Adaptive Lessons from Ancient Technologies and Cultures

  • Cameron M. SmithEmail author
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)


We have seen a wide range of humanity’s adaptive tools, from biology to behavior. A significant aspect of that behavior is the making and using tools—technology—as our adaptations. The field of archaeology has over a hundred years’ history of investigating these tools, from chipped stones to the finest metalwork. The archaeological record, then, shows us material adaptations of our species for some millions of years, and we may examine that record for lessons useful to the project of permanent space settlement. We can also learn quite a bit about how our ancestors arranged themselves, socially, demographically, and culturally, as adaptively-successful (most of the time) large, bipedal primates originating in Africa but in the last 100,000 years adapting to nearly every Earth biome. Many lessons here will be of great value to those planning space settlement, as it is our ancestors who carried out humanity’s greatest project to date, becoming numerous, global and diverse.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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