The transition from the Middle Paleolithic to the Upper Paleolithic is considered one of the major revolutions in the prehistory of humankind. Explanations of the observable archaeological phenomena in Eurasia, or the lack of such evidence in other regions, include biological arguments (the role of Cro-Magnons and the demise of the Neanderthals), as well as cultural-technological, and environmental arguments. The paper discusses issues of terminological ambiguities, chronological and geographical aspects of change, the emergence of what is viewed as the arch-types of modern forager societies, and the hotly debated and loaded issue of modern behavior. Finally, the various causes for the Upper Paleolithic revolution are enumerated, from the biological through the technocultural that relies on the analogy with the Neolithic revolution.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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