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Transitions Before the Transition : Evolution and Stability in the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age - Erella Hovers

Transitions Before the Transition

Evolution and Stability in the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age

By: Erella Hovers (Editor), Steven Kuhn (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 1st December 2005
ISBN: 9780387246581
Number Of Pages: 332

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Modern human origins and the fate of the Neanderthals are arguably the most compelling and contentious arenas in paleoanthropology. The much-discussed split between advocates of a single, early emergence of anatomically modern humans in sub-Saharan Africa and supporters of various regional continuity positions is only part of the picture. Equally if not more important are questions surrounding the origins of modern behavior, and the relationships between anatomical and behavioral changes that occurred during the past 200,000 years. Although modern humans as a species may be defined in terms of their skeletal anatomy, it is their behavior, and the social and cognitive structures that support that behavior, which most clearly distinguish Homo sapiens from earlier forms of humans.

This book assembles researchers working in Eurasia and Africa to discuss the archaeological record of the Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age. This is a time period when Homo sapiens last shared the world with other species, and during which patterns of behavior characteristic of modern humans developed and coalesced. Contributions to this volume query and challenge some current notions about the tempo and mode of cultural evolution, and about the processes that underlie the emergence of modern behavior. The papers focus on several fundamental questions. Do typical elements of "modern human behavior" appear suddenly, or are there earlier archaeological precursors of them? Are the archaeological records of the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age unchanging and monotonous, or are there detectable evolutionary trends within these periods? Coming to diverse conclusions, the papers in this volume open up new avenues to thinking about this crucial interval in human evolutionary history.

General introductionp. 1
On naming things : behavioral changes in the later middle to earlier late Pleistocene, viewed from the Eastern Saharap. 13
Observations on systematics in Paleolithic archaeologyp. 29
Testing retouched flake tool standardization during the Middle Paleolithic : patterns and implicationsp. 57
Diversity of lithic production systems during the Middle Paleolithic in France : are there any chronological trends?p. 85
Trajectories of change in the Middle Paleolithic of Italyp. 109
Stasis and change during the crimean Middle Paleolithicp. 121
Monospecific or species-dominated faunal assemblages during the Middle Paleolithic in Europep. 137
Middle Paleolithic settlement patterns in the Levantp. 149
Housekeeping, Neandertal-style : hearth placement and midden formation in Kebara Cave (Israel)p. 171
The Middle Paleolithic of the Levant : recursion and convergencep. 189
Middle Paleolithic subsistence ecology in the Mediterranean regionp. 213
Projectile technologies of the African MSA : implications for modern human originsp. 233
From Acheulean to Middle Stone Age in the Kapthurin formation, Kenyap. 257
The use of space in the late Middle Stone Age of Rose Cottage Cave, South Africa : was there a shift to modern behavior?p. 279
"Now you see it, now you don't" - modern human behavior in the Middle Paleolithicp. 295
Between observations and models : an eclectic view of Middle Paleolithic archaeologyp. 305
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780387246581
ISBN-10: 0387246584
Series: Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 332
Published: 1st December 2005
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.28 x 16.05  x 2.49
Weight (kg): 0.59

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