Early Human Behaviour in Global Context: The Rise and Diversity of the Lower Palaeolithic Record

Early Human Behaviour in Global Context: The Rise and Diversity of the Lower Palaeolithic Record

Early Human Behaviour in Global Context: The Rise and Diversity of the Lower Palaeolithic Record

Early Human Behaviour in Global Context: The Rise and Diversity of the Lower Palaeolithic Record

Synopsis

Early Human Behaviour in a Global Context will be of use to students and professionals who are interested in prehistory, Paleolithic archaeology, and paleoanthropology. Those interested in our ancestors and their place in the natural world will also benefit from the information presented in this book.Chapters focus on:* the nature of archaeological evidence* stone tool technology* subsistence practices* settlement distributions.

Excerpt

Palaeoanthropology has made tremendous progress during the present century, both in accumulating data and in formulating more secure frameworks for interpreting human behaviour and evolution. the intermingled archaeological and human palaeontological record and its variable geological and environmental deposits are a testament to the major events that marked the origins of our ancestors and the processes by which hominids evolved. Those interested in human evolutionary forces and processes have sought to understand the profound behavioural changes that occurred during the course of the Plio-Pleistocene. Early Human Behaviour in Global Context: the Rise and Diversity of the Lower Palaeolithic Record draws together researchers who are interested in documenting and comprehending early behaviour from the complex array of material in archaeological context. Whilst the contributions in this volume mainly centre on study and interpretation of archaeological phenomena, the researchers do not limit themselves to artefactual residues, but draw upon core information from the biological and the natural sciences, thereby enriching behavioural interpretations.

Early Human Behaviour in Global Context covers a period referred to by archaeologists as the Lower or Early Palaeolithic, a holistic term usually meant to describe contexts where diverse core-flake and bifacial stone tool industries are recovered. the beginning of this period starts with the first recognizable stone artefact assemblages in the Late Pliocene at around 2.5 myr, although lines of evidence from archaeology and insights gained from modern tool use by primates suggest that this age may have to be extended further back with future investigations and discoveries. the end point of the Lower Palaeolithic is also rather arbitrary; the terminus is marked by the introduction of prepared core and retouched flake tool assemblages characteristic of the Middle Palaeolithic. These assemblages are introduced at different times in various geographic areas, although their first appearance is recorded in Africa. in conventional archaeological terms, then, the Lower Palaeolithic record spans the Late Pliocene to the end of the Middle Pleistocene, a range covering about 95 per cent of humanity’s material record.

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