Tools and intelligence

Mon, 6 Mar 1995 19:24:46 -0700

My thanks to Rob Quinlan for saving this thread, and my interest in this
list. A couple of questions for the academy....
The causal link between general patterns of stone tool manufacture
and hominid encephalization suggests that to test this hypothesis we should
look to regions where anatomically divergent groups existed synchronically and
where we have sites which provide some plausable associations between tools and
The area that most readily comes to mind during the MP/UP transition is
Southwest Asia. My impression of the evidence from Mt. Carmel etc. is that
no linkage between the archaic and modern H.sapiens groups and their tool types
exists at the transition. That is, "typical" MP assemblages have been
found with moderns, and what might be considered "transitional" assemblages
have been attributed to archaics. A lot of this MIGHT stem from what we
traditionally view as the "markers" of these assemblages. What aspects of
the UP assemblages are we considering as indicators of increased cognitive
abilities (besides art objects, which are rare)? Why?

Jim Eighmey
Department of Anthropology >>>---------->
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ. 85287-2402