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Department of Archaeology


The transition from Oldowan to Acheulean technologies are hypothesised to be concomitant with advances in cognition and behaviour. However, the nature of these shifts, and their cultural and evolutionary implications are poorly defined and understood. While extensive literature exists on these technologies, significant differences in research methods and traditions make comparative and comprehensive analyses problematic. For example, research can be biased towards different typologies, morphometry, reduction sequences, or technical process analyses such as chaîne opératoire or Logical Analytic Systems. Although such approaches have become more quantitative, they remain based on relatively univariate attribute assignments and limited metrics, variably collected, and reported. This results in fragmented literature where complex data are quantified as patterns of metrics, counts, shapes, and categories, but without an overarching framework of data collection. The impact of emerging AI and machine learning (ML) approaches has significant potential to tackle lithic analyses drawbacks. This project is distinctive in bringing together cutting-edge methods to clarify ancient technology and behaviour.


The British Academy

Project Tags

Science, Technology and Innovation
Human Evolutionary Studies
Periods of interest: 
Geographical areas: 
Southeast Asia
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Human Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology
Human Evolution
Archaeological Theory
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Cultural Evolution
Biological Anthropology
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