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Technology and Society during the Middle Pleistocene: Hominid Group Size, Social Learning and Industrial Variability

  • Steven Mithen (a1)

Extract

A model is developed for the relationship between the tool behaviour and social behaviour of Homo erectus. This explores the role of social learning as the link between social organization and techniquesthe methods used to manufacture stone tools. Predictions are made as to how techniques should vary with increasing group size and these are evaluated through a case study from the Middle Pleistocene of southeast England. The case study suggests that inter-assemblage variability in the Lower Palaeolithic can partly be attributed to different relative intensities of individual and social learning arising from varying hominid group size and social interaction in open and closed (i.e. wooded) environments. As such, the paper seeks to integrate material from three fieldscomparative socioecology, primate social learning and Palaeolithic archaeologyto explore the relationship between society and technology.

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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
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