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Evolution and the palaeolithic

Dieter Jehs (UGent)
(2012) NOTAE PRAEHISTORICAE. 32. p.257-287
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Abstract
Evolutionary theory, which has been designed with the sole purpose of describing and explaining phenotypic variability within and between species, is considered to be the base paradigm for the study of all living organisms. Basically, evolution as a process is nothing more than a continuous alteration through time of elements that are already there, without foresight or predetermined goal and therefore not necessarily leading to increasing complexity. The latter puts (palaeo)anthropologists, and archaeologists in particular, in a difficult position, as humans seem to have developed behavioural characteristics and cultural achievements that clearly point to the opposite. As such, and until very recently, they (and scholars of the human and social sciences in general) have largely shunned evolutionary approaches to behaviour and culture. By reviewing the most important of these approaches, and evaluating them in terms of their utility for hominin studies, we will show that an evolutionary take on behaviour and culture does harbour a significant potential for scholars of this period in prehistory.
Keywords
behaviour, culture, Palaeolithic, hominin studies, evolution

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Jehs, Dieter. “Evolution and the Palaeolithic.” NOTAE PRAEHISTORICAE 32 (2012): 257–287. Print.
APA
Jehs, D. (2012). Evolution and the palaeolithic. NOTAE PRAEHISTORICAE, 32, 257–287.
Chicago author-date
Jehs, Dieter. 2012. “Evolution and the Palaeolithic.” Notae Praehistoricae 32: 257–287.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Jehs, Dieter. 2012. “Evolution and the Palaeolithic.” Notae Praehistoricae 32: 257–287.
Vancouver
1.
Jehs D. Evolution and the palaeolithic. NOTAE PRAEHISTORICAE. 2012;32:257–87.
IEEE
[1]
D. Jehs, “Evolution and the palaeolithic,” NOTAE PRAEHISTORICAE, vol. 32, pp. 257–287, 2012.
@article{3080726,
  abstract     = {Evolutionary theory, which has been designed with the sole purpose of describing and explaining phenotypic variability within and between species, is considered to be the base paradigm for the study of all living organisms. Basically, evolution as a process is nothing more than a continuous alteration through time of elements that are already there, without foresight or predetermined goal and therefore not necessarily leading to increasing complexity. The latter puts (palaeo)anthropologists, and archaeologists in particular, in a difficult position, as humans seem to have developed behavioural characteristics and cultural achievements that clearly point to the opposite. As such, and until very recently, they (and scholars of the human and social sciences in general) have largely shunned evolutionary approaches to behaviour and culture. By reviewing the most important of these approaches, and evaluating them in terms of their utility for hominin studies, we will show that an evolutionary take on behaviour and culture does harbour a significant potential for scholars of this period in prehistory.},
  author       = {Jehs, Dieter},
  issn         = {0774-3327},
  journal      = {NOTAE PRAEHISTORICAE},
  keywords     = {behaviour,culture,Palaeolithic,hominin studies,evolution},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {257--287},
  title        = {Evolution and the palaeolithic},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2012},
}