Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The Emergence of Bone Technologies at the End of the Pleistocene in Southeast Asia: Regional and Evolutionary Implications

  • Ryan J. Rabett (a1) and Philip J. Piper (a2)

Abstract

For many decades Palaeolithic research viewed the development of early modern human behaviour as largely one of progress down a path towards the ‘modernity’ of the present. The European Palaeolithic sequence — the most extensively studied — was for a long time the yard-stick against which records from other regions were judged. Recent work undertaken in Africa and increasingly Asia, however, now suggests that the European evidence may tell a story that is more parochial and less universal than previously thought. While tracking developments at the large scale (the grand narrative) remains important, there is growing appreciation that to achieve a comprehensive understanding of human behavioural evolution requires an archaeologically regional perspective to balance this.

One of the apparent markers of human modernity that has been sought in the global Palaeolithic record, prompted by finds in the European sequence, is innovation in bonebased technologies. As one step in the process of re-evaluating and contextualizing such innovations, in this article we explore the role of prehistoric bone technologies within the Southeast Asian sequence, where they have at least comparable antiquity to Europe and other parts of Asia. We observe a shift in the technological usage of bone — from a minor component to a medium of choice — during the second half of the Last Termination and into the Holocene. We suggest that this is consistent with it becoming a focus of the kinds of inventive behaviour demanded of foraging communities as they adapted to the far-reaching environmental and demographic changes that were reshaping this region at that time. This record represents one small element of a much wider, much longerterm adaptive process, which we would argue is not confined to the earliest instances of a particular technology or behaviour, but which forms part of an on-going story of our behavioural evolution.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Emergence of Bone Technologies at the End of the Pleistocene in Southeast Asia: Regional and Evolutionary Implications
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Emergence of Bone Technologies at the End of the Pleistocene in Southeast Asia: Regional and Evolutionary Implications
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Emergence of Bone Technologies at the End of the Pleistocene in Southeast Asia: Regional and Evolutionary Implications
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed