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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution

Before Modern Humans New Perspectives on the African Stone Age

By: Grant S McCall(Author)
350 pages
Publisher: Left Coast Press
Before Modern Humans
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  • Before Modern Humans ISBN: 9780367605377 Paperback Jun 2020 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • Before Modern Humans ISBN: 9781611322224 Hardback Nov 2014 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Selected version: £145.00
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

This fascinating volume, assessing Lower and Middle Pleistocene African prehistory, argues that the onset of the Middle Stone Age marks the origins of landscape use patterns resembling those of modern human foragers. Inaugurating a paradigm shift in our understanding of modern human behavior, Grant McCall argues that this transition – related to the origins of "home base" residential site use – occurred in mosaic fashion over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. He concludes by proposing a model of brain evolution driven by increasing subsistence diversity and intensity against the backdrop of larger populations and Pleistocene environmental unpredictability.

McCall argues that human brain size did not arise to support the complex patterns of social behavior that pervade our lives today, but instead large human brains were co-opted for these purposes relatively late in prehistory, accounting for the striking archaeological record of the Upper Pleistocene.


1. Introduction
2. Stone Tool Technology and the Organizational Approach
3. The Organization of Early Stone Age Lithic Technology
4. The Organization of Middle Stone Age (MSA) Lithic Technology
5. Fear and Loathing in Paleolithic Faunal Analysis
6. Implications of Lower and Middle Pleistocene Faunal Assemblage Composition
7. Implications of Lower and Middle Pleistocene Hominin Bone Modification Patterns
8. Alternative Perspectives on Hominin Biological Evolution and Ecology
9. Conclusion

Customer Reviews


Grant S. McCall is an Associate Professor in Anthropology at Tulane University. His research interests focus on the Early and Middle Stone Age. He is editor of the journal Lithic Technology.

By: Grant S McCall(Author)
350 pages
Publisher: Left Coast Press
Media reviews

"Much of the current paleoanthropological research on the past 200,000 years focuses on the development of "modern" features of anatomy (fossils) and culture (through archaeology). Anthropologist McCall (Tulane) argues in this forceful volume that it is too much, and he proposes a more ecological and organizational approach to understanding the evolution of the human record prior to Homo sapiens [...] Some of these ideas are novel; others are becoming widely discussed in the field (there are few references since 2011). A good source for seminar discussions and conference arguments. Summing Up: Recommended."
– E. Delson, Lehman College CUNY

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