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Welcome to the eSYMb project!

About the project

The eSYMb project aims to establish a novel integrative framework for the investigation of early symbolic evolution, using records from archaeology in behavioural experimental investigations and computational modelling. Starting from the assumption that symbolic artefacts evolve adaptively over time to better fulfil their intended symbolic functions, the project investigates structural changes to symbolic artefacts and their cognitive implications to inform inferences about their past use. The project will thus establish transparent, data-driven methods and criteria to test concrete hypotheses about early human symbolic behaviour from archaeological sites across the world, focussing on the later part of human evolution (~150.000–12.000 years ago) based on measures critical to symbolic cognition and behaviour. Read more about the project here.


The eSYMb project is constantly expanding its portfolio of ongoing sub-projects. Check out recent developments by visiting the project page.   

Contact us

Kristian Tylén

Professor School of Communication and Culture - Cognitive Science