Squeezing Minds From Stones: Cognitive Archaeology and the Evolution of the Human Mind

ISBN : 9780190854614

Karenleigh A. Overmann; Frederick L. Coolidge
544 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jun 2019
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Cognitive archaeology is a relatively new interdisciplinary science that uses cognitive and psychological models to explain archeological artifacts like stone tools, figurines, and art. Squeezing Minds From Stones is a collection of essays from early pioneers in the field, like archaeologists Thomas Wynn and Iain Davidson, and evolutionary primatologist William McGrew, to 'up and coming' newcomers like Shelby Putt, Ceri Shipton, Mark Moore, James Cole, Natalie Uomini, and Lana Ruck. Their essays address a wide variety of cognitive archaeology topics, including the value of experimental archaeology, primate archaeology, the intent of ancient tool makers, and how they may have lived and thought.


Introduction: Cognitive Archaeology at the Crossroads
Karenleigh A. Overmann and Frederick L. Coolidge
1. A Simian View of the Oldowan: Reconstructing the Evolutionary Origins of Human Technology
William C. McGrew, Tiago Falotico, Michael D. Gumert, and Eduardo B. Ottoni
2. Homo artifex: An Extended Evolutionary Perspective on the Origins of the Human Mind, Brain, and Culture
Dietrich Stout
3. Looking at Rocks Together: Tool Production, Joint Attention, and Offline Cognition
Rex Welshon
4. Evolution of Cognitive Archaeology through Evolving Cognitive Systems: A Chapter for Tom Wynn
Iain Davidson
5. Sticks, Stones, and the Origins of Sapience
Philip J. Barnard
6. The Origin of Cumulative Culture: Not a Single-Trait Event But Multifactorial Processes
Miriam Noel Haidle
7. Hominin Evolution and Stone Tool Scavenging and Reuse in the Lower Paleolithic
Adam Brumm, Matt Pope, Mathieu Leroyer, and Kate Emery
8. Flake-Making and the Cognitive Rubicon: Insights from Stone-Knapping Experiments
Mark W. Moore
9. Stone Tools and Spatial Cognition
Derek Hodgson
10. Testing Models of Handedness in Stone Tools
Natalie Uomini and Lana Ruck
11. Early Convergent Cultural Evolution: Acheulean Giant Core Methods of Africa
Gonen Sharon
12. Cultural Transmission from the Last Common Ancestor to the Levallois Reducers: What Can We Infer?
Stephen J. Lycett
13. The Handaxe Aesthetic
Thomas Wynn and Tony Berlant
14. The Stories Stones Tell of Language and Its Evolution
Shelby S. Putt
15. In Three Minds: Extending Cognitive Archaeology with the Social Brain
Cory Stade and Clive Gamble
16. The Evolution of Social Transmission in the Acheulean
Ceri Shipton
17. Knapping in the Dark: Stone Tools and a Theory of Mind
James Cole
18. A Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Sexual Division of Tasks in the European Upper Paleolithic
Sophie A. de Beaune
19. The Enhanced Working Memory Model: Its Origin and Development
Frederick L. Coolidge
20. Materiality and the Prehistory of Number
Karenleigh A. Overmann
21. Ensnaring the Mind: Cognitive Implications of Setting Snares and Traps
Lyn Wadley
22. On the Minds of Bow Hunters
Marlize Lombard
23. Epilogue: Situating the Cognitive in Cognitive Archaeology
Thomas Wynn

About the author: 

Karenleigh A. Overmann has a doctorate in archaeology from the University of Oxford, as well as a master's in psychology and bachelor's in anthropology, philosophy, and English from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS). She is a founding member of the faculty of the UCCS Center for Cognitive Archaeology, and in June 2018 she began an MSCA individual fellowship at the University of Bergen, Norway. Her primary research investigates numeracy and literacy as complex cultural systems that emerge through sustained interactions between brains, behaviors, and material forms. Her previous career was in the U.S. Navy, where she performed communications-electronics work as an enlisted Radioman before earning a commission under the Limited Duty Officer program; she retired with 25 years active service in 2003. Professor Frederick L. Coolidge has a PhD from the University of Florida and completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology. He is a three-time; Fulbright Fellow recipient and has three teaching awards and two research awards from the University of Colorado. He was appointed Senior Visiting Scholar to Oxford University (Keble College) in 2015 and Visiting Scholar to the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar from 2014-2018.

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