Hoffecker, study leader and a research associate from the University of Colorado-Boulder, has worked
at sites in the Arctic and Europe, and is an internationally known
archaeologist. He has found that there is archaeological evidence for the
evolution of the human mind.
discovered that the minds power to evolve and create a variety of thoughts that
are communicated through speech, art, movement and technologies is attributed
to the "super-brain," which is the collective mind. According to
Hoffecker, the formation of the super-brain occurred 75,000 years ago in Africa
where the rare ability to "share complex thoughts among individual
brains" took place.
said the human super-brain is very similar to the way honeybees communicate.
Humans are capable of sharing complex thoughts among individual brains, and by
studying the honeybee, which also communicates complex information like food
locations and nest sites through its "waggle dance," Hoffecker was
able to understand how the human brain and super-brain shared information
amongst others through the creation of language, art, movement and
obviously evolved a much wider range of communication tools to
express their thoughts, the most important being language," said
Hoffecker. "Individual human brains within social groups became integrated
into a neurologic internet of sorts, giving birth to the mind."
believes that abstract designs scratched onto mineral pigment 75,000 years ago
in Africa was the starting point of a creative explosion, and is evidence for
the capability of speech. This creative explosion led to new types of artifacts
like stone tools and may have even led to other aspects of human evolution like
bipedalism. Through these evolutionary shifts, early humans were able to communicate complex
thoughts outside of the individual brain.
also noted that the first "crude" stone tools were made 2.5 million
years ago, and then, the first sign of the super-brain came 1.6 million years
ago with the first crafting of the stone hand axe, which showed that the human
brain was capable of imagining something that didn't exist and then created it. These axes represented a whole new
design and a whole new way of thinking.
reflect a design or mental template stored in the nerve cells of the brain and
imposed on the rock, and they seemed to have emerged from a strong feedback
relationship among the hands, eyes, brains and the tools themselves," said
then began creating polished bone awls and shell ornaments by 75,000 years ago.
Hoffecker also theorized that modern humans dispersed from Africa to Europe
around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, which may be the "minimum date"
for language formation.
the appearance of symbols and language - and the consequent integration of
brains into a super-brain - the human mind seems to have taken off as a
potentially unlimited creative force," said Hoffecker. "Since all
languages have basically the same structure, it is inconceivable to me that
they could have evolved independently at
different times and places."
addition, Hoffecker found ancient bone and ivory needles with eyelets from
45,000 years ago and a small figurine from 40,000 years ago in previous
studies. Ancient musical instruments have been dated back to 30,000 years ago
as well. This stands as more evidence for the evolving creative mind of
it's a hand axe, a flute or a Chevrolet, humans are continually recombining
bits of information into novel forms, and the variations are potentially
infinite," said Hoffecker.