Stone tools are the most durable and common type of archaeological remain and one of the most important sources of information about behaviors of early hominins. Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Cognition develops methods for examining questions of cognition, demonstrating the progression of mental capabilities from early hominins to modern humans through the archaeological record. Dating as far back as 2.5-2.7 million years ago, stone tools were used in cutting up animals, woodworking, and preparing vegetable matter. Today, lithic remains give archaeologists insight into the forethought, planning, and enhanced working memory of our early ancestors. Contributors focus on multiple ways in which archaeologists can investigate the relationship between tools and the evolving human mind-including joint attention, pattern recognition, memory usage, and the emergence of language. Offering a wide range of approaches and diversity of place and time, the chapters address issues such as skill, social learning, technique, language, and cognition based on lithic technology.
Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Cognition will be of interest to Paleolithic archaeologists and paleoanthropologists interested in stone tool technology and cognitive evolution.
April Nowell is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Victoria. Iain Davidson is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia.