Tag Archives: Archaeology

Weekend Long Reads: Human Civilization Might Be Older Than We Thought

by Kevin Schofield


This week’s “long read” is an essay on archaeology in Palladium magazine, discussing some recent developments that might upend the dominant thinking on when human society began.

Nailing down the timeline for the dawn of human civilization has always been a bit of a guessing game, because human society predated recorded history. Even those societies with robust oral histories tend to maintain them only for as long as the society itself remains viable. So archaeologists exploring the dawn of human society try to extrapolate what happened based on an examination of what the essay calls the “extended phenotype” of the human race: the marks that humans leave on their world. For the most part when dealing with early societies, the extended phenotype consists of buildings, tools, and bones — often long buried.

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