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Anthropology quotes

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If we allot 25,000 of this to the Mousterian, we have left 75,000 for the continuous Chellean-Acheulian bifacial-core tradition. This is a long time…a dozen times longer than the whole of documented, authentically datable human history. And what do we know to have happened in this time? Essentially just one thing: the improvements from roughed Chellean core flints to evener, symmetrical Aucheulian ones. That is, the technological tradition remained basically unchanged: it stood still except for some degree of refinement of finish. That is sure a tremendous lot of cultural stationariness to have lasted so long, in comparison with the changeability that characterized later prehistory and all history…. Even 4,000 years without basic change in methods of human living is really wholly beyond our experience to conceive. Perhaps once we get beyond comparable historical experience, we are lost anyhow, as critical minds, and we might as well trust to faith in an authority that claims a lot as in one that claims less. (Alfred L. Kroeber, Anthropology; New York Harcourt, Brace and Co., p. 654. Emphasis added. [1]
On the surface, the voluminous literature on the MHO [modern human origins] debate paints a picture of informed and sophisticated interdisciplinary research in which data are absorbed and digested, arguments assimilated, and methodologies understood, compared, and evaluated. I suggest, however, that this is a gross oversimplification of a much more complex reality. We are, in effect, consumers of one another’s research conclusions, but we select among alternative sets of research conclusions in accordance with our biases and preconceptions. (G.A. Clark, (1999), "Highly Visible, Curiously Intangible," Science, 283:2029-2032, March 26., emphasis added) [2]

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