JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Researchers say new South African fossil finds show modern culture emerged about 30,000 years earlier there than previously thought.
Two articles published on Monday in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" say the items found, including poison-tipped arrows and jewelry, are characteristic of the San hunter-gatherers. Their descendants live today in southern Africa.
Carbon dating of the new findings show the San culture goes back as far as 44,000 years instead the previous estimate of somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 years.
Researchers also say these items have clear uses and can be traced forward to modern culture.
South African researcher Lucinda Backwell says the findings are the earliest known instances of "modern behavior as we know it." Backwell says the discovery also reinforces that modern humans originate from southern Africa.
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