ev. of intelligence tools etc

Rob Quinlan (C611417@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU)
Sun, 5 Mar 1995 11:36:21 CST

Ralph Holloway's criticisms of my hypotheses don't seem too minor to
me. The taphonomy question is a little more straight forward than
the issue of confounds so I'll comment on that first. The kind of
sites needed to test any of these hypotheses would have to be almost
ideal (if not imaginary). For example, there are very few skeletal
remains from the Middle- to Upper-Paleolithic in Spain, so it would
be nearly impossible to unquestionably associate certain sites w/
certain organisms. However, the sites there do overlap quite nicely
as far as the different industries are concerned. I was hoping
someone out there might know of other areas where the skeletal
preservation is better, but that still show both industries occurring
close in time.

The question of confounds and tools is even more difficult. What about
diffusion and culture contact? What about differences in the relative
importance of cultural domains? Perhaps Neanderthals just emphasized
other aspects of symbolic culture -- their tools being equally
efficient to AMH's, maybe they thought it was frivolous to put more
energy into them than the utility required. All I can say on this
count is that the Mousterian was a really long running industry that
was really quite stable over time. The UP on the other hand represents
an explosion of diversity. The tenure of UP industries was really
short compared to the Mousterian and Middle Stone Age. I picked
the MP to UP transition for this reason. The MP to UP transition is
the best evidence of a shift to an unequivocal symbolic culture with its
requisite intelligence, displacement and language abilities. Given
the stability and long tenure of the Mousterian (and Mousterian like
industries) I would like to argue that the transition represents the
evolution of the fully modern psychology that must be tied to
neurological differences. That the transition is also associated w/
two different hominids is even better evidence. (So, to me it seems
even if we might not be able to pick out a Neanderthal on the subway,
we would easily be able to pick one out at a cocktail party. [I know
this last comment isn't all that relevant, but I've always wanted to
say it.])

Anyway, I'm straying from the thread, so I'll shut up now. I would
really like to hear some other hypotheses re ev. of intelligence
and tools. We anthros are the only people in the world that can
answer these kinds of questions -- and it's been a lot fun kicking
this stuff around.


Rob Quinlan