Miriam N. Haidle


This chapter looks at the potential explanatory power of archeology as a paleo-anthropological discipline. Through the study of artifacts, archeology provides insight into tool use as a major part of human behavior. Five facets of arche-ological knowledge can be drawn from the material remains of object-bound activities: typological, technological, functional, contextual, and cognitive information, from which other behavioral aspects, like subsistence, settlement, social organization, and their cognitive background, can be derived. Yet, archeological analyses face significant constraints. A brief outline of Paleolithic artifact history shows how this part of the behavior of Homo developed, which is accessible by archeological remains. Following the question "What could they do?'' the cognitive basis of that behavior is tracked down in its phylogenetic-biological, ontoge-netic-individual, and cultural-historical dimensions. The study of the evolution of the human mind is still at its beginning in archeology. Six different approaches are given as examples.

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