This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative Works License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Estimating the post-mortem interval in skeletal remains is a notoriously difficult task; forensic pathologists often rely heavily upon experience in recognising morphological appearances.The Iso Source isotope mixing model was employed for reconstructing percentages of marine protein in the human diet, and calibrated calendar dates for the C ages were calculated using the marine percentages.At the Yuigahama-minami site, most skeletons from individual burials now date to the last phase of the Kamakura period or the early part of the Muromachi period, while skeletons from mixed human-animal multiple burials date to the latter part of the Kamakura period.A capacity for complex culture, therefore, must have existed before complex culture itself. This seeming paradox is resolved by theoretical models suggesting that cultural evolution is exceedingly slow in its initial stages..In contrast, all humans (barring pathologies) can learn to speak, read, and write.
Humans have genetically based unique abilities making complex culture possible; an assemblage of traits which we term “cultural capacity”.
It is therefore proposed that a large study be undertaken to provide a calibration scale against which bones uncovered can be dated.
We investigated the radiocarbon ages and carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of human skeletal remains from burials at the Yuigahama-minami and Chusei-Shudan-Bochi sites in the Yuigahama area (Kamakura, Japan), which we believe are associated with the great attack on Kamakura by Nitta Yoshisada in AD 1333. We thus estimated the marine reservoir effect on human skeletons to determine their true ages.
We show that cultural capacity is older than the first split in the modern human lineage, and at least 170,000 years old, based on data on hyoid bone morphology, FOXP2 alleles, agreement between genetic and language trees, fire use, burials, and the early appearance of tools comparable to those of modern hunter-gatherers.
We cannot exclude that Neanderthals had cultural capacity some 500,000 years ago.