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From small holes to grand narratives: The impact of taphonomy and sample size on the modernity debate in Australia and New Guinea
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From small holes to grand narratives: The impact of taphonomy and sample size on the modernity debate in Australia and New Guinea

Autor: M C Langley; C Clarkson; S Ulm
Edición/Formato: Artículo Artículo : Inglés (eng)
Publicación:Journal of Human Evolution, v61 n2 (201108): 197-208
Base de datos:Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V. Todos derechos reservados
Otras bases de datos: MEDLINEElsevierBritish Library Serials
Resumen:
Our knowledge of early Australasian societies has significantly expanded in recent decades with more than 220 Pleistocene sites reported from a range of environmental zones and depositional contexts. The uniqueness of this dataset has played an increasingly important role in global debates about the origins and expression of complex behaviour among early modern human populations. Nevertheless, discussions of  Leer más
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Tipo de documento: Artículo
Todos autores / colaboradores: M C Langley; C Clarkson; S Ulm
ISSN:0047-2484
Nota del idioma: English
Identificador único: 730540634
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Resumen:

Our knowledge of early Australasian societies has significantly expanded in recent decades with more than 220 Pleistocene sites reported from a range of environmental zones and depositional contexts. The uniqueness of this dataset has played an increasingly important role in global debates about the origins and expression of complex behaviour among early modern human populations. Nevertheless, discussions of Pleistocene behaviour and cultural innovation are yet to adequately consider the effects of taphonomy and archaeological sampling on the nature and representativeness of the record. Here, we investigate the effects of preservation and sampling on the archaeological record of Sahul, and explore the implications for understanding early cultural diversity and complexity. We find no evidence to support the view that Pleistocene populations of Sahul lacked cognitive modernity or cultural complexity. Instead, we argue that differences in the nature of early modern human populations across the globe were more likely the consequence of differences in population size and density, interaction and historical contingency.

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