Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Behavioral modernity is a term used in anthropology and archeology to refer to an important milestone in the evolution of humans. It is a loosely defined list of traits that distinguish humans and their recent ancestors from both living primates and various fossil hominids. It is the point at which homo sapiens began to demonstrate its reliance on abstract thought and to express cultural creativity. As of 2004, many date its emergence to between 90,000 and 50,000 years ago, and place its origins in Africa (in opposition to earlier claims of its European origins).
Classic evidence of behavioral modernity includes:
- finely made stone and bone tools,
- evidence of long-distance exchange or barter among groups,
- game playing,
- systematic use of pigment,
- burial, and
- abstract carvings.
A more terse definition of the evidence is the behavioral B's: blades, beads, burials, bone toolmaking, and beautiful. 
The evolution into anatomically modern humans, particularly in brain anatomy, is mostly believed to be a precursor for behavioral modernity and is generally believed to predate it by tens of thousands of years.
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