News FocusProfile: John Shea

Archaeologist Hammers Away At 'Modern' Behavior

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Science  08 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6120, pp. 642-643
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6120.642

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John Shea's stone tool studies have helped archaeologists identify how stone points were used, and he has documented the sophisticated toolmaking skills of the oldest known Homo sapiens. More recently, Shea has been doing his best to shake up human origins research with a radical proposal: That the idea of "behavioral modernity"—a term long used by scientists to describe behaviors such as the use of symbolism, art, and elaborate tools—should be thrown into the scrap heap.