The origin of modern human behavi...
627 Current Anthropology Volume 44, Number 5, December 2003 2003 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved 0011-3204/2003/4405-0001$3.00 The Origin of Modern Human Behavior Critique of the Models and Their Test Implications1 by Christopher S. Henshilwood and Curtis W. Marean Archaeology���s main contribution to the debate over the origins of modern humans has been investigating where and when modern human behavior is first recognized in the archaeological record. Most of this debate has been over the empirical record for the appearance and distribution of a set of traits that have come to be accepted as indicators of behavioral modernity. This debate has resulted in a series of competing models that we explicate here, and the traits are typically used as the test implications for these models. However, adequate tests of hypotheses and models rest on robust test implications, and we argue here that the cur- rent set of test implications suffers from three main problems: (1) Many are empirically derived from and context-specific to the richer European record, rendering them problematic for use in the primarily tropical and subtropical African continent. (2) They are ambiguous because other processes can be invoked, often with greater parsimony, to explain their character. (3) Many lack theoretical justification. In addition, there are severe taphonomic problems in the application of these test implications across dif- fering spans of time. To provide adequate tests of these models, archaeologists must first subject these test implications to rigor- ous discussion, which is initiated here. christopher s. henshilwood is Professor at the Centre for Development Studies, University of Bergen, Norway, and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at the State Univer- sity of New York at Stony Brook, N.Y., U.S.A. (postal address: African Heritage Research Institute, 167, Buitenkant Street, Gar- dens, 8001, Cape Town, South Africa [firstname.lastname@example.org]). He received B.A. and B.A. (Hons.) degrees in archaeology from the University of Cape Town and his Ph.D. from Cambridge Uni- versity in 1995. He is director of long-term excavation programs at Blombos Cave and at De Hoop Nature Reserve. His recent publications include (with coauthors) ���Emergence of Modern Hu- man Behaviour: Middle Stone Age Engravings from South Africa��� 1. This work was supported by grants to CSH from the Anglo- American Chairman���s Fund, CNRS program ���Origine de l���Homme, du langage et des langues,��� the Leakey Foundation, the National Geographic Society, The National Research Foundation, the Na- tional Science Foundation (SBR-9904540), the University of Bergen Centre for Development Studies, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation and to CWM from NSF grant SBR-9727491, NSF grant SBR- 9727668, and a Wenner-Gren grant. We thank Graham Avery and the South African Museum (Iziko Museums of Cape Town) for in- stitutional support and Geoffrey Clark, Francesco d���Errico, Hilary Deacon, Daniel Kaufman, John Shea, Karen van Niekerk, Polly Wiessner, Royden Yates, seven referees, and editor Benjamin Orlove for helpful comments. (Science 295:1278���80), ���An Early Bone Tool Industry from the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa: Implications for the Origins of Modern Human Behaviour, Symbolism, and Language��� (Journal of Human Evolution 41:631���78), and ���Blom- bos Cave, Southern Cape, South Africa: Preliminary Report on the 1992���1999 Excavations of the Middle Stone Age Levels��� (Journal of Archaeological Science 28:421���48). cur tis w. marean is Professor of Anthropology at the Insti- tute of Human Origins and Department of Anthropology, Ari- zona State University (P.O. Box 872402, Arizona State Univer- sity, Tempe, Ariz. 85287-2402, U.S.A. [email@example.com]). He received his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990. He conducts zooarchaeological and taphonomic research as well as field research in Africa and has initiated a new field pro- gram at Mossel Bay, South Africa. His publications include (with Zelalem Assefa) ���Zooarchaeological Evidence for Neanderthal and Early Modern Human Faunal Exploitation��� (Evolutionary Anthropology 8:22���37), (with S. Y. Kim) ���The Mousterian Faunal remains from Kobeh Cave: Behavioral Implications for Neander- thals and Early Modern Humans��� (CA 39:S79���S114), and the ed- ited volume The Middle Stone Age at Die Kelders Cave 1, South Africa (Journal of Human Evolution 38). The present paper was submitted 9 v 01 and accepted 5 v 03. Genetic and fossil evidence currently favors a ���single- origin��� or ���Out of Africa��� model for the evolution of modern humans over the once-dominant multiregional- continuity model. The essence of the single-origin model is that biologically modern humans evolved in Africa, dispersed globally, and by 35,000 to 30,000 years ago were found throughout the Old World (e.g., Aiello 1993, Har- pending and Rogers 2000, but see Wolpoff, Hawks, and Caspari 2000 and Eswaran 2002). While these models are typically framed and tested with the genetic (e.g., Quin- tana-Murci et al. 1999, Relethford and Jorde 1999) and anatomical (e.g., Day and Stringer 1982, Hawks et al. 2000, Stringer 1996) evidence, they have implications for an understanding of the evolution of human behavior. This is the focus of debate in the archaeological litera- ture, and it is not new. For example, Clark and Lindly (1988, 1989a, b Lindly and Clark 1990a, b) have argued that the single-origin model would predict a punctuated break in behavior between the Middle and the Upper Paleolithic, a break that they consider to have been absent. Since then the single-origin model has gained increas- ing support, and, depending on the variant, it suggests some type of population replacement of nonmodern hominids (such as Neandertals) by fully modern homi- nids. The ultimate mechanism for this replacement is widely considered to be a behavioral difference between nonmodern and modern populations that lent an adap- tive advantage to moderns. It is the nature of this be- havioral difference that is currently being debated (d���Errico et al. 1998), and the debate is in its infancy. Currently the disagreement is over the origin, age, and spread of modern human behavior. One source of this disagreement is the absence of a coherent body of theory defining modern human behavior (cf. Gibson 1996, Ren- frew 1996, Foley and Lahr, 1997, Deacon 2001). Rather than focusing on the development of theory, many re- searchers have suggested behavioral traits (table 1) that
628 F current anthropology Volume 44, Number 5, December 2003 table 1 Traits Used to Identify Modern Human Behavior Trait References Burial of the dead as an indicator of ritual Chase and Dibble (1987), Gargett (1999), Klein (1995), Mellars (1989b) Art, ornamentation, and decoration Ambrose (1998), Chase and Dibble (1990), Deacon (2001), Klein (1995), Mellars (1989a, b), Milo (1998), Renfrew (1996), Thackeray (1992) Symbolic use of ochre Chase and Dibble (1987), Clark (1989), Deacon (2001), Klein (1995), Knight, Powers, and Watts (1995), Mellars (1989a, 1996), Watts (1999), Thackeray (1992) Worked bone and antler Ambrose (1998), Clark (1989), Deacon (1989, 2001), Gibson (1996), Klein (1995), Knight, Powers, and Watts (1995), Mellars (1989a, b, 1996), Milo (1998), Thackeray (1992) Blade technology Ambrose and Lorenz (1990), Clark (1989), Deacon (2001), Deacon and Wurz (1996), Foley and Lahr (1997), Mellars (1989a, b), Thackeray (1992) Standardization of artifact types Klein (1995), Mellars (1989b, 1996) Artifact diversity Ambrose (1998), Ambrose and Lorenz (1990), Deacon (2001), Klein (1995), Knight, Powers, and Watts (1995), Mellars (1989a, b, 1996), Milo (1998), Thackeray (1992) Complex hearth construction Ambrose (1998), Barham (1996), Deacon (1989, 2001), Deacon and Deacon (1999), Gamble (1994), Klein (1995), Mellars (1989a) Organized use of domestic space Ambrose (1998), Deacon (2001), Klein (1995), Mellars (1989a) Expanded exchange networks Ambrose (1998), Ambrose and Lorenz (1990), Deacon (1989, 2001), Deacon and Wurz (1996), Klein (1995) Effective large-mammal exploitation Binford (1984, 1985), Klein (2001), Marean (1998), Marean and Assefa (1999), Mellars (1989a), Milo (1998), Thackeray (1992) Seasonally focused mobility strategies Klein (1994, 1995), Klein, Cruz-Uribe, and Skinner (1999), Milo (1998), Soffer (1989) Use of harsh environments Ambrose (1998), Ambrose and Lorenz (1990), Deacon (1989), Foley (1998), Gamble (1994), Klein (1994, 1995), Mellars (1989a) Fishing and fowling Deacon (1989), Klein (1995), Milo (1998), Thackeray (1992) are thought to be modern and concentrated on the em- pirical record for the antiquity and distribution of those traits (e.g., Clark and Lindly 1988, 1989a, b Hayden 1993 Klein 2000 Lindly and Clark 1990a McBrearty and Brooks 2000 Mellars 1995 Thackeray 1992 White 1982). For example, it has been argued that the system- atic manufacture of formal tools from raw materials other than stone is a hallmark of modern humans (e.g., Gamble 1994, Klein 2000) and that pre-40,000-year-old hominids were scavengers rather than hunters of large prey and therefore not behaviorally modern. The ability to live in harsh environments such as high-altitude zones at high latitudes and harsh desertic environments is pre- sented as a distinctly modern trait (Gamble 1994, Da- vidson and Noble 1992), and so is the ability to map onto seasonally punctuated food resources (Klein and Cruz- Uribe 1996, Klein, Cruz-Uribe, and Skinner 1999, Soffer 1989). Symbolic actions such as burial of the dead, pro- duction of personal ornaments and ���art,��� and the use of ochre for decoration are further often-cited traits for iden- tifying modern behavior (Mellars 1989a, b). The collective idea appears to be that we can develop a litmus test for modern human behavior grounded in material correlates of specific behaviors considered to be unique to or indicative of a modern human intellect. Many discussions portray these behavioral traits as ar- riving as a package (Gamble 1994, Klein 2000), while others have argued that there could have been incre- mental addition over time (Chase and Dibble 1990, Dea- con 2001). There is a tendency to frame the behavioral differences between modern and nonmodern anatomi- cally modern humans as genetically coded differences in intellect. Klein (2000, 2001), for example, explains that a genetic mutation conferred a neural advance and thus behavioral changes currently unrecognizable in the evo- lution of cranial anatomy. In recent years the disagreements have taken the form of a series of discrete models. (We use the term ���model��� here as it is regularly used in archaeology [a series of connected hypotheses, as in Clarke 1978].) Many of the originators of these ideas have since changed their po- sitions, while the models are still current. Although these models provide a clear beginning agenda for re- search, testing of them can be effective only when we have developed a theory of modern human behavior. This development will require a vigorous debate over the quality and utility of the test implications (Hempel 1966) of these models. The purpose of this paper is not to con- struct an alternative model of modern human behavior and the timing of its appearance but to initiate this debate. Currently these test implications are derived from the presence or absence of a suite of traits. However, test implications of this type depend upon a key auxiliary assumption (see Hempel 1966)���that, for example, bone tools are a measure of behavioral modernity. Auxiliary assumptions must be justified because the support or refutation of any of these models will only be as strong
henshilwood and marean The Origin of Modern Human Behavior F 629 as the test implications employed. The empirical record for the presence or absence of these traits has recently been reviewed for Africa (McBrearty and Brooks 2000) and Eurasia (e.g., d���Errico et al. 1998, Villa and d���Errico 2001). We will focus here on how taphonomic issues complicate our evaluation of the presence or absence of the traits in the empirical record, whether the source of a trait is empirical or theoretical or both, and the epis- temological legitimacy of particular traits as test impli- cations for modern human behavior. Here we will ad- dress two questions: First, is this trait an unambiguous test implication for modern behavior? In other words, can we explain the occurrence of this trait by reference to other behavioral processes? And second, is the trait a sensible indicator of modern human behavior given what we know about technological systems, documented hu- man behavioral variability, and the behavior of other animals? The Competing Models Models for the origin of modern human behavior have tended to focus on the empirical evidence. Most of them have in common the idea that modern humans and mod- ern human behavior evolved first in Africa. We will de- scribe these models and provide names for them below. The construction of this series of competing models is original to us, and the names we have given them are not necessarily advocated by their proponents. the later upper pleistocene model Prior to the 1990s there was widespread agreement that modern human behavior appeared only between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago. This fit the record well for a num- ber of reasons. First, the record for this time span was (and still is) best represented in Europe (Chase and Dibble 1990), and it was obvious that the Upper Palaeolithic differed from the Middle Palaeolithic (Mellars 1973 1989a, b), though some contested the presence of a punc- tuated change (Clark and Lindly 1989a, b Clark 1992 d���Errico et al. 1998 Zilha ��o 2001). Second, there was the clear replacement of Neandertals by modern humans, and that population-level replacement provided an un- ambiguous mechanism for the entrance of modern hu- man behavior. As the single-origin model gained increasing support from the fossil and genetic record, the appearance of mod- ern human behavior between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago still made sense for one critical reason. The evidence from the Levant suggested that the boundary between Nean- dertals and modern humans fluctuated with environmen- tal change: Neandertals moved east and south into the Levant with colder climates, while modern humans inched out of Africa into the Levant with warmer con- ditions (Tchernov 1988, 1994). Advanced behavioral abil- ities enabled modern humans to spread rapidly north and west, overcoming this essentially climatically controlled boundary, at about 40,000 years ago. Within about 12,000 years Neandertals were extinct. This scenario lends itself to the suggestion that the tipping of the scales at roughly 40,000 years ago may have resulted from the introduction of a behavioral edge that evolved late, almost certainly in Africa. We label this the Later Upper Pleistocene model. Proponents of this model (e.g., Klein 2001 Ambrose 1998 Ambrose and Lorenz 1990 Clark 1988, 1989 Bin- ford 1984, 1985 Gamble 1994 Tattersall 1995) argue that it is only in the early Later Stone Age or very late Middle Stone Age (various dates are given for this event) that behavioral modernity can be identified in Africa. Ac- cording to this model, even if Middle Stone Age homi- nids were anatomically modern, they were not behav- iorally modern until sometime after 50,000 years ago. The origin of modern human behavior is seen as a punc- tuated event, and the traits are considered to have arrived as a package. Only Klein (e.g., 1995) has suggested a mechanism for this change: he argues that it occurred as a neural advance potentially unrecognizable in cranial anatomy. According to the Later Upper Pleistocene model, the Middle Stone Age and the Middle Palaeolithic resemble one another typologically and technologically and the former differs from the Later Stone Age in the same way as the latter differs from the Upper Palaeolithic. Its ad- vocates rely on the argument that a particular series of traits is representative of behavioral modernity and these traits do not appear until after 50,000 years ago. They identify the key features of Middle Stone Age/Middle Palaeolithic behavior as follows (Klein 1995, Gamble 1994): 1. Material culture was simple relative to that of mod- ern humans. There were no formal bone or ivory objects and no drilling, polishing, or grinding. Fishing and fowl- ing gear was absent. Lithic technology displayed little variation over time and space. The emphasis was on flake technology, with few end scrapers (mostly side scrapers), and raw material came mainly from local sources. Ar- tifacts displayed continuity over time and a lack of div- ersity. 2. Subsistence was fairly basic. There was no fishing, no capture of flying birds, and no hunting of prime adult animals as dangerous as the Cape buffalo and the bush- pig. Meat was acquired mainly through scavenging (the evidence for this being the head-and-foot pattern in fau- nal remains). Seasonal opportunities went unnoticed (for example, seals were scavenged in South Africa during seasonally unfocused visits). The ability to acquire var- ious animals was limited, and this was both a conse- quence of low population densities and a contributor to those low densities (evidence for this being the large av- erage size of tortoises and limpets). In general, resources were exploited less effectively than in later times. 3. Symbolic behavior (art, personal ornaments, ochre use for other than utilitarian ends) was absent. Empirical evidence inconsistent with this interpreta- tion is often explained away. For example, the unique characteristics of the Howiesons Poort substage in south- ern Africa are attributed to climatic stress and/or envi- ronmental change rather than to technological modern-
630 F current anthropology Volume 44, Number 5, December 2003 ity (see Ambrose and Lorenz 1990), and Middle Stone Age bone tools at sites like Blombos Cave and Katanda are argued to be in questionable context (Ambrose 1998 Klein 2000, 2001). A recent addition to this argument is that at ca. 41,000 years ago the earliest known evidence for ���modern��� hu- man behavior in Africa occurs at Enkapune ya Muto in Kenya (Ambrose 1998). Key markers found at the site are Upper Palaeolithic-like blades and ostrich eggshell beads ���the latter seen as implying an advanced symbolic sys- tem with ���socially-mediated risk minimization and so- cial solidarity��� (Ambrose 1998). Implicit in this model is the notion that modern behavior occurred first in Af- rica, spread to Eurasia (presumably by migration of an- atomically modern humans), and culminated in the Up- per Palaeolithic event about 40,000 years ago. The net effect is that proponents of the Later Upper Pleistocene model link and compress into a 10,000���15,000-year time frame the evolution of modern human behavior, the mi- gration of modern humans throughout the Old World, and the extinction of archaic hominids. One could accept a punctuated event in culture change sometime after 50,000 years ago in Eurasia without ac- cepting the Later Upper Pleistocene model. Bar-Yosef (2000:107) takes this guarded position: ���A separate ar- gument is related to the nature of the transition whether it was rapid and deserves the status of ���revolution,��� or a long and gradual process. My position, as explained else- where, is that the process was rapid and therefore de- serves the definition ���revolution,��� and it must have a core area outside Europe.��� Bar-Yosef notes that we currently do not know where, when, and why it developed. While accepting the revolutionary nature of the evidence, he rejects biological change as its stimulus (Bar-Yosef 2000: 141). Similarly, Chase and Dibble (1990) accept Mellars���s (1989a) presentation of the Middle���Upper Palaeolithic break as revolutionary but reject, as Mellars does, any linkage between this event and the first appearance of modern human behavior. alternative models Several facets of the Later Upper Pleistocene model cre- ate an immediate tension. First, assuming that the hom- inids from later Middle Stone Age contexts are modern, it proposes a discontinuity between anatomical and be- havioral evolution. It would be more parsimonious to argue that the capacity for modern behavior evolved in step with the overall modern human morphotype, par- ticularly cranial capacity and organization. Second, there is no anatomical evidence (and there may never be any such evidence) for a highly advantageous neurological change after 50,000 years ago. Third, the once-airtight empirical evidence for a late occurrence of allegedly modern human behavioral traits is eroding as the inten- sity of field research on the Middle Stone Age increases (see McBrearty and Brooks 2000 Henshilwood et al. 2001a, 2002). One result of this tension is the recent development of models proposing the development of modern human behavior during or before the Middle Stone Age (Barham 1996, 2001 Deacon 1989, 1993, 2001 Deacon and Deacon 1999 Deacon and Wurz 1996 Foley and Lahr 1997 Foley 1998 Gibson 1996 Knight, Powers, and Watts 1995 Lahr and Foley 2001 McBrearty and Brooks 2000 Soffer 1994 Watts 1999 Wurz 1997, 1999, with qualified support from Bar-Yosef 1998, 2000 Chase and Dibble 1987, 1990 Clark 1989 Hublin 1993 Mellars 1989a, b, 1996 Renfrew 1996). Advocates of these alternative models argue that Mid- dle Stone Age and Middle Palaeolithic technology share some primitive features but differ in others (see Mc- Brearty and Brooks 2000). Middle Stone Age technology is comparable to the Middle Palaeolithic in that it emerged from Late Acheulean prepared-core technology. Substages of the Middle Stone Age (including the How- iesons Poort) are, however, characterized by a higher level of blade production than the typical Middle Pa- laeolithic. Further, the aim in the Middle Stone Age was to produce standardized blades, a distinctly Upper Pa- laeolithic feature. Howiesons Poort���type formal tools��� standardized retouched, backed pieces (e.g., segments and trapezes that were hafted to form a composite tool)��� do not fit the concept of what is typical of Middle Pa- laeolithic tools, and their imposed form and morpholog- ical standardization have clear symbolic significance. Finally, formal bone tools are now documented for the Middle Stone Age but not for the Middle Palaeolithic. Beyond this, Middle Stone Age subsistence is seen as similar to modern hunter-gatherer subsistence in a num- ber of respects. First, it is eurytopic and comparable to that of the Later Stone Age, displaying management of plant food resources and the ability to hunt bovids of all sizes. The distribution of sites on the landscape is similar to that of the Later Stone Age, indicating that Middle Stone Age people perceived the potentials of different environments. The absence of fishing can be attributed to concentration on shellfish collection, which provided similar benefits with less energy expenditure. Finally, it is argued that Middle Stone Age people had the capacity for symbolic behavior. Middle Stone Age sites often have high frequencies of pigments, and ochre is associated with color and the exchange of artifacts to maintain social relations. The use of space is similar to that in Later Stone Age cave sites (including, for example, individual domestic hearths surrounded by carbonized plant materials). The use of nonlocal raw materials is common, reflecting the addition of exchange value to tools and the promotion of social relations. We recognize three distinct alternatives for the origin of modern human behavior: an Earlier Upper Pleistocene model, a Later Middle Pleistocene model, and a gradu- alist model. Proponents of the Earlier Upper Pleistocene model (Deacon 2001, Foley and Lahr 1997, Foley 1998) argue that the best place to focus our attention may be the Acheulian/Middle Stone Age boundary, 250,000 years ago or earlier and roughly corresponding to the oxygen isotope stage 8/7 boundary. One of the obvious problems with this view is the lack of sufficient evidence for human anatomical modernity at that stage. If humans
henshilwood and marean The Origin of Modern Human Behavior F 631 were not modern, then this model presupposes that ar- chaic humans had the capacity for modern behavior. The Later Middle Pleistocene model would place the origins of modern human behavior nearer the end of the Middle Pleistocene (oxygen isotope stages 6/5), perhaps arising under the cold and arid conditions of stage 6, 195,000 to 128,000 years ago (Deacon 2001, Deacon and Deacon 1999). McBrearty and Brooks (2000) argue that many of the traits considered indicative of modern hu- man behavior appear in the Middle Stone Age, primarily between 128,000 and 40,000 years ago. However, sites in Africa dating to the earlier Middle Stone Age are very rare, probably because populations were small and con- centrated on now-submerged offshore platforms during stage 6. Both of these models are consistent with a punctuated event in which modern human behavior originated as a package. The obvious alternative is that modern behav- ior evolved gradually and piecemeal sometime during the Middle Stone Age. The gradualist model is recognizable in the comments of Chase and Dibble (1990), Foley and Lahr (1997), Gibson (1996), McBrearty and Brooks (2000), and Renfrew (1996). Within these models there are nu- merous potential alternatives on the specifics. For ex- ample, one might argue that behavioral modernity evolved in the Levant first, since early modern humans were present there prior to 40,000 years ago. However, researchers appear to be looking to Africa for the origin of modern human behavior. While the rationale for this African view may be strictly evidential, it may also result from habit: most major steps in human evolution oc- curred in this seemingly precocious continent. Problems with the Behavioral-Trait Approach Our brief synthesis of the various models for the origin of modern human behavior is designed to distinguish them sharply, even at the cost of some oversimplifica- tion. We consider this one of the first steps in developing a clear research strategy. Another step is the develop- ment of specific hypotheses and test implications for the models. Numerous test implications have already been suggested for each. McBrearty and Brooks (2000) review the empirical record in Africa for these traits, and their discussion makes it clear that many of the traits are derived from the European archaeological record. Our goal here is to discuss the quality of these traits as test implications of the models for the origin of be- havioral modernity. The strength of support or refutation of a model is only as strong as the test implications them- selves. While there are many ways of evaluating the strength of a test implication, we will focus on three questions: First, is the test implication unambiguous? In other words, is the presence or absence of a trait best explained in only one way? Second, does the test impli- cation have strong theoretical grounding? Third, are the empirical records for the Middle Stone Age/Middle Pa- laeolithic versus the Later Stone Age/Upper Palaeolithic taphonomically comparable? We think that many of the traits have several defi- ciencies. First, they are empirically derived, leading to circularity, and the empirical grounding has its roots in Europe, particularly western Europe, and because they are context-specific this weakens their applicability to Africa. Second, many of the traits can be linked to re- source or labor intensification and environmental pres- sure and thus may have nothing to do with the origin of modern human behavior. Third, some of the traits have weak theoretical grounding that undermines their util- ity. Additionally, each test implication is subject to a variety of taphonomic processes that are time-sen- sitive. empirical derivation and eurocentrism Most of the traits involved are drawn from the long- recognized patterning in the western European archae- ological record. This is evident in the close match be- tween recent summaries of the trait list (e.g., Gamble 1994:157���74 Klein 1995:table 1) and one of the earliest formalizations of Middle Palaeolithic/Upper Palaeolithic distinctions from southwestern France (Mellars 1973:ta- ble 3). The European Middle Palaeolithic record is more temporally complete and chronologically secure than that of the African Middle Stone Age, with abundant excavated and published sites that document patterns of technological and cultural development. Additionally, reasonably secure correlations between human physical types and the archaeological record can be made, and changes in the behavioral and anatomical record occur within a relatively short time. Henry (1998:127 see also Chase and Dibble 1990) succinctly comments: ���Had the pioneering efforts in defining the archaeological signa- tures and fossil associations of the Middle and Upper Paleolithic taken place in the Levant and southern Africa rather than Europe, our view of the situation likely would be quite different.��� The Eurocentrically derived approach is not without its critics (e.g., Deacon 2001, Foley and Lahr 1997, Gib- son 1996, McBrearty and Brooks 2000, Mellars 1996, Renfrew 1996). Chase and Dibble (1990), essentially re- jecting the trait-list approach, argue that behavioral traits that characterize the Upper Palaeolithic need not be par- alleled elsewhere and appear in different places at dif- ferent times in response to local circumstances. Deacon (2001) points out that comparisons of technology and, by extension, behavior between the Middle���Upper Palaeo- lithic event and early modern people in Africa are spu- rious because of contextual differences. He argues that we should attempt to discern attributes of the African Late Pleistocene that serve to distinguish modern from nonmodern behavior and, in particular, concentrate on general levels of behavior rather than artifact markers. Basic environmental differences between Europe and Af- rica are one contextual distinction that militates against the use of many traits as a global measure of modern human behavior. Currently most of Africa is tropical or subtropical, with seasonality marked by shifts in precip- itation and more muted changes in temperature. The