Learning Among Neanderthals and Palaeolithic Modern Humans

Archaeological Evidence

  • Yoshihiro Nishiaki
  • Olaf Jöris

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Cognitive Backgrounds for Learning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Naoki Miura, Yukako Sasaki, Kunihiro Hasegawa, Hiroki C. Tanabe
      Pages 9-21
    3. Thomas Wynn, Frederick L. Coolidge
      Pages 23-34
  3. Processes of Palaeolithic Learning

  4. Socio-cultural Backgrounds for Learning

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 213-218

About this book


This book is based on the research performed for the Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Project. The central issue of the project is the investigation of possible differences between the two populations in cognitive ability for learning. The project aims to evaluate a unique working hypothesis, coined as the learning hypothesis, which postulates that differences in learning eventually resulted in the replacement of those populations. 
The book deals with relevant archaeological records to understand the learning behaviours of Neanderthals and modern humans. Learning behaviours are conditioned by numerous factors including not only cognitive ability but also cultural traditions, social structure, population size, and life history. The book addresses the issues in two parts, comparing learning behaviours in terms of cognitive ability and social environments, respectively. Collectively, it provides new insights into the behavioural characteristics of Neanderthals and modern humans from a previously overlooked perspective. Furthermore, it highlights the significance of understanding learning in prehistory, the driving force for any development of culture and technology among human society.


Neanderthals Modern humans Middle and Upper Palaeolithic archeology Learning behaviour Lithic technology Cognitive ability Social environment

Editors and affiliations

  • Yoshihiro Nishiaki
    • 1
  • Olaf Jöris
    • 2
  1. 1.The University MuseumThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.MONREPOS Archaeological Research Center and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution, Schloss MonreposNeuwiedGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-981-13-8979-5
  • Online ISBN 978-981-13-8980-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2365-063X
  • Series Online ISSN 2365-0648
  • Buy this book on publisher's site