“Since all languages have basically the same structure, it is inconceivable to me that they could have evolved independently at different times and places.” A 2007 study led by Hoffecker and colleagues at the Russian Academy of Sciences pinpointed the earliest evidence of modern humans in Europe dating back 45,000 years ago.Located on the Don River 250 miles south of Moscow, the multiple sites, collectively known as Kostenki, also yielded ancient bone and ivory needles complete with eyelets, showing the inhabitants tailored furs to survive the harsh winters. The elaborately decorated Qing-dynasty porcelain vase had been found in a routine house clearance and was included in a sale of antiques on Nov. Its price was more than 50 times the presale estimate and the auction house ceased to comment after several months passed without payment. A 500-year-old Chinese vase has sold in Hong Kong for over million.Dated in the catalogue as “probably Republican Period,” or from the early 20th century, the beautiful famille-rose porcelain vase prompted an explosion of bidding from experts who were convinced that the auction house had erred in their appraisal, and that the piece in fact hailed from the imperial-era Qianlong dynasty of the 18th century. On May 30, 2006 at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong casino resort developer Steve Wynn from Las Vegas purchased a 600 year old Ming vase only to donate it to a public museum in Macau.Abstract designs scratched on mineral pigment show up in Africa about 75,000 years ago and are widely accepted by archaeologists as evidence for symbolism and language.“From this point onward there is a growing variety of new types of artifacts that indicates a thoroughly modern capacity for novelty and invention.” The roots of the mind and the super-brain lie deep in our past and are likely tied to fundamental aspects of our evolution like bipedalism and making stone tools, he said.The blue and white moon flask was auctioned Wednesday at Sotheby’s sale of Chinese works of art. The piece had been in the same family collection for decades. A very pale celadon jade Chinese vase from the Quianlong period has sold for 6,000 at a Maynards auction in Vancouver.The auction house said the family decided to sell it after seeing a similar piece in a Sotheby’s advertisement. The 42-centimetre-high vase, crafted between 17, was estimated to have a value of ,000 to ,000 but the winning bidder from Hong Kong obviously prized it far more highly.
So it was a very pleasant surprise when valuer Jeremy Rye – visiting a house in Shropshire to look at an English dessert service – spotted a valuable imperial-quality Chinese vase (below).
Ancient hand axes achieved “exalted status” as mental representations since they bear little resemblance to the natural objects they were made from — generally cobbles or rock fragments.
“They reflect a design or mental template stored in the nerve cells of the brain and imposed on the rock, and they seemed to have emerged from a strong feedback relationship among the hands, eyes, brains and the tools themselves,” he said.
“With the appearance of symbols and language — and the consequent integration of brains into a super-brain — the human mind seems to have taken off as a potentially unlimited creative force,” he said.
The dispersal of modern humans from Africa to Europe some 50,000 to 60,000 years ago provides a “minimum date” for the development of language, Hoffecker speculated.