This volume brings together prominent archaeologists working in
areas outside Western Europe to discuss the most recent evidence
for the origins of the early Upper Paleolithic and its relationship
to the origin of modern humans. With a wealth of primary data from
archaeological sites and regions that have never before been
published and discussions of materials from difficult-to-find
sources, the collection urges readers to reconsider the process of
modern human behavioral origins. Archaeological evidence continues
to play a critical role in debates over the origins of anatomically
modern humans. The appearance of novel Upper Paleolithic
technologies, new patterns of land use, expanded social networks,
and the emergence of complex forms of symbolic communication point
to a behavioral revolution beginning sometime around 45,000 years
ago. Until recently, most of the available evidence for this
revolution derived from Western European archaeological contexts
that suggested an abrupt replacement of Mousterian Middle
Paleolithic with Aurignacian Upper Paleolithic adaptations. In the
absence of fossil association, the behavioral transition was
thought to reflect the biological replacement of archaic hominid
populations by intrusive modern humans. The contributors present
new archaeological evidence that tells a very different story: The
Middle-Upper Paleolithic transitions in areas as diverse as the
Levant, Eastern-Central Europe, and Central and Eastern Asia are
characterized both by substantial behavioral continuity over the
period 45,000-25,000 years ago and by a mosaic-like pattern of
shifting adaptations. Together these essays will enliven and enrich
the discussion of the shift from archaic to modern behavioral
adaptations. Contributors: O. Bar-Yosef, A. Belfer-Cohen, R. L.
Bettinger, P. J. Brantingham, N. R. Coinman, A. P. Derevianko, R.
G. Elston, J. R. Fox, X. Gao, J. M. Geneste, T. Goebel, E. Gulec,
K. W. Kerry, L. Koulakovskaia, J. K. Kozlowski, S. L. Kuhn, Y. V.
Kuzmin, D. B. Madsen, A. E. Marks, L. Meignen, T. Meshveliani, K.
Monigal, P. E. Nehoroshev, J. W. Olsen, M. Otte, M. C. Stiner, J.
Svoboda, A. Sytnik, D. Tseveendorj, L. B. Vishnyatsky"
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