Early Human Technology

Hosted by Assistant Professor of Anthropology Nicholas Zwyns.

The Early Humans Technology (EHT) reading group is a newly-formed graduate group within the Department of Anthropology under the direction of Dr. Nicolas Zwyns. The goal of the group is to examine research on a range of topics from the use of tools by animal species to technologies used during the ice age.

With a record dating back to at least 3.3 million years ago, stone technology represents a vast and crucial aspect of the evolutionary history of our species and will be one of the main focuses of this group. In addition, the group will examine the development, use, and production of nonlithic technologies, such as the use of projectiles and hafting technologies and the appearance of bone tools, as well as explore ecological models, such as those relating to raw material procurement and environmental influences on technological development and the mechanism of cultural transmission. Furthermore, the group will investigate the use of tools among animal species (e.g. non-human primates) and new developments in analytical procedures considered relevant to improve our understanding of prehistoric technologies.

Participants are mostly graduate students that will be exposed to research concerning different geologic periods and geographic regions of our planet which can hopefully provide unique perspectives and insights into their own specific research. The EHT reading group is primarily student-led, with weekly meetings to discuss different scientific papers chosen by participants on a rotating basis. It will also provide members with opportunities for peer-reviews, feedback or practice on their own publications or conference presentations. The group utilizes Socratic debate to dissect and examine the research questions, methods, and conclusions presented in the chosen paper. This method promotes critical thinking and analysis of scientific writing, and is useful for familiarizing oneself with the past and present analytical methods for their use and development in future lithic analytical research by current and future members of the group.

Open to all. Meeting schedule and location TBD.

For more information, contact .