Seeing Lithics: A Middle-Range Theory for Testing for Cultural Transmission in the Pleistocene

Research output: Book/ReportBook


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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford, UK, & Oakville, CT
PublisherAmerican School of Prehistoric Research Monograph Series, Peabody Museum, Harvard University; and Oxbow Books
ISBN (Print)978-1-84217-527-9
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

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