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Social Brain, Distributed Mind$
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Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble, and John Gowlett

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264522

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264522.001.0001

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Excavating the Prehistoric Mind: The Brain as a Cultural Artefact and Material Culture as Biological Extension

Excavating the Prehistoric Mind: The Brain as a Cultural Artefact and Material Culture as Biological Extension

Chapter:
(p.480) (p.481) 22 Excavating the Prehistoric Mind: The Brain as a Cultural Artefact and Material Culture as Biological Extension
Source:
Social Brain, Distributed Mind
Author(s):

Steven Mithen

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264522.003.0022

The adoption of an explicitly cognitive approach has become prominent in archaeological research during the last decade, helping to place Palaeolithic archaeology into a driving role in the development of archaeological theory and developing inter-disciplinarity with the cognitive sciences. Two prominent approaches have emerged: the social brain hypothesis and the distributed mind. Precisely how these can be integrated into a single, unified approach for the study of the evolution and nature of the human mind remains unclear, if indeed it is desirable to do so. This chapter reflects on the emergence of these approaches within archaeology and comments upon their relative strengths and weakness.

Keywords:   archaeological research, Palaeolithic archaeology, social brain hypothesis, distributed mind, human mind

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