Review on Africanist Archaeology and Ancient IQ: Racial Science and Cultural Evolution in the Twenty-First Century

This article is a research work on African Archaeology and Ancient IQ by Scott MacEachern, an associate professor of anthropology at Bowdoin College. Regarding Scott’s primary research interests, he investigates the connection between human evolution in Africa and assertions that the continent has low average IQ scores. Philippe Rushton and other psychometric researchers’ theories on human evolutionary growth and how this led to cognitive variations among different races around the world are investigated in relation to the topic at hand. This research paper states that anthropological reaction against the race concept has been under consideration especially after the Second World War so as to explain the reasons for the disparity in health, prosperity, peace as well as well as measures of social well-being across the continents.

According to the research paper, the elements of theories of Philippe Rushton that have been used to answer the question on race and evolution are referred to. This includes, first putting together a large amount of material on the differences in physical, behavior and social between the groups. The research paper is concluded by asserting Rushton claims of racial differences being able to be demonstrated by use of archaeology. However, Scott says that archaeological data on the history of African culture can be compared to other regions in terms of evident sophistication whereby the African populations have met physical and social challenges in their environments rather than on lockstep evolutionary schema. Clearly, the article indicates that there is no evidence from archaeology of the behavioral and cognitive disparities of African populations with the other races.

This research paper under critical evaluation in relation to zoo-archaeological concepts brings our attention to the question of how culture, such as technologies and behavior as our case in this paper associated with the diet as well as the faunal remains collected could be drawn to conclude that they are related to racial cognitive differences.

Archaeological research on the paper involves collection of sophisticated bone harpoon points that according to the research was used as composite weapons. These remains have mainly been from the African continent. Others highlighted include engraved bone and ochre, perforated beads and worked bone tools. Zoo-archaeological understanding of the use of these remains gives an association of the cognitive abilities of the population at that time. The figurative arts and tools indicate continual development of behavioral modernity and development in the given population in which the research paper could draw conclusions on the question under study.

Evolutionary history of these populations as per the collected remains are stated to define patterned differences in intelligence, propensity to violence and planning abilities of people from the different descents that is either European, African, Asian, Native American and Aboriginal descents. Zoo-archaeology is based on the study of evolution in which Scott’s study put in line the evolutionary history of the African continent and the others to be the determinant of the developments in each of the continents.

The dating methods discussed by Scott in his research to be able to draw his conclusions has an aspect on association dating. The third element in Ruston’s’ theories in the study uses this whereby the component of ancestors of modern humans is said to have evolved in particular environments thus holding that intellectual development was affected by the same.

Scott relates to another element of Philippine Rushton on the accounting of the biological basis of the data by hypothesizing on the racial groups having been under natural selection pressures over the periods of evolution. The human evolution hereby is said to be by r-selection .The r-/K-selection schema is used in testing this hypothesis. This selection ensures engagement of the concept presented and archaeology. This selection schema was initially used to compare reproductive strategies of different species which brings in the concept of biometric methods in zoo-archaeology.

This research paper draws conclusion from the study of psychologists rather than from archaeological evidences despite concepts being used from archaeology and physical anthropology works. The archaeological data available to be used in the study should be improved and clearly interpreted as per each continent so as to determine the validity of the question studied in the paper. This will include marshal evidence of African populations of their cultural progress by clear interpretation of remains and tools collected in respect to cognitive abilities that lead to making of these archaeological tools. The technologically sophisticated artefacts should be collected and with proper dating put in order for accurate indication of persistent material culture development. This is essential in comparison of the different descents in the study.


Scott MacEarchern: Africanist and Ancient IQ: Racial Science and Cultural Evolution in the Twenty-First Century: Word Archeology, Vol.38, No.1 Race, Racism and Archeology (Mar., 2006), 72-92

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 10%
Total Price:
$10.99 $35.97
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price