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Research Title:

Archaeological Research of the Learning Behaviors of the Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans

Research Organization:

Team Leader
  • Yoshihiro Nishiaki, Professor,
    Prehistoric Archaeology, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo
  • Hirofumi Kato, Professor, North Eurasian Archaeology,
    North Eurasian Archaeology, University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies, Hokkaido University
  • Seiji Kadowaki, Assistant Professor,
    West Asian Archaeology, The Nagoya University Museum, Nagoya University
  • Akira Ono, Professor,
    European Archaeology, Center for Obsidian and Lithic Studies, Meiji University
  • Katsuhiko Ohnuma, Emeritus Professor,
    Lithic Technology, Institute for Cultural Studies of Ancient Iraq, Kokushikan University
  • Naoko Matsumoto, Professor,
    Cognitive Archaeology, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Okayama University
  • Jun Takakura, Assistant Professor,
    Japanese Archaeology, Archaeological Research Center, Hokkaido University
  • Katsuhiro Sano, Assistant Professor,
    European Archaeology, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo
  • Masaki Naganuma, Assistant Professor,
    North Eurasian Archaeology, Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies, Hokkaido University
  • Hiroto Nakata, Lecturer,
    Paleolithic Archaeology, College of Literature, Aoyama Gakuin University
  • Kenji Nagai, Lecturer,
    Tohoku University of Art And Design
  • Yasuhisa Kondo, Associate Professor,
    Informatics, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
  • Ryota Ishii, Assistant Professor, Ethnoarchaeology, Faculty of Business Administration, Josai University
Overseas Collaborators
  • Olaf Jöris,
    Forschungsbereich Altsteinzeit des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, Germany
Invited Researchers
  • Yasuo Higurashi, Postdoctoral Fellow,
    Faculty of Medicine, Physiological Sciences, Kinki University

Research Objectives

Learning is a fundamental process of cultural transmission and invention among human societies. Therefore, it is one of the key elements to be investigated for an understanding of the cultural adaptation processes of particular prehistoric societies. Research project A01 aims to characterize the learning behaviors of the Neanderthals and the Early Modern Humans with the aid of pertinent archaeological records of the Middle and the Upper Palaeolithic. Focusing on the records of stone tool manufacture, which are considered to be direct evidence of prehistoric learning, this project will explore differences in learning behaviors between these two hominid groups, and will then discuss how those differences contributed to the Neanderthals' eventual replacement.

Research Methods
The research will consist of the following set of analyses: analysis of the archaeological evidence indicative of past learning behaviors at selected sites of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic; analysis of the diachronic and geographic variability of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic industries; analysis of the learning processes of lithic manufacturing through replicative experiments.

Research Project on Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans: Testing Evolutionary Models of Learning
Supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, ports, Science & Technology Japan
Project Office: Kouchi University of Technology,CIC Tokyo 302/ 3-3-6 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Zip:108-0023;
TEL: +81-(0)3-5440-9039 FAX: +81-(0)3-5440-9119 Contact: koutaigeki@gmail.com;
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