Psychology and Cognitive Archaeology : An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of the Human Mind book cover
1st Edition

Psychology and Cognitive Archaeology
An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of the Human Mind

ISBN 9780367516536
Published November 15, 2021 by Routledge
208 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Psychology and Cognitive Archaeology demonstrates the potential of using cognitive archaeology framing to explore key issues in contemporary psychology and other behavioral sciences.

This edited volume features psychologists exploring archaeological data concerning specific themes such as: the use of tools, our child-rearing practices, our expressions of gender and sexuality, our sleep patterns, the nature of warfare, cultural practices, and the origins of religion. Other chapters touch on cognitive archaeological methods, the history of evolutionary approaches in psychology, and relevant philosophical considerations to further illustrate the interdisciplinary potential between archaeology and psychology. As a complementary counterpoint, the book also includes an archaeologist’s perspective on these same topical matters, as well as robust introductory and concluding thoughts by the editors.

This book will be an illuminating read for students and scholars of psychology (particularly theoretical, social, cognitive, and evolutionary psychology), as well as philosophy, archaeology, and anthropology.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Minding Matter

Lambros Malafouris



1. Introduction: The Utility of Prehistory for Psychology

Matt J. Rossano and Tracy B. Henley

2. Situating the Archaeology in Cognitive Archaeology

Thomas Wynn and Frederick L. Coolidge

3. Psychology and Evolution: A Checkered History

Michael C. Corballis

4. Wild Selves: On the Deeply Historical, Contextual Emergence of Self-Sustaining Systems

J. Scott Jordan

5. The Missing Mind: Contrasting Civilization with Non-Civilization Development and Functioning

Darcia Narvaez and Mary S. Tarsha

6. The Laughing Pregnant Grandmother and the Relevance of Archaeological Findings for Cultural Psychology

Jaan Valsiner

7. Sexuality and Gender in Prehistory

Maryanne L. Fisher, Rebecca Burch, Rosemarie Sokol-Chang, T. Joel Wade and David Widman

8. Cognition Demonstrated by Artifacts: Tool-use Expertise and Tool-use Learning

Blandine Bril

9. Evidence, Inference, and the Puzzle of Ancestral Warfare

Anthony C. Lopez

10. The Advent of Religion

Lee A. Kirkpatrick and Matt J. Rossano

11. A Prehistory of Sleep: Understanding the Roots of Modern Sleep Disorders

Valerie E. Stone

12. Psychology and Antiquity: A Prehistorian’s Perspective

Paul Pettitt

Afterword: On Intersecting Psychology and Cognitive Archaeology

Tracy B. Henley and Matt J. Rossano

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Tracy B. Henley is Professor at Texas A & M University–Commerce, USA. He works primarily on historical matters, social cognition, and psycholinguistics. He has several previous books related to the history of psychology as well as serving as an editor for the Handbook of Cognitive Archaeology.

Matt J. Rossano is Professor of Psychology at Southeastern Louisiana University, USA, where he studies the evolution of ritual, religion, and cooperation. His past books include Ritual in Human Evolution and Religion, Handbook of Cognitive Archaeology, Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved, and Mortal Rituals.


"True interdiscplinarity is difficult to come by, because it’s so difficult to do. Here, Henley and Rossano are to be congratulated for putting together a genuinely interdiscplinary, and genuinely thought-provoking, exploration of how archaeology and prehistory can contribute to an understanding of human psychology through time and space." 

Louise Barrett, Professor of Psychology at University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

"The archaeological record provides unique insights into the history of human organizations and innovations and their spread around the world. These artifacts tell us something important about the social and cognitive demands of living in different historical epochs and provide unique insights into the psychology of modern humans. Henley and Rossano’s book provides a superb introduction to this interdisciplinary approach and will be of interest to psychologists, cognitive scientists, anthropologists, and archaeologists." 

David C. Geary, Curators’ Distinguished Professor at University of Missouri, Columbia, USA

"A book that puts the colour back into prehistory."

Nicholas Humphrey, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at London School of Economics, London, UK