This book is based on the research performed for the Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Project. The central issue of the project is the investigation of possible differences between the two populations in cognitive ability for learning. The project aims to evaluate a unique working hypothesis, coined as the learning hypothesis, which postulates that differences in learning eventually resulted in the replacement of those populations. The book deals with relevant archaeological records to understand the learning behaviours of Neanderthals and modern humans. Learning behaviours are conditioned by numerous factors including not only cognitive ability but also cultural traditions, social structure, population size, and life history. The book addresses the issues in two parts, comparing learning behaviours in terms of cognitive ability and social environments, respectively. Collectively, it provides new insights into the behavioural characteristics of Neanderthals and modern humans from a previously overlooked perspective. Furthermore, it highlights the significance of understanding learning in prehistory, the driving force for any development of culture and technology among human society.
1. Learning Behaviors among Neanderthals and Paleolithic Modern Humans: An Introduction / Yoshihiro Nishiaki and Olaf Jöris
Part I: Cognitive backgrounds for learning
2. Neural Underpinnings of Creative Thinking and Tool Use: A Meta-Analysis of Neuroimaging Data / Naoki Miura, Yukako Sasaki, Kunihiro Hasegawa, and Hiroki C. Tanabe
3. The Expert Performance Model of Neanderthal Cognition / Thomas Wynn and Frederick L. Coolidge
4. Cognitive Capacities of the Neanderthals / Marcel Otte
Part II: Processes of Paleolithic learning
5. Mastering Hammer Use in Stone Knapping: An Experiment / Yoshihiro Nishiaki
6. Evidence for Neanderthal Hand-Preferences from the Late Middle Paleolithic Site of Buhlen, Germany: Insights into Neanderthal Learning Behaviour / Olaf Jöris and Natali Uomini
7. Good and Bad Knappers Among Neanderthals / Javier Baena, J. Irene Ortiz, and Concepcion Torres
8. The Apprentice Core: Evidence from a Lithic Refitting at the Upper Paleolithic Site Kyushirataki-5 in Hokkaido, Northern Japan / Jun Takakura and Yasuo Naoe
9. Learning Behavior of Sanukite Knapping among the Upper Paleolithic communities of Suichoen, Japan / Shoji Takahashi and Yoshihiro Nishiaki
10. Strong Differences in Neanderthal and AMH cannot be Inferred from Ethnographic Evidence for Skill and Learning in Hunting / Katharine Macdonald
Part III: Socio-cultural backgrounds for learning
11. Marine shells from Tor Fawaz, southern Jordan, Southern Jordan, and Their Implications for Behavioral Changes from the Middle to Upper Paleolithic in the Levant / Seiji Kadowaki and Taiji Kurozumi, Donald O. Henry
12. Modeling Learning Strategies and the Expansion of the Social Network in the Beginning of Upper Paleolithic Europe: Analysis by Agent-Based Simulation / Shiro Horiuchi and Jun Takakura
13. Transculturation versus Acculturation: A Clarification / Foni Le Brun-Ricalens
14. Ratchets and Replacement: The Potential Role of Cultural Accumulation in the Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans / Michael Chazan
Yoshihiro Nishiaki, who received his PhD from University College London, is a professor of prehistory at the University Museum, The University of Tokyo. His research involves the archaeology of West and Central Asia mainly through technological analyses of flaked stone artefacts. He has directed numerous field investigations in West and Central Asia since 1984, including Paleolithic and Neolithic excavations in Syria, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Uzbekistan. He is currently the director of PaleoAsia, a large-scale research project investigating the formation processes of modern human cultures in Asia, supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. He has served on the editorial board or scientific committee of a number of international associations, such as the International Union for Quaternary Research, the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences, and Association Paléorient.
Olaf Jöris received his PhD from the University of Cologne, Germany. He is a senior scientist at and deputy head of the MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution in Neuwied, Germany – a department of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz, Leibniz Research Institute for Archaeology. His research focuses on the archaeological evidence for understanding the evolution of human behaviour from a diachronic perspective. He has directed fieldwork in Germany, Georgia, and China. He has been involved in numerous inter- and transdisciplinary projects, regularly serves as reviewer or editor in international journals, and is member of several international research organizations. He teaches prehistoric archaeology at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, and, since 2014, has been a visiting professor at Lanzhou University, Gansu Province, China.