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Culture Evolves$
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Andrew Whiten, Robert A. Hinde, Christopher B. Stringer, and Kevin N. Laland

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199608966.001.0001

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Culture and Cognition in the Acheulian Industry

Culture and Cognition in the Acheulian Industry

A Case Study from Gesher Benot Yaʿaqov*

Chapter:
(p.177) Chapter 11 Culture and Cognition in the Acheulian Industry
Source:
Culture Evolves
Author(s):

Naama Goren-Inbar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199608966.003.0011

The Acheulian presence in the Dead Sea Rift and its environs is characterized by the discontinuity of its cultural manifestations. Nevertheless, the long stratigraphic sequences of the Acheulian Technocomplex provide a unique opportunity for synergetic examination along a temporal trajectory. Hominin cognitive and cultural behaviour are studied at Gesher Benot Yaaʿ qov through analyses of lithic, palaeontological and palaeobotanical assemblages, as well as the Early–Middle Pleistocene environment, ecology and climate. The study attempts to reconstruct reduction sequences of some major artefact groups at the site, which include raw material acquisition, production, technology, typology, usage and discard. Experimental archaeology illustrates artefact mobility on the palaeo-landscape. Strategies of biomass-exploitation are studied in detail, with other aspects yielding additional information on hominin subsistence and adaptive responses to their environment. The cultural marker of fire and the spatial association of selected categories of finds are integrated in the general synthesis, allowing reconstruction of the cultural and cognitive realm of Acheulian hominins. The synthesis attempts to reassess the abilities, social structure, subsistence and adaptability to the changing environment of hominins in the Levantine Corridor.

Keywords:   Acheulian, Gesher Benot Yaʿaqov, Upper Jordan Valley, bifaces (handaxes and cleavers), cognitive abilities, Irian Jaya

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