Symbolism Breaks Free
The last stage in the encephalisation of hominids came with the arrival of homo sapiens, about 200,000 to 100,000 years ago. The final increase in brain size entailed a further increment of about 20% in overall brain volume. At the same time, there was a continuous acceleration of the rate of cultural change. … However, around 100,000 years ago … toolmaking became gradually more refined, until it was revolutionised in the Mesolithic and Neolithic cultures. The correlation with brain size breaks down during this period; cultural change, once it began to accelerate, proceeded without any further change in brain size or, as far as can be determined, brain structure. … Ritual, art, myth and social organisations developed and flourished in rapid succession. A new cognitive factor had obviously been introduced into the equation. The human capacity for continuous innovation and cultural change became our most prominent characteristic.1
KeywordsEmergent Property Brain Size Industrial System Symbolic System Stone Tool
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.