This publication is a reflection of the fifth international meeting of Commission 27 on the Settlement Dynamics of the Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age of the International Union of Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences, more commonly known after its French acronym as the UISPP. The meeting took place in June 2010 in Les Eyzies as part of the annual meeting of the Societé de Préhistoire Francaise, which was held in Bordeaux and Les Eyzies.
As with the earlier volumes in this series, these papers show that people of the Middle Stone Age and Middle Paleolithic found numerous and often heterogeneous solutions to the problems they faced, and that older ideas that late archaic hominins or contemporaneous early modern hominins were locked into highly repetitive and invariable sets of adaptations are, on the whole, wrong. Instead we see in both the Middle Stone Age and Middle Paleolithic much technological and cultural variation over long and short periods of time and on different spatial and demographic scales.
As a whole the volume addresses many ways that archaeologists are moving more and more toward a less schematic and instead a more specific and thus more heterogeneous understanding of the phase of human history in which people in various ways moved toward a way of life that was in nearly all respects comparable to that of sub-recent hunters and gatherers. This path toward what is often called behavior modernity likely reflects a mosaic process of population movements, the exchange of ideas and interbreeding within all the regions under study.