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Re-evaluating the Aurignacian as an expression of modern human mobility and dispersal

Davies, William, (2007) Re-evaluating the Aurignacian as an expression of modern human mobility and dispersal Mellars, Paul, Boyle, Katie, Bar-Yosef, Ofer and Stringer, Chris (eds.) In Rethinking the Human Revolution: New Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origin and Dispersal of Modern Humans. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. 12 pp, pp. 263-274.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Perspectives on the Aurignacian have altered somewhat since the 1987 Cambridge conference (Mellars & Stringer 1989; Mellars 1990), influenced by a gradual diminution of its direct association with modern human skeletal remains (Churchill & Smith 2000; Conard et al. 2004; Wild et al. 2005). Such a diminution does not necessarily discount the widespread assumption that the Aurignacian represents the earliest manifestations of modern human dispersal in Europe; we just need to quantify this assumption and assess the full implications of any changes in skeletal association. Despite some claims being made for the site of Vindija (e.g. Karavani? & Smith 2000; Straus in Mellars et al. 1999; Wolpoff et al. 1981), Neanderthal skeletal remains are apparently not associated with diagnostic Aurignacian artefacts, yet the paucity of associated modern human remains has to some extent emphasized the fragility of our assumptions and forced us to consider the extent of Aurignacian techno-typological consistency across Europe and over time. Thus, this paper will present testable hypothetical conditions for a number of possible explanations, building upon and revising those presented in a paper six years ago (Davies 2001), and then exploring new lines of chronological evidence in order to refine and rationalize the current debate on the spread and development of the Aurignacian.

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Submitted date: June 2006
Published date: December 2007
Additional Information: This paper develops ideas published by myself elsewhere (Davies 2001), and overlap between the two papers has been minimised. This paper sets out a methodology for improving how we test the dispersal of the earliest modern humans in Europe.
Venue - Dates: Rethinking the Human Revolution: New Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origins and Dispersal of Modern Humans, 2005-09-07 - 2005-09-10
Keywords: hunter-gatherers, mobility, dispersal, aurignacian, european early upper palaeolithic, radiocarbon, dating methodology, chronology of innovation


Local EPrints ID: 46268
ISBN: 9781902937465
PURE UUID: 1fa51c8c-034f-4dbe-83bd-e4387803b088

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Date deposited: 12 Jun 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:08

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Author: William Davies
Editor: Paul Mellars
Editor: Katie Boyle
Editor: Ofer Bar-Yosef
Editor: Chris Stringer

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