differences in the rate of cultural progression should be expected, even within one human species. First there is the explicit implication that early African moderns were biologically less than modern — in other words, they did not have the neurological capacity to develop modern behaviours.
This strange conclusion would inevitably apply to those moderns left in Africa, and also to the first moderns migrating into Asia and on to Australia, since it is now generally accepted that these colonizations took place quite some time before 50, years ago the earliest possible time for which the Upper Palaeolithic can be identified in the Eastern Mediterranean.
What do these hypothetical conclusions mean? They would not be able to paint, carve, trade, organize, and so forth. With such disadvantages, presumably they could not, given the opportunity, drive cars or fly planes; compose and play soul, spirituals, reggae, classical music, and jazz; or become doctors, financiers, and geneticists.
Humanity’s Cultural Roots
There is a further logical problem. If Europeans were the first biologically modern humans and were isolated comparative latecomers, what about the rest of the world? How did they catch up? Nor would their modern descendants. This is clearly absurd, for they can do all those things. But this still cannot explain the evidence of homo sapiens before 50, BCE, the evidence of art prior to that date, the lack of any anatomical change, or the fact that there is no evidence to suggest that culture is allowed by genetic change, and rather the evidence in fact points in the opposite direction, that cultural behaviour fuels genetic change.
I have to say I agree with Oppenheimer. A well presented book, but rather outdated now, and for me, too many holes to be a convincing hypothesis. Feb 24, Captain Sir Roddy, R. The Dawn of Human Culture can probably be fairly characterized as Professor Klein's synthesis and condensed version of his monumental textbook, The Human Career: Human Biological and Cultural Origins written for both the interested amateur as well as for anthropological professionals.
In my opinion, this book is really well-written, incredibly fascinating, and lavishly illustrated with numerous superb drawings by Kathryn Cruz-Uribe. For me, the story of the genus Homo and of the individual s The Dawn of Human Culture can probably be fairly characterized as Professor Klein's synthesis and condensed version of his monumental textbook, The Human Career: Human Biological and Cultural Origins written for both the interested amateur as well as for anthropological professionals.
For me, the story of the genus Homo and of the individual species that ultimately leads to us-- Homo sapiens --is nothing short of amazing, and Klein's book exhibits that same enthusiasm and wonder that I still feel. Even though this survey of the paleoanthropological state-of-knowledge was published in , it is really mostly still quite up-to-date and relevant. I also very much appreciated Professor Klein's in-depth and even-handed portrayal and treatment of the various positions associated with the major controversies associated with our human origins.
Description: A bold new theory on what sparked the "big bang" of human culture The abrupt emergence of human culture over a stunningly short period continues to be one of the great enigmas of human evolution. These studies detail the changes that enabled humans to think and behave in far more sophisti Description: A bold new theory on what sparked the "big bang" of human culture The abrupt emergence of human culture over a stunningly short period continues to be one of the great enigmas of human evolution.
May 12, Raven added it. A fascinating account of the archeological record which offers clues to the emergence of distinctly human consciousness. One might be a little disappointed that there is not a more through discussion of the continued development, signs, and implications of human art, craft, and communication. Though relatively dry, this volume is accessible to the uninitiated and gives detailed accounts of findings, geography, implications, the science involved, revisions in understanding over time and with new A fascinating account of the archeological record which offers clues to the emergence of distinctly human consciousness.
Though relatively dry, this volume is accessible to the uninitiated and gives detailed accounts of findings, geography, implications, the science involved, revisions in understanding over time and with new discoveries, and several interesting illustrations of both the emerging structure of what eventually became the modern human and their products. While this text seems only to touch upon the aspects of the subject which most interest me, it does give a through account of all the known apparent steps which led up to this 'dawn.
Jul 19, Jrobertus rated it liked it. Oct 03, Emily rated it really liked it. It was pretty easy-to-read and set out the process of human evolution in a nice, orderly fashion. While it didn't go in-depth, I thought that it provided a great overall view of human evolution. Mar 17, Bonniejessee rated it it was amazing. This is a fascinating read on the distinct changes that occurred in human prehistory that made us culturally thriving beings. I am enjoying the book. Oct 23, Anthony Xing rated it really liked it. Argues for the Great Leap Forward of human culture around 50 years before present.
Well done, but did not address alternate theory.
Oct 05, Jamie H rated it liked it. Not very gripping, but informative and enlightening.
Dawn of Human Culture / Edition 1 by Richard G. Klein | | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®
Apr 30, Shaun added it. Human well, pre-human history: 7,, to 50, years ago. Nov 17, George Girton rated it really liked it. What was it! Allan Robinson rated it it was amazing Oct 13, Mike Farrell rated it really liked it May 16, Meyps rated it liked it Jan 03, Ron rated it really liked it Sep 04, Eric Lembke rated it really liked it Sep 24, Markus R. Domdom Ilano rated it it was amazing Feb 22, Irteza Binte-farid rated it really liked it Aug 05, Brittany rated it it was ok Feb 28, Eric rated it liked it Feb 20, Elizabeth rated it really liked it Mar 05, Jim rated it liked it Dec 09, Jeremy rated it it was amazing Apr 27, Marc Deshaies rated it really liked it Jan 27, Pat Hadley rated it it was ok Sep 17, Alexander rated it it was amazing Aug 07, Lyc Davis rated it it was ok Aug 25, John rated it really liked it Feb 11, Keyla Robles rated it really liked it Dec 08, Readers also enjoyed.
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