Seeing Lithics: A Middle-Range Theory for Testing for Cultural Transmission in the Pleistocene (American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph)

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9781842175279: Seeing Lithics: A Middle-Range Theory for Testing for Cultural Transmission in the Pleistocene (American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph)
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There is substantial debate over the extent to which the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition and the dispersal of anatomically modern humans from Africa into Eurasia at the end of the Pleistocene were the result of the same process, related processes, or unrelated but coincident processes. The current debate shows a gap in archaeological method and theory for understanding how different cultural transmission processes create patterning in the material culture of foragers at the resolution of Paleolithic palimpsests. This research project attempts to bridge this gap with a middle-range theory connecting cultural transmission and dual inheritance theory with the archaeological study of flintknappers’ flake-by-flake choices in the production of lithic assemblages. The project thus combines a new middle-range theory as well as a new approach to characterizing Paleolithic assemblages for systematic comparison of units of analysis appropriate to distinguishing forces of change in cultural evolution.

Gilbert Tostevin is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus. He is an archaeologist who specializes in human evolution, lithic technology, and Paleolithic archaeology. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University.

Table of Contents

1. The Need for an Evolutionary Study of Culture History in the Pleistocene

2. Sampling the Middle to Upper Paleolithic Transition

3. Building Bridges from High-Level Theory: Part One of a Middle-Range Theory for Paleolithic Culture History

4. Building Bridges from Low-Level Theory: Part Two of a Middle-Range Theory for Paleolithic Culture History

5. Regional Patterns of Behavior: Central Europe

6. Regional Patterns of Behavior: Eastern Europe

7. Regional Patterns of Behavior: The Levant

8. Inter-Regional Pattern of Change

9. Conclusions

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About the Author:

Gilbert Tostevin is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus. He is an archaeologist who specializes in human evolution, lithic technology, and Paleolithic archaeology. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University.

Review:

In summary, this book makes an original and significant contribution to knowledge and understanding of the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition, but the results are difficult to verify and compare

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Gilbert B. Tostevin
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ISBN 10: 1842175270 ISBN 13: 9781842175279
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Tostevin, Gilbert B.
Published by Oxbow Books (2013)
ISBN 10: 1842175270 ISBN 13: 9781842175279
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