On standardization in the Paleolithic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Questions of morphological standardization in Paleolithic stone tools have important implications for the cognitive and technological capacities of early hominins. Past treatments of the topic suffer from an inadequate definition of the concept of "standardization" and a scarcity of quantitative comparisons of morphological variation. Ranges of variation in the sizes and shapes of Middle and Lower Paleolithic artifacts from several sites are compared using a bootstrapping method. These comparisons illustrate how variables related to the basic technological constraints of working isotropic stone and the fracture qualities of particular raw materials may lead to the appearance of differential standardization. Because they are influenced by so many factors, artifact forms may be less informative about technological "design" among ancient hominins than are phenomena such as core reduction and raw material exploitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStone Tools and the Evolution of Human Cognition
PublisherUniversity Press of Colorado
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9781607320302
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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