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Dating human cultural capacity using phylogenetic principles
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3245-0850
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
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2013 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 3, 1785- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Humans have genetically based unique abilities making complex culture possible; an assemblage of traits which we term cultural capacity. The age of this capacity has for long been subject to controversy. We apply phylogenetic principles to date this capacity, integrating evidence from archaeology, genetics, paleoanthropology, and linguistics. We show that cultural capacity is older than the first split in the modern human lineage, and at least 170,000 years old, based on data on hyoid bone morphology, FOXP2 alleles, agreement between genetic and language trees, fire use, burials, and the early appearance of tools comparable to those of modern hunter-gatherers. We cannot exclude that Neanderthals had cultural capacity some 500,000 years ago. A capacity for complex culture, therefore, must have existed before complex culture itself. It may even originated long before. This seeming paradox is resolved by theoretical models suggesting that cultural evolution is exceedingly slow in its initial stages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 3, 1785- p.
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Natural Sciences Engineering and Technology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90770DOI: 10.1038/srep01785ISI: 000318470600010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-90770DiVA: diva2:628733
Note

AuthorCount:5;

Available from: 2013-06-14 Created: 2013-06-11 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Lind, JohanLindenfors, PatrikGhirlanda, StefanoLiden, KerstinEnquist, Magnus
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