Evolution or Revolution?

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Science  20 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5393, pp. 1451
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5393.1451


To most archaeologists, human artistic ability was part of a behavioral revolution that swept the Old World some 40,000 years ago, a time when modern humans are widely thought to have migrated out of Africa to the far corners of the globe. But the evidence for this is patchy, opening the way to debate. A handful of sites and artifacts, scattered widely in time and space, have convinced some archaeologists that this was no revolution at all, and that well before 40,000 years ago, humans were already making art. In fact, many archaeologists now think an array of ornaments from a cave in central France is the handiwork of Neandertals, putting the lie to the arguments that nonmodern humans like the Neandertals did not--perhaps could not--express themselves in art and ornament.

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