Human development is a long and steady process that began with stone tool making. Because of this skill, humans were able to adapt to climate changes, discover new territories, and invent new technologies. "Pressure knapping" is the common term for one method of creating stone tools, where a larger device or blade specifically made for this purpose is use to press out the stone tool. Pressure knapping was invented in different locations and at different points in time, representing the adoption of the Neolithic way of life in the Old world. Recent research on pressure knapping has led for the first time to a global thesis on this technique. The contributors to this seminal work combine research findings on pressure knapping from different cultures around the globe to develope a cohesive theory. This contributions to this volume represents a significant development to research on pressure knapping, as well as the field of lithic studies in general. This work will be an important reference for anyone studying the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic periods, lithic studies, technologies, and more generally, cultural transmission.
Interpreting Lithic Assemblage Variability in Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Beringia
Author: Ted Goebel
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Category: Social Science
Who were the first people who came to the land bridge joining northeastern Asia to Alaska and the northwest of North America? Where did they come from? How did they organize technology, especially in the context of settlement behavior? During the Pleistocene era, the people now known as Beringians dispersed across the varied landscapes of late-glacial northeast Asia and northwest North America. The twenty chapters gathered in this volume explore, in addition to the questions posed above, how Beringians adapted in response to climate and environmental changes. They share a focus on the significance of the modern-human inhabitants of the region. By examining and analyzing lithic artifacts, geoarchaeological evidence, zooarchaeological data, and archaeological features, these studies offer important interpretations of the variability to be found in the early material culture the first Beringians. The scholars contributing to this work consider the region from Lake Baikal in the west to southern British Columbia in the east. Through a technological-organization approach, this volume permits investigation of the evolutionary process of adaptation as well as the historical processes of migration and cultural transmission. The result is a closer understanding of how humans adapted to the diverse and unique conditions of the late Pleistocene.
The North American Arctic was one of the last regions on Earth to be settled by humans, due to its extreme climate, limited range of resources, and remoteness from populated areas. Despite these factors, it holds a complex and lengthy history relating to Inuit, Inupiat, Inuvialuit, Yup'ik and Aleut peoples and their ancestors. The artifacts, dwellings, and food remains of these ancient peoples are remarkably well-preserved due to cold temperatures and permafrost, allowing archaeologists to reconstruct their lifeways with great accuracy. Furthermore, the combination of modern Elders' traditional knowledge with the region's high resolution ethnographic record allows past peoples' lives to be reconstructed to a level simply not possible elsewhere. Combined, these factors yield an archaeological record of global significance--the Arctic provides ideal case studies relating to issues as diverse as the impacts of climate change on human societies, the complex process of interaction between indigenous peoples and Europeans, and the dynamic relationships between environment, economy, social organization, and ideology in hunter-gatherer societies. In the The Oxford Handbook of the Prehistoric Arctic, each arctic cultural tradition is described in detail, with up-to-date coverage of recent interpretations of all aspects of their lifeways. Additional chapters cover broad themes applicable to the full range of arctic cultures, such as trade, stone tool technology, ancient DNA research, and the relationship between archaeology and modern arctic communities. The resulting volume, written by the region's leading researchers, contains by far the most comprehensive coverage of arctic archaeology ever assembled. "
As research continues on the earliest migration of modern humans into North and South America, the current state of knowledge about these first Americans is continually evolving. Especially with recent advances in human genomic studies, both of living populations and ancient skeletal remains, new light is being shed in the ongoing quest toward understanding the full complexity and timing of prehistoric migration patterns. Paleoamerican Odyssey collects thirty-one studies presented at the 2013 conference by the same name, hosted in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. Providing an up-to-date view of the current state of knowledge in paleoamerican studies, the research gathered in this volume, presented by leaders in the field, focuses especially on late Pleistocene Northeast Asia, Beringia, and North and South America, as well as dispersal routes, molecular genetics, and Clovis and pre-Clovis archaeology.
New Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origin and Dispersal of Modern Humans
Author: Katie Boyle
Publisher: McDonald Inst of Archeological
Arising from a conference Rethinking the Human Revolution reconsiders all of the central issues in modern human behavioural, cognitive, biological and demographic origins in the light of new information and new theoretical perspectives which have emerged over the past twenty years of intensive research in this field. The 34 papers cover topics ranging from the DNA and skeletal evidence for modern human origins in Africa, through the archaeological evidence for the emergence of distinctively 'modern' patterns of human behaviour and cognition, to the various lines of evidence for the geographical dispersal patterns of biologically and behaviourally modern populations from their African origins throughout Asia, Australasia and Europe, over the past 60,000 years.