Pattern recognition of universal mathematical constants in Acheulean biface formats
The similar design formats of many Acheulean bifaces has prompted several studies into the use of ‘mental templates’, leading to controversial claims that there may be a relation between length and width equal to the Golden Ratio. To avoid subjectivity, these studies have used aggregate data from assemblages that, by definition, mask the individuality of each tool, its material, any retouching and the original imposed design. Visual pattern recognition is widely used in psychological research and some branches of engineering and a similar technique is presented to highlight the formats of two samples of the Boxgrove assemblage (one random) and examine the presence of universal mathematical constants. A probabilistic analysis suggests that the repeated use of the numbers 2, Pi and Phi and the relationship between them could not have been produced by chance. These relationships appear to be constant over very long time periods and are still used today in modern gemstone design.
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