Prehistoric perspectives on ‘Others’ and ‘Strangers’

Author(s): Anna Belfer-Cohen; Erella Hovers

Year: 2015


A point that we want to emphasize is that "cognitive archaeology" is a catch-all phrase that covers pretty much every aspect of human existence. To truly discuss cognitive archaeology, we need to define the specific areas of interest in each case. Given our position that cognitive capacities as such existed from at least the late Middle Pleistocene, we are interested in questions about evolution of social cognitive constructs. These constructs portray the plasticity of cognitive mechanisms and how they interacted with the changing circumstances that shaped and modified perceptions of self and society through prehistoric time. Here we specifically examine the concepts of ‘others’ and ‘strangers’. While this may be preliminary and rather speculative, we suggest that this issue can be addressed from contextual archaeological data, to the effect that we can trace changes in the perception of social identities.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Prehistoric perspectives on ‘Others’ and ‘Strangers’. Erella Hovers, Anna Belfer-Cohen. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395516)