Cognitive Archaeology


Cognitive Archaeology Information and Resources

Cognitive Archaeology

A very warm welcome to the Cognitive Archaeology section of All-About-Psychology.Com. The information and resources relating to this fascinating discipline comes courtesy of the Center for Cognitive Archaeology (CCA) at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS).

What is Cognitive Archaeology?

Cognitive archaeology is a truly interdisciplinary field that applies the theories and methods of several academic domains - cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, archaeology, linguistics and the philosophy of mind/consciousness - in order to explore the evolutionary development of cognition in humans and other primates.

Cognitive archaeology studies the origins and adaptive purposes of such cognitive processes and capabilities as concept formation, spatial cognition, social cognition, language, symbolic structures, and working memory.


FALL 2015

Introducing four outstanding courses available for registration from the Center for Cognitive Archaeology, designed and delivered by world authorities in the field. 

(Deadline To Register: September 10, 2015)


The purpose of this course is to understand the evolution of two uniquely human qualities: ritual and religion. The course employs a highly inter-disciplinary approach using archeology, anthropology, primatology, and cognitive science to define what ritual and religion are and to explore the role they have played in making us human.


This course examines the evolution of human cognition using evidence from neuropsychology and archaeology. Traditionally, these two fields of study have shared little in the way of theory or methods, yet both provide crucial pieces to the puzzle of human cognitive evolution.


This course introduces topics and issues regarding the evolution of both primate and fossil hominid endocranial anatomy.


This course covers some of the recent empirical and philosophical work on consciousness and investigates questions such as: What is consciousness? Are there distinct kinds of consciousness? What are their distinguishing characteristics? Are there neural correlates of consciousness? Is consciousness an emergent field property of distributed neural networks?

Want To Enroll or Have Questions?


Brian Glach Program Director, Extended Studies, UCCS.


Dr. Thomas Wynn Director, UCCS Center for Cognitive Archaeology.


Learn About Cognitive Archaeology

Fire And The Evolution of The Human Mind

CLICK HERE To read about new evidence which suggests that fire may have influenced the evolution of the human mind.

Coming Soon!

A series of expert interviews with the world's leading Cognitive Archaeology academics and researchers.

Essential Reading

How To Think Like A Neandertal

Book Description

In How to Think Like a Neandertal, archaeologist Thomas Wynn and psychologist Frederick L. Coolidge team up to provide a brilliant account of the mental life of Neandertals, drawing on the most recent fossil and archaeological remains. Indeed, some Neandertal remains are not fossilized, allowing scientists to recover samples of their genes - one specimen had the gene for red hair and, more provocatively, all had a gene called FOXP2, which is thought to be related to speech. 

Given the differences between their faces and ours, their voices probably sounded a bit different, and the range of consonants and vowels they could generate might have been different. But they could talk, and they had a large (perhaps huge) vocabulary - words for places, routes, techniques, individuals, and emotions. Extensive archaeological remains of stone tools and living sites (and, yes, they did often live in caves) indicate that Neandertals relied on complex technical procedures and spent most of their lives in small family groups. The authors sift the evidence that Neandertals had a symbolic culture - looking at their treatment of corpses, the use of fire, and possible body coloring--and conclude that they probably did not have a sense of the supernatural. The book explores the brutal nature of their lives, especially in northwestern Europe, where men and women with spears hunted together for mammoths and wooly rhinoceroses. They were pain tolerant, very likely taciturn, and not easy to excite. 

Wynn and Coolidge offer here an eye-opening portrait of Neandertals, painting a remarkable picture of these long-vanished people and providing insight, as they go along, into our own minds and culture.

See following link for full details:

How To Think Like a Neandertal

UK Visitors Click Here

Back To Top Of The Page

Go From Cognitive Archaeology Back To The Home Page


New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.