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Issues of Chronological and Geographical Distributions of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Cultural Variability in the Levant and Implications for the Learning Behavior of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens

  • Seiji KadowakiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Series book series (RNMH)

Abstract

This paper examines chronological and geographical cultural variability during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic in the Levant, using part of the archaeological database covering a temporal range from ca. 300 to 20 kya and the geographic areas of Africa and Eurasia. This database has been constructed in order to organize archaeological data available from the time periods and geographic areas where Homo sapiens presumably emerged and dispersed with a replacement or assimilation of preceding populations, including Neanderthals. The purpose of this examination is to discuss research issues regarding the potential differences in learning behavior between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, that are in line with the primary objectives of the research project entitled “Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans: Testing Evolutionary Models of Learning” (the RNMH project; Akazawa, 2012). Although theoretical links between learning strategies and patterns of cultural change are proposed on the basis of cultural evolutionary theory, an attempt to test this objective empirically with archaeological data entails a number of challenges. The paper addresses these problems through empirical examinations of chronological and geographic distributions of lithic industries.

Keywords

Chronology Levant Lithic industry Middle Palaeolithic Upper Palaeolithic 

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© Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Museum, Nagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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