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Human Adaptation in the Asian Palaeolithic
Hominin Dispersal and Behaviour during the Late Quaternary


  • Date Published: October 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107018297

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the first human colonization of Asia and particularly the tropical environments of Southeast Asia during the Upper Pleistocene. In studying the unique character of the Asian archaeological record, it reassesses long-accepted propositions about the development of human 'modernity.' Ryan J. Rabett reveals an evolutionary relationship between colonization, the challenges encountered during this process – especially in relation to climatic and environmental change – and the forms of behaviour that emerged. This book argues that human modernity is not something achieved in the remote past in one part of the world, but rather is a diverse, flexible, responsive and ongoing process of adaptation.

    • Tackles the Asian record, one of the most under-studied and least-published, but richly endowed, enigmatic areas of the Palaeolithic world – as indicated by recent discoveries in Southeast Asia, China and Siberia
    • Covers the character of the Southeast Asian record, which has long inspired debate on the subject of human cultural development, an area which has never been satisfactorily incorporated into traditional models of early humanity
    • The unique perspective provided by Palaeolithic archaeology on the behavioural evolution of our species is well-placed to make a major contribution to the ecologically and climatically-oriented paradigm that is emerging within Western science more generally
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Good books on the Palaeolithic of Asia are hard to find. Thankfully, Ryan Rabett has produced a quality volume that synthesises important information about human occupation history in a poorly known region of the world … this book is an excellent new contribution on the Late Pleistocene history of Southeast Asia. The book challenges archaeologists to think about how their regional records developed in response to external and internal influences, ultimately leading to, as Rabett aptly puts it, 'a Pleistocene 'explosion' of new life ways'.' Michael Petraglia, Antiquity

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107018297
    • length: 383 pages
    • dimensions: 259 x 182 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.94kg
    • contains: 64 b/w illus. 9 maps 10 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The journey east
    2. The Pleistocene planet
    3. Hominin dispersal beyond Africa during the Lower and Middle Pleistocene
    4. Regional trajectories in modern human behaviour
    5. The initial Upper Pleistocene dispersal of H. sapiens out of Africa
    6. Climate, dispersal and technological change during the Last Termination and Early Holocene in Southeast Asia
    7. Tropical subsistence strategies at the end of the last glacial
    8. Ex levis terra.

  • Author

    Ryan J. Rabett, McDonald Institute, Cambridge University
    Ryan J. Rabett is a Research Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on archaeological sites in Asia and since 2007 he has been the director of a major project in northern Vietnam. He is the author of more than forty articles, which primarily focus on prehistoric subsistence and technological strategies in Asia.

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