Modern man didn't bring his tools with him

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 13:24:19 EST

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    Often it is claimed that the modern Aurignacian stone tools found in Europe
    are always associated with anatomically modern man. Since these tools first
    appear around 40,000 years ago, it is often claimed that this is when
    anatomically modern man invaded Europe replacing Neanderthal. Yet, there are
    no securely dated anatomically modern human skeletons from prior to 26 kyr
    although there are some claims to 32 kyr dates. Thus, the tools have become
    the proxy for modern humans. However, as I have pointed out several times,
    a case can be made that Neanderthals actually invented the Aurignacian as it
    is first found in Spain, which was the last place occupied by anatomically
    modern men.

    This week there was an Arizona State University press release noting that
    there is no sharp break to be seen in the archaeological record in Europe
    where it concerns tools. This means that moderns sometimes behaved modernly
    and sometimes primitively and that this probably applies to Neanderthals as
    well. The release can befound at:


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