Karenleigh A. Overmann (School of Archaeology)
The prehistory of number: Cognitive archaeology and Material Engagement Theory
A neurological account of the interaction of fingers, numbers, and material culture was illustrated with examples from extant species. Malafouris’ Material Engagement Theory was applied to counting technologies (bodies and artifacts). The extended mind hypothesis suggests that numeric cognition includes material devices for counting in a way that goes beyond mere causal linkage. Counting technologies have different affordances, which alters their material agency and varies numeric system outcomes. Finally, the enactive significance of material signs was compared to the communicative significance of lexical numbers to suggest that the potential for numeric system elaboration depends, at least in part, on the way in which they differ.
Embodiment and Materiality
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