Holy mackerel! Civilisation begins with fishing

Fishing, writes Fagan, ‘has created the modern world’. It is a startling claim, particularly given the wont of prehistorians to focus on hunting, gathering and then agriculture. Shellfish collectors, wrote one eminent prehistorian, ‘are normally associated with a low level of culture’. The people of Pinnacle Point on the South African coast who lived 165,000 years ago, collected molluscs to eat. More importantly, they used mollusc shells as adornment. This, says Fagan, ‘is the earliest known sign of the changes that result in today’s cognitive skills’. It is when humans began to be human. click here to read the story 09:10

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