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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)

Paperback Published: 19th November 2010
ISBN: 9781441920362
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.

Introduction.- On Naming Things: Behavioral Changes in the Later Middle to Earlier Late Pleistocene, Viewed from the Eastern Sahara.- Observations on Systematics in Paleolithic Archaeology.- Testing Retouched Flake Tool Standardization during the Middle Paleolithic: Patterns and Implications.- Diversity of Lithic Productions Systems during the Middle Paleolithic in France: Are there any Chronological Trends?- Trajectories of Change in the Middle Paleolithic of Italy.- Statis and Change during the Crimean Middle Paleolithic.- Monospecific or Species-Dominated Faunal Assemblages During the Middle Paleolithic in Europe.- Middle Paleolithic Settlement Patterns in the Levant.- Housekeeping, Meandertal-Style: Hearth Placement and Midden Formation in Kebara Cave (Isreal).- The Middle Paleolithic of the Levant: Recursion and Convergence.- Middle Paleolithic Subsistence Ecology in the Mediterranean Region.- Projectile Technologies of the African MSA: Implications for Modern Human Origins.- From Acheulean to Middle Stone Age in the Kapthurin Formation, Kenya.- The Use of Space in the Late Middle Stone Age of Rose Cottage Cave, South Africa: Was there a Shift to Modern Behavior?- Now You See it, Now You Don't -- Modern Human Behavior in the Middle Paleolithic.- Between Observations and Models: An Eclectic View of Middle Paleolithic Archaeology.

ISBN: 9781441920362
ISBN-10: 1441920366
Series: Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 332
Published: 19th November 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.5

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