Before We Painted Like Picasso, We Had to Share Like Gandhi – Facts So Romantic

A comparison of the facial features of ancient modern humans (left) to more recent modern humans (right). Modern specimens have a less prominent brow ridge and a shorted upper face. Researchers suspect these changes were caused by a decrease of testosterone.Robert Cieri 

In Earth’s not-so-distant fossil record of human ancestors, an important change appears around 200,000 years ago. Compared with earlier specimens, these skeletons are relatively fine-boned, with big skulls, delicate jaws, and flat, vertical foreheads. Such remnants are thought to depict a time in history when the human became modern—anatomically comparable to you and me today.

Atop these iconic fossils lies a more recent layer of Earth full of artifacts created by a modern sapien. The fossil record here, about 50,000 years old, represents a massive surge of culture: tools crafted from animal bone and antler, rather than simple stone ones from earlier eras, and evidence that people were applying pigment and jewelry to their bodies, creating intricate burial sites and painting on the cave walls. “It’s not that we were inventing tools,” says University of Utah doctoral candidate Robert Cieri, “it’s that we were inventing much more complex tools that look like they were made by…
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