Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Technology

Tools, tool-making techniques, products, and knowledge of how to use them. This includes everything from simple tools such as Oldowan tools or chimpanzee termite sticks to the complex technology of the modern world such as computers and lasers. Technology enables humans, e.g. the Arctic Inuit, to occupy environments to which they are not fully evolutionarily adapted. Technology is the cultural means and agency through which human societies cope with and transform the immediate material environments. According to Mumford’s 1934 scheme, humans have experienced an eotechnic phase, a paleotechnic phase, and some societies are currently in a neotechnic phase.

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