Stone tools are often the glorified paradigm for anthropological assumptions about human intelligence evolution. Their concrete and quantifiable linkages to Paleolithic realities are what make stone tools such a pivotal addition to anthropology's understanding of evolution. The shifts in the archeological records that are characterized by stone tools represent how human intelligence evolution is a function of a congruence of ecological factors. Although some anthropologists take a very specific, pure, and neurological approach to understanding stone tool evolution, this parochial perspective can limit the insight available from the broader context of stone tool and intellectual progression. Human intelligence evolution is a multidimensional process that reaches far beyond the scope of the individual, and the archeological record, through its ability to encompass all dynamics of evolutionary ecology, provides an effective framework for analyzing developments in human intelligence.
[...] The specifics of stone tools are not necessary to grasp the greater implications of their influence on human intelligence evolution. Instead, a perspective that views the more comprehensive equation of stone tool development with respect to other concurring conditions and processes will produce more effective anthropological inferences. Stone tools automatically imply a transaction between their creator and their environment, suggesting a strong relationship between tool use and environmental conditions. Mithen validates that “specialized cognitive processes [evolved for the] interaction with the natural world,” thus emphasizing the importance of an ecologically-centered interpretation of stone tool development (99). [...]
[...] The beginnings of stone tools exhibited through the Oldowan tradition showed the emergence of a material and mental evolution of hominid functional intelligence. An appropriate framework for understanding tool development inferences goes beyond the artifact itself, and places tool-making in proportional relation to the evolution of human intelligence. It is important not to get caught up in the specifics of tool variation, but rather what these tools can demonstrate about the dynamic relationship between its creator and their environment. Therefore, it is the structure of the process, not the structure of the artifact, which permits insight towards intellectual evolution. [...]
[...] The cultural correlation between mobile species and cultural group awareness was preemptive of intelligence evolution. No technology can ever be universally distributed, yet technology evolution is more effectively prompted in changing environments. Stone tool progression lacked the motivation to shift from Mode I to Mode II designs until hominid populations became more mobile. Ambrose argues that “regional stylistic and technological variants” create for potential for a cultural context, so through both mobile cultures and settled cultural development, culture facilitates tool development (1750). [...]
[...] Stone tool developments were only as effective as the variations available in the hominid environment, so perhaps this almost stoic progression of tool evolution is better attributable to environment rather than intellect. An ecological perspective is imperative for truly comprehending the role of stone tools in human intelligence evolution. The clear environmental influence on stone tool (and human intellectual) evolution can logically be followed by the presence of a cultural influence. Material culture is fundamentally social, as Graves asserts, so social changes would thereby have an impact on tool development. [...]
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