Scientists tried to discover when did humans capable of modern intelligence start roaming the planet for decades.
It appears that it’s a highly debatable question, as there are many missing links to the puzzle.
Fossils and DNA revealed that people who looked a lot like us, the Homo sapiens, evolved about 300,000 years ago.
Peculiarly, the technology from various periods of history suggests that our ancestors started manifesting “modernity” between 50,000 to 65,000 years ago.
Some scientists believe that the earliest Homo sapiens weren’t thoroughly modern, and the evolution happened somewhat gradually.
However, separate data tracks suggest different things.
Skulls and genes reveal a lot about brains, which are often a testimony to culture.
It is commonly believed that the human brain became modern before modern culture did.
Great Leap Forward
For 200,000-300,000 years after the first Homo sapiens walked the Earth, artifacts and tools stayed mostly simple. Little improvements were made to Neanderthal technology.
More complex technology appeared between 65,000 to 50,000 years ago when our ancestors started using complex projectile weapons like bows and spear-throwers, fishhooks, ceramics, and sewing needles.
It was around that time when representational art kicked off.
A bird-bone flute suggests that music was slowly crawling its way into existence.
Bones of early Homo sapiens date from 300,000 years ago in Africa, with brains very similar in size to ours.
The modern, anatomically similar Homo sapiens followed at least 200,000 years ago, and the brain shape became thoroughly modern by at least 100,000 years ago.
From that point, the braincases remained mostly unchanged to date.
Unfortunately, the data isn’t completely accurate, as the fossil record is too patchy, and fossils only reveal so much information.