Symbolic Revolutions and the Australian Archaeological Record

Adam Brumm, Mark Moore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Australia was colonized by at least 40,000 bp and scientists agree that the continent was only ever occupied by anatomically and behaviourally modern humans. Australia thus offers an alternative early record for the archaeological expression of behavioural modernity. This review finds that the pattern of change in the Australian archaeological sequence bears remarkable similarity to the pattern from the Lower to Upper Palaeolithic in the Old World, a finding that is inconsistent with the 'symbolic revolution' model of the origin of modern behaviour. This highlights the need for archaeologists to rethink the implications of the various criteria and scales of analysis used to identify modern human behaviour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-175
    JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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