Re: tools and blah

Mr J.M. Ottevanger (J.Ottevanger@LIVERPOOL.AC.UK)
Wed, 15 Mar 1995 13:04:17 +0000

Very interesting points in reply to my rather facile posting, which really was
in response to an offhand comment from my professor about his experiences in
Africa. My knowledge of tools is rather superficial and I think yours points to
an important direction for this debate. Am I wrong in thinking that Acheulian
handaxes were resharpened, but how does their durability compare with, say,
Mousterian material? Are microlithic assemblages a problem in your theory, or
part of it? I'd be very keen to hear an elaboration of the idea.
regards, Jeremy
In the last mail David Tiller said:
> Just read your letter. Though I agree with you that other factors must
> have been taking place to cause the expansion of the brain from H.erectus
> to H.sapien I do think tool development might be a possable explination
> for some of it. I have recently done some experimentation with stone
> tools of diferent era's through history. It came to my notice that as
> time went on tools became more durable. Flakes struck from cores such as
> coble tools were good for one usage, such as those used by H. erectus.
> While later tools that were flaked became more durable and useful over
> longer periods of time. This lead me to believe that as time
> went on
> our primative forebearers were moving further and further from lithic
> procurment sites in search of game. If so, with higher mobilaty would
> come a need to
> utilize lithic resources to the maximum while increasing durabilaty and
> useabilaty. The nead would then influence the utilization of the the
> brain matter and its increase in the making of increasingly better
> tools which would allow a forager to roam further from his lithic
> resources without constantly returning for new material.
> With increased movement would also come the need to adapt to
> changing environments. Adaptation to these environments would also
> increase the use of the old grey matter and its subsequent increase in
> size. Adaptation to new enviro's would also force new adaptation of the
> tools. Add infinitum.
> Of course I could be wrong! Maybe the only way to realy end the
> argument would be for someone to invent a time machine so we could check
> it out ourselves!
> >