a1 Institut Universitari d'Arqueologia i Estudis del Món Antic Universitat Rovira i Virgili c. Comte de Rius, 2 43003 Tarragona Spain
This article reviews the evidence for planning behaviour in Middle Pleistocene hominids. It documents the way in which raw material procurement and tool production were structured during the Middle Pleistocene occupations of the Spanish sites of Sierra de Atapuerca, Torralba, Ambrona and Aridos. Differences in the use of raw materials for different kinds of tool or end-product allow inferences to be drawn about pre-Neanderthal intentionality and cognitive ability. The overall pattern of technological behaviour demonstrated by this study is far removed from the purely ‘opportunistic’ and can reasonably be described as involving both forethought and planning. The work is presented from a techno-economic perspective based on the differential use of raw material types present in the lithic assemblages of these sites, and the proximity of sources of these raw materials in the surrounding landscape.