Evolutionary perspectives on technology and technological change

  • Kuhn S
  • 166


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 35


    Citations of this article.


It is my view that many so-called theoretical disputes in archaeology stem from the fact that participants in the debates are actually trying to answer different questions. Thus, I begin this essay with a brief discussion of the problems that most occupy my attention. My main research area is the Pleistocene prehistory of western Eurasia, although hunter- gatherer studies, both archaeological and ethnographic, inform my research on the Middle and Upper Paleolithic. I am especially interested in how the role of technology in human life has changed over the past 2.5 million years. Over that time artifacts have evolved from simple extensions of the human physical apparatus and relatively peripheral elements in the behavioral repertoire of the genus Homo to a central component in practically every interaction between humans and their environments as well as between humans and other humans. In short, artifacts have been transformed from simple extensions of hands, claws and teeth into material culture. This is obviously a long and complex story, but it is also central to understanding the human condition and how it came about.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free