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Prehistoric tools offer evidence of earlier modern behavior (Released: 11/14/95)

Advisory for journalists

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

Prehistoric tolls analyzed by University of Connecticut anthropologist Sally McBrearty offer evidence that there was modern behavior in Africa 250,000 years ago. Until now, researchers thought the most sophisticated behaviors occurred 40,000 years ago in Europe where the oldest anatomically modern Homo sapiens were found.

Stone blades found in the Rift Valley in Kenya indicate that people in Africa had sophisticated thinking skills at a very early time, McBrearty says. "This takes the spotlight off the European material," she says.

A news story on the research will be published in Science on Nov. 17.

This information is embargoed until Thursday, Nov. 16, 1995 at 5 p.m. Reporters may work on stories, but may not release them until then.

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