Physical Modifications of the Body

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
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Physical modification of the body, typically in culturally standardized ways and often for esthetic purposes, is very widespread if not universal.  Physical modification occurs in non-human primates in both captivity and the wild, and is known as self-decoration. It is not common, but present. 

Timing

Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Definite Appearance: 
100 thousand years ago
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Title Certainty
Art Likely
Genital Mutilation True
Self-Injury Likely
Tool Making Likely

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