When was the human threshold crossed? What is the evidence for evolving humans and their emerging humanity? This volume explores in a global overview the archaeology of the Middle Pleistocene, 800,000 to 130,000 years ago when evidence for innovative cultural behaviour appeared. The evidence shows that the threshold was crossed slowly, by a variety of human ancestors, and was not confined to one part of the Old World.
Crossing the Human Threshold examines the changing evidence during this period for the use of place, landscape and technology. It focuses on the emergence of persistent places, and associated developments in tool use, hunting strategies and the control of fire, represented across the Old World by deeply stratified cave sites. These include the most important sites for the archaeology of human origins in the Levant, South Africa, Asia and Europe, presented here as evidence for innovation in landscape-thinking during the Middle Pleistocene. The volume also examines persistence at open locales through a cutting-edge review of the archaeology of Northern France and England.
Crossing the Human Threshold is for the worldwide community of students and researchers studying early hominins and human evolution. It presents new archaeological data. It frames the evidence within current debates to understand the differences and similarities between ourselves and our ancient ancestors.
i. Dedication and acknowledgements
iii. List of Figures and Tables
Section 1: Frames for interpretation: persistence and thresholds in the Middle Pleistocene
Clive Gamble: Thresholds in hominin complexity during the Middle Pleistocene: a persistent places approach
Matt Pope: Thresholds in behaviour, thresholds of visibility: landscape processes, asymmetries in landscape records and niche construction in the formation of the Palaeolithic record
Section 2: Regional Case studies: dynamic transformation in Western Europe and the Levant
Steven J. Kuhn, Ron Shimelmitz and Amy E. Clark: The road to differentiated land use and domestic space in the Middle Pleistocene of Southwestern Asia
Ran Barkai, Jordi Rosell, Ruth Blasco and Avi Gopher : A land of flint and fallow-deer: human persistence at Middle Pleistocene Qesem Cave
Mary C. Stiner: On the co-evolution of hearth and home-making during the Middle Pleistocene in the Levant
Anne-Lyse Ravon: Land use in Brittany during the Middle Pleistocene: the example of the persistent place of Menez-Dregan I (Plouhinec, Finistère)
Beccy Scott and Andrew Shaw: La Cotte de St Brelade: place making, assemblage and persistence in the Normano-Breton Gulf
Nick Ashton: Landscapes of habit and persistent places during MIS 11 in Europe. A return journey from Britain
Mark White and David Bridgland : Thresholds in lithic technology and human behaviour during MIS9 in Britain
Danielle Schreve : Neither hot nor cold but dry: a Northwest European view of Neanderthal environments in late MIS 7 and beyond
Jean-Luc Locht, David Hérisson and Emilie Goval: From the Middle to the Upper Pleistocene: origins and diversification of the Middle Palaeolithic in Northwest France
Section 3: Global Debates
Lyn Wadley: Everyday tasks demonstrate cognitive complexity in Africa’s Middle Stone Age
John A.J. Gowlett, James S. Brink, Sally M. Hoare and Stephen M. Rucina: A major event in the Middle Pleistocene?
Robin Dennell : Persistent places, resident predators and vigilant faunas: life in Eurasia in Eurasia in the late Middle Pleistocene