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2 - What Happened at Blombos in 70,000 BCE?

The Out-of-Africa Hypothesis and the Peopling of the World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2022

Johan Fourie
Affiliation:
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
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Summary

About 300 kilometres from Cape Town on the south-west coast of South Africa is a cave that overlooks the Indian Ocean. Archaeologists have been digging at Blombos Cave since 1991. What they have found has changed our view of human evolution.

Anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa. Homo sapiens is a species of the hominid family, the great apes. Genetic evidence suggests that apes diverged from other mammals around 85 million years ago; the earliest fossils we have of apes are from around 55 million years ago.

There are two things that make humans unique from other apes: bipedalism and language. Bipedalism, our ability to walk on two legs, also resulted in other skeletal changes, to the pelvis, the vertebral column, feet and ankles, and the skull, including an increase in the size and structure of the brain.

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Chapter
Information
Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom
Lessons from 100,000 Years of Human History
, pp. 12 - 16
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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