Associated archaeology and human behaviour

The most important and lasting outcomes of the Retouching the Palaeolithic Conference are the conclusions we can draw about the significance of bone retoucher technology for the study of human behavioural evolution. As such, we must move beyond bone retouchers and examine the complete archaeological record associated with these tools. Important are the economic and technological contexts for bone retouchers that are key to understanding the behavioural strategies involved in their use. Examining both the lithic and faunal assemblages associated with bone retouchers, together with their depositional settings, provides a holistic view of the economic decisions and organisational strategies of Palaeolithic peoples. In this sense, we are using bone retouchers as a foundation to explore the biological, behavioural and ecological dynamics of technological innovation. Our objective here is larger than the issue of bone retouchers; we aim to deliver an evolutionary perspective on the profound significance of technology in our journey to becoming human.

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