From The Meat Question (p 71):
… What should we call the phenomenon that makes it possible for a community to sustain the transmission of a body of innovations over many generations, even to maintain it in dormant form when it cannot be put into practice and then to revive it later, as the Martu [Western Desert of Australia] have done?
For a while, the preferred term of art among archaeologists was behavioral modernity. We sometimes refer to H. sapiens as “anatomically modern humans.” I avoided this term when we first encountered H. sapiens in the previous chapter because it imposes a teleological filter on the archaeological record: if H. sapiens are modern, then every other kind of human must be archaic, a rough sketch for us. (Would the term “anatomically extant humans” be any less descriptive?) When we start talking about behavior, our tendency to imagine evolution as moving toward an optimum, a single attractor that happens to be us, is magnified. We like to tell stories in which we come out on top, stories in which, owing to our unique combination of pluck and grit, we pulled through where others failed. We like to tell stories of revolution: population bottlenecks, glacial maxima, stories of how we triumphed over adversity through technological innovation and went on to colonize the world while other pretenders to the human mantle went extinct.
This is not the kind of story I’m going to tell.