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Making Silent Stones Speak: Human Evolution And The Dawn Of Technology Paperback – February 3, 1994

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (February 3, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671875388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671875381
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,889,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Tools are us," assert the authors, anthropologists at Indiana University, referring to the pivotal role that tool making and tool use played in transforming apelike hominids into modern humans. In East Africa, Schick and Toth learned to duplicate and use Stone Age-like tools for woodworking, animal butchery and other tasks. Drawing on this experimental fieldwork and on the fossil record, they conclude that approximately two million years ago, early hominids turned to flaked stone tools as part of a decisive adaptive shift stressing deliberate planning and manipulation of the environment. This development, they argue, set in motion a "circular feedback loop," with advantageous tool use favoring a large brain to plan even more tool use, which in turn fostered social interaction and intelligence. Illustrated with 100 photographs and drawings, this lucid primer is an exciting exploration of the world's most ancient technologies, of human origins and of controversies in paleoanthropology. BOMC, QPB and History Book Club alternates.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The authors, codirectors of the Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology at Indiana University, Bloomington, display their expert knowledge of stone tools in this account of the origins of the human species. The ability to master stone technology, they argue, was the key factor in the evolutionary success of our hominid ancestors. The authors' interpretations of early hominid tool use are based largely on experiments they performed, including making stone tools with million-year-old techniques, skinning animal carcasses, and leaving tools exposed in the environment for years to observe how they become buried. This book will appeal to nonarchaeologists who wonder just how one can make conclusions on ancient beings' lifestyles based on only a few old stones and bones. Some 100 black-and-white photographs and line drawings illustrate the authors' points. Recommended for academic and large public science and anthropology collections.
- Eric Hinsdale, Trinity Univ. Lib., San Antonio
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on December 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is about the beginnings of technology, an almost exclusively human trait. The idea of using materials in such a way as to benefit daily life or perform task that we, as individuals, are unable to do is a giant step into the unknown. The author discusses tool-making in all its many facets. It is now considered very possible that tool-making contributed to an exapansion of brain possibilities but in fact made us into something different that the surrounding creatures with whom we fought and lived.
The idea of artificial means toward an end catapulted mankind and gave us control of our surroundings. No longer were large beasts from out of our grasp. The type and variation of the various stone blades is mind-boggling but the interpretation is just about as creative. The sharing of this technology with other humans started a process of spreading knowledge that has continued up to this day.
The author's hands-on experience was also an additional aid to her findings. She is in no sense an "ivory towered" scholar but actively explores and examines the subjects in her book. Best of all are her conjectures concerning the origins and more importantly, the "why" of technology.
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