Hominid Individual in Context: Archaeological Investigations of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Landscapes, Locales and Artefacts

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"This volume explores new approaches to the remarkably detailed information that archaeologists have for the study of our earliest ancestors. Previous investigations of human evolution in the Palaeolithic period have conventionally been from an ecological and behavioural point of view. The emphasis has been on how our early ancestors made a living, decided what to eat, adapted through their technology to the conditions of existence and reacted to changing ice age climates. The Hominid Individual in Context takes a different approach." Rather than explaining the archaeology of stones and bones as the product of group decisions, the contributors investigate how individual action created social life. This challenge to the accepted standpoint of the Palaeolithic brings new models and theories into the period; innovations that are matched by the resolution of the data that preserve individual action among the artefacts. The book brings together examples from recent excavations at Boxgrove, Schoningen and Blombos Cave, and the analyses of findings from Middle and Early Upper Pleistocene excavations in Europe, Africa and Asia. The results will revolutionise the Palaeolithic as archaeologists search for the lived lives among the empty spaces that remain.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415284325
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1 From empty spaces to lived lives : exploring the individual in the Palaeolithic 1
2 The Acheulean and the handaxe : structure and agency in the Palaeolithic 13
3 Transformations in dividuality : personhood and palaeoliths in the Middle Pleistocene 29
4 Seeking the palaeolithic individual in East Africa and Europe during the Lower-Middle Pleistocene 50
5 The making of the biface and the making of the individual 68
6 Observations on the relationship between Palaeolithic individuals and artefact scatters at the Middle Pleistocene site of Boxgrove, UK 81
7 The natural and socio-cultural environment of Homo erectus at Bilzingsleben, Germany 98
8 The Lower Palaeolithic art of hunting : the case of Schoningen 13 II-4, Lower Saxony, Germany 115
9 Tracking hominins during the last interglacial complex in the Rhineland 133
10 Bones and powerful individuals : faunal case studies from the Arctic and the European Middle Palaeolithic 154
11 All in a day's work : Middle Pleistocene individuals, materiality and the lifespace at Makapansgat, South Africa 176
12 Life and mind in the Acheulean : a case study from India 197
13 Individuals among palimpsest data : fluvial landscapes in Southern England 220
14 Being modern in the Middle Stone Age : individuals and innovation 244
15 Concluding remarks : context and the individual 265
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