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Karenleigh A. Overmann

Karenleigh A. Overmann is a research fellow at the University of Bergen, Norway, funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. She earned a doctorate in archaeology from the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar. She has a master’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s in anthropology, philosophy, and English from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she was a founding member of the Center for Cognitive Archaeology. Drawing on Malafouris’ Material Engagement Theory as her theoretical framework, she views cognition as embodied, embedded, extended, enacted, and evolving (5E). She investigates how societies become numerate and literate by using and modifying material forms over generations of collaborative effort, the effect this elaborational mechanism has on conceptual content, how material forms become increasingly refined to elicit specific behavioral and psychological responses, and what this might augur about the future of human cognition. She has also written on human cognitive evolution, how Neandertal cognition differed from that of our ancestors, and the literary works of Jane Austen.

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Picture of The material origin of numbers

The material origin of numbers

Insights from the archaeology of the Ancient Near East
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0743-4
The Material Origin of Numbers examines how number concepts are realized, represented, manipulated, and elaborated. Utilizing the cognitive archaeological framework of Material Engagement Theory and culling data from disciplines including neuroscience, ethnography, linguistics, and archaeology, Overmann offers a methodologically rich study of numbers and number concepts in the ancient Near East from the late Upper Paleolithic Period through the Bronze Age.