Anthropology: Current and Future Developments

Volume: 1

The First Mariners

This volume summarizes the history and findings of the First Mariners Project, which the author, Robert G. Bednarik, commenced in 1996 in order to explore the Ice Age origins of seafaring. This is ...
[view complete introduction]

US $

*(Excluding Mailing and Handling)

Primitive Archaeology

Pp. 300-331 (32)

Robert G. Bednarik


This chapter begins with a discussion of reasonableness in archaeological interpretation, which is shown to be of an arbitrary nature. The effects of taphonomic logic are scrutinized, and the task of metamorphology is outlined. Another perspective, derived from complex systems science, also indicates that the sophistication of early human culture should be assumed to have been underestimated. This tendency of underrating the ancients, in combination with the “African Eve” hypothesis, accounts for the reluctance of accepting the Pleistocene seafaring ability. It is emphasized by the inability of archaeology to consider the probably more developed and sedentary half of Pleistocene humanity, the coastal populations, because it totally lacks any knowledge about them. Finally, in examining philosophy of science, the roles of sensory perception and language in the creation of human constructs of reality is reviewed.


Archaeological interpretation, taphonomic logic, metamorphology, hegemonic narrative, complex systems science, Pleistocene seafaring, philosophy of science, sensory perception.


International Federation of Rock Art Organisations (IFRAO) PO Box 216 Caulfield, South Melbourne,VIC 3162, Australia.