The ripples of modernity: How we can extend paleoanthropology with the extended evolutionary synthesis

Marc Kissel, AgustÍn Fuentes

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Contemporary understandings of paleoanthropological data illustrate that the search for a line defining, or a specific point designating, “modern human” is problematic. Here we lend support to the argument for the need to look for patterns in the paleoanthropological record that indicate how multiple evolutionary processes intersected to form the human niche, a concept critical to assessing the development and processes involved in the emergence of a contemporary human phenotype. We suggest that incorporating key elements of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) into our endeavors offers a better and more integrative toolkit for modeling and assessing the evolution of the genus Homo. To illustrate our points, we highlight how aspects of the genetic exchanges, morphology, and material culture of the later Pleistocene complicate the concept of “modern” human behavior and suggest that multiple evolutionary patterns, processes, and pathways intersected to form the human niche.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)84-98
    Number of pages15
    JournalEvolutionary Anthropology
    Volume30
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Anthropology

    Keywords

    • extended evolutionary synthesis
    • hominin evolution
    • modern human origins
    • niche construction

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