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The Penultimate CuriosityHow Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions$
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Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747956.001.0001

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The Garden of Eden Moment

The Garden of Eden Moment

(p.25) Chapter Four The Garden of Eden Moment
The Penultimate Curiosity

Roger Wagner

Andrew Briggs

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers when, where, and how the ‘Garden of Eden moment’ occurred, i.e., human beings’ creation of symbolic representations of others through various forms of image-making such as cave paintings and rock art. It first considers evidence indicating that anatomically modern humans originated in Africa. It then describes two reports from Indonesia, published in 2014, that strengthen the growing impression that symbolic activity goes back deep into the past of Homo sapiens (and even beyond it). These reports suggest that we can expect future discoveries of depictions of human hands, figurative art, and other forms of image-making dating to the earliest period of the global dispersion of our species.

Keywords:   prehistory, Garden of Eden, humans, animals, radiocarbon dating, human origins, Homo sapiens, symbolism, cave painting, rock art

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