Neanderthal Technoeconomics: An Assessment and Suggestions for Future Developments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


This paper reviews results from economically-oriented studies of Middle Paleolithic technologies. Findings on raw material exploitation have shown conclusively that Middle Paleolithic hominins, mainly Neanderthals, were extremely flexible, able to respond to a range of different constraints on the availability of stone and the organization of tasks on landscapes. Overall, studies of raw material economics show a remarkable level of consistency in modal and maximum distances of raw material transport and in the nature of and treatment of transported artifacts. This indicates that results are methodologically and empirically robust, and reveals important commonalities in hominin behavior. Research on raw material economy may also be limited a widespread focus on aggregate, assemblage-level observations. The next phase of methodological development should concentrate on the use of intra-assemblage variation as a means of investigating internally diversified prehistoric populations. A paradoxical feature of variation in artifact design and investment illustrate the importance of considering intra-group variation in behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameVertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology
ISSN (Print)1877-9077


  • Economy
  • Lithic technology
  • Raw material
  • Social organization
  • • Mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Palaeontology


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