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The Intelligence of Later Acheulean Hominids

Thomas Wynn
Man
New Series, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Sep., 1979), pp. 371-391
DOI: 10.2307/2801865
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2801865
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Intelligence of Later Acheulean Hominids
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Abstract

This article uses Piagetian genetic epistemology to characterise the intelligence of later Acheulean hominids. In particular the Piagetian concepts of reversibility and conservation are used to assess the spatial concepts used by the hominids who manufactured the artefacts from the Isimila Prehistoric Site, Tanzania. It is concluded that these artefacts required the organisational abilities of operational intelligence and that, therefore, the hominid knappers were not significantly less intelligent than modern adults. Such a conclusion indicates that increasing intelligence has not been a significant factor in cultural evolution for at least the last 300,000 years. Concluding that later Acheulean hominids employed operational thought also suggests that such cultural realms as kinship and cosmogony may have been more complex than archaeologists have heretofore imagined.

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