William Daniel SnyderUniversity of Tuebingen | EKU Tübingen · Institute for Prehistory and Early History and Medieval Archaeology
William Daniel Snyder
PhD student in prehistoric archaeology and anthropology, studying humanity's cultural and biological origins.
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Citations since 2016
13 Research Items
Evolution of human culture and cognition, part of ERC Starting Grant STONECULT Project under supervision by Dr. Claudio Tennie
This preprint is a proceedings paper invited by the Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte (EN. The Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology, and Prehistory) and has been submitted to the publication Mitteilungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte.
Cumulative culture of know-how is a phenomenon unique – among living primates – to modern humans and has been fundamental in the survival and success of Homo sapiens (e.g., ). Cumulative culture is based on the social transmission of know-how information  across individuals, typically via mechanisms like copying, teaching, and language. Over...
One of the key endeavors in prehistoric archaeology is the reconstruction of past behavior. In reconstructing the past behavior (such as stone toolmaking) of extinct hominin species and early modern humans, it is also theoretically possible to gain insights into the cognitive underpinnings (e.g., particular neurocognitive mechanisms, intentions and...
Early stone tool production, or knapping, techniques are claimed to be the earliest evidence for cultural transmission in the human lineage. Previous experimental studies have trained human participants to knap in conditions involving opportunities for cultural transmission. Subsequent knapping was then interpreted as evidence for a necessity of th...
Overview Video games are unparalleled as an interactive medium and can serve as potential educational tools through intelligent game design and the players’ immersion in the game world (e.g., Mayo 2009; Rassalle 2021; Rubio-Campillo 2020; Winter 2021). At the same time, video games, like any media, might also misinform (e.g., Aron 2020; Dennis 2019...
Early stone tools are claimed to be the earliest evidence for the cultural transmission of toolmaking techniques, and with it, cumulative culture. This claim has ostensibly been supported by experimental studies wherein modern humans learned stone tool production (knapping) in conditions that provided opportunities for cultural transmission. Howeve...
The critical examination of current hypotheses is one of the key ways in which scientific fields develop and grow. Therefore, any critique, including Haidle and Schlaudt’s article, “Where Does Cumulative Culture Begin? A Plea for a Sociologically Informed Perspective,” represents a welcome addition to the literature. However, critiques must also be...
Stone tools are a pervasive element of the archaeological record of the human lineage from at least 2.6 Ma until modern times. The replication of prehistoric stone tools in an experimental setting is an important method for gaining insight into the manufacture of the tools themselves and the culture and behavior of their hominin manufacturers. Raw...
Hypothesis testing in experimental archaeology is a valuable tool for improving our understanding of the evolution of human behaviors and culture. By replicating the end-products of hominin behaviors (here, stone tools), we can fine-tune our hypotheses about the processes – biological, neurological, cultural, or otherwise - that led to their manufa...
While culture is widespread in the animal kingdom, human culture has been claimed to be special due to being cumulative. It is currently debated which cognitive abilities support cumulative culture, but behavior copying is one of the main abilities proposed. One important source of contention is the presence or absence of behavior copying in our cl...
The aim of this project is to study toolmaking behaviors and artefactual outcomes of totally naive humans - i.e., in the total absence of copying social learning opportunities.