This volume brings together prominent archaeologists working in areas outside Western Europe to discuss the most recent evidence for the origins of the early Upper Paleolithic and its relationship to the origin of modern humans. With a wealth of primary data from archaeological sites and regions that have never before been published and discussions of materials from difficult-to-find sources, the collection urges readers to reconsider the process of modern human behavioral origins.
Archaeological evidence continues to play a critical role in debates over the origins of anatomically modern humans. The appearance of novel Upper Paleolithic technologies, new patterns of land use, expanded social networks, and the emergence of complex forms of symbolic communication point to a behavioral revolution beginning sometime around 45,000 years ago. Until recently, most of the available evidence for this revolution derived from Western European archaeological contexts that suggested an abrupt replacement of Mousterian Middle Paleolithic with Aurignacian Upper Paleolithic adaptations. In the absence of fossil association, the behavioral transition was thought to reflect the biological replacement of archaic hominid populations by intrusive modern humans.
The contributors present new archaeological evidence that tells a very different story: The Middle-Upper Paleolithic transitions in areas as diverse as the Levant, Eastern-Central Europe, and Central and Eastern Asia are characterized both by substantial behavioral continuity over the period 45,000-25,000 years ago and by a mosaic-like pattern of shifting adaptations. Together these essays will enliven and enrich the discussion of the shift from archaic to modern behavioral adaptations.
Contributors: O. Bar-Yosef, A. Belfer-Cohen, R. L. Bettinger, P. J. Brantingham, N. R. Coinman, A. P. Derevianko, R. G. Elston, J. R. Fox, X. Gao, J. M. Geneste, T. Goebel, E. Güleç, K. W. Kerry, L. Koulakovskaia, J. K. Kozlowski, S. L. Kuhn, Y. V. Kuzmin, D. B. Madsen, A. E. Marks, L. Meignen, T. Meshveliani, K. Monigal, P. E. Nehoroshev, J. W. Olsen, M. Otte, M. C. Stiner,J. Svoboda, A. Sytnik, D. Tseveendorj, L. B. Vishnyatsky
List of Figures and Tables
1. On the Difficulty of the Middle-Upper Paleolithic Transitions
P.J. Brantingham, S.L. Kuhn, and K.W. Kerry
2. Early Upper Paleolithic Backed Blade Industries in Central and Eastern Europe
3. Continuities, Discontinuities, and Interactions in Early Upper Paleolithic Technologies: A View from the Middle Danube
4. Koulichivka and Its Place in the Middle-Upper Paleolithic Transition in Eastern Europe
L. Meignen, J.M. Geneste, L. Koulakovskaia, and A. Sytnik
5. Origins of the European Upper Paleolithic, Seen from Crimea: Simple Myth or Complex Reality?
A.E. Marks and K. Monigal
6. The Beginning of the Upper Paleolithic on the Russian Plain
L.B. Vishnyatsky and P.E. Nehoroshev
7. Emergence of the Levantine Upper Paleolithic: Evidence from the Wadi al-Hasa
J.R. Fox and N.R. Coinman
8. New Perspectives on the Initial Upper Paleolithic: The view from Üçagizli Cave, Turkey
S.L. Kuhn, M.C. Stiner, and E. Güleç
9. The Upper Paleolithic in Western Georgia
T. Meshveliani, O. Bar-Yosef, and A. Belfer-Cohen
10. The Aurignacian in Asia
11. The Middle-Upper Paleolithic Interface in Former Soviet Central Asia
12. The Early Upper Paleolithic of Siberia
13. Origin of the Upper Paleolithic in Siberia: A Geoarchaeological Perspective
14. Initial Upper Paleolithic Blade Industries from the North-Central
Gobi Desert, Mongolia
A.P. Derevianko, P.J. Brantingham, J.W. Olsen, and D. Tseveendorj
15. The Initial Upper Paleolithic at Shuidonggou, Northwestern China
P.J. Brantingham, X. Gao, D.B. Madsen, R.L. Bettinger, and R.G. Elston
16. The Early Upper Paleolithic and the Origins of Modern Human Behavior
S.L. Kuhn, P.J. Brantingham, and K.W. Kerry
List of contributors
P. Jeffrey Brantingham is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Steven L. Kuhn is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona and author of Mousterian Lithic Technology: An Ecological Perspective (1995). Kristopher W. Kerry is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona.
"This important book brings together a wealth of little-known and recent information that will prove invaluable to anyone interested in the Paleolithic."—Paul G. Bahn, author of Journey through the Ice Age
"This volume provides a much needed antidote to the Western European models and concepts that have dominated modern human origins research for nearly a century. Essential reading for anyone interested in the question of our origins."—G. A. Clark, coeditor of Conceptual Issues in Modern Human Origins Research