I very rarely watch TV, usually only when travelling on business, so on such an occassion last week in the UK I saw a programme about the caves at Pinnacle Point in South Africa. It was riveting.
In 1999, Curtis Marean found his site, a cave high in the cliffs at Pinnacle Point overlooking the Indian Ocean near South Africa’s Mossel Bay, within the area known as the Cape Floral Kingdom. Curtis is a Paleoanthropologist with the Arizona State University. He and a team of scientists have been there since 1999, and they have discovered evidence which almost conclusively proves that every single human on earth can be tracked back to a “bottle-neck” population of approx 600 breeding individuals that lived in these caves 160,000 years ago. What was so unique to this population is that they exhibited 3 key behaviours. They harvested and ate shellfish, they made sharp blade stone tools and they used red ochre for paintings and body art. Marean’s discovery offers the earliest dated evidence, so far, of “modern” human behavior.
I found this to be amazing. The current global population is circa 6.6 billion, with 6,900 known languages and an estimated 100,000 ethnic groups, can all be traced back to 600 individuals that lived in a small grouping of caves on the southern coast of Africa.
This will upset a good number of white folks who believe in ‘racial superiority’ – LOL
If you have the time you can also watch an interesting lecture by Curtis – here.