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Evolution in Archaeology

Shennan, SJ; (2008) Evolution in Archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology , 37 pp. 75-91. 10.1146/annurev.anthro.37.081407.085153. Green open access

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Abstract

This review begins with a brief outline of the key concepts of Darwinian archaeology. Its history is then summarized, beginning with its emergence as a significant theoretical focus within the discipline in the early 1980s; its main present-day currents are then presented, citing examples of recent work. The developments in archaeology are part of broader trends in anthropology and psychology and are characterized by the same theoretical disagreements. There are two distinct research traditions: one centered on cultural transmission and dual inheritance theory and the other on human behavioral ecology. The development of specifically archaeological methodologies within these two traditions for testing evolutionary hypotheses relating to diachronic questions using archaeological data is discussed. Finally, this review suggests that the greatest challenge for the future lies in finding ways of using archaeological data to address current major debates in evolutionary social science as a whole concerning, for example, the emergence of largescale cooperation.

Type: Article
Title: Evolution in Archaeology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1146/annurev.anthro.37.081407.085153
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.37.081407...
Language: English
Keywords: Darwinian archaeology, cultural transmission, cultural lineages, dual inheritance theory, human behavioral ecology, optimality modeling
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/15073
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