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Interpreting lithic raw material variability in Middle Palaeolithic contexts

A modeling approach with applications to the Bau de l'Aubesier (Southeastern France)

C.M. Pop
05 October 2022
Publication in Open Access

This dissertation provides a new approach for understanding aspects of human adaptation in the Middle Palaeolithic on the basis of toolstone provenance. The approach centers on computer simulations and it is designed to maximize the potential of toolstone provenance information while minimizing reliance on possibly unfounded assumptions about human behaviour derived from studies of present-day societies. The approach is applied to the French Middle Palaeolithic site of the Bau de l’Aubesier, revealing, amongst other things, that the Neanderthal occupants of the site possessed excellent spatial memory and navigational abilities, regularly exploited a surprisingly large area, and appear to have treated stone resources in a strictly utilitarian manner.

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