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What is the CECD? 
The CECD is an AHRC funded research group dedicated to examining the evolutionary underpinnings of human cultural behaviour, past and present. more>

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Principal Investigator Profile
Prof Stephen Shennan
Professor of Theoretical Archaeology; Director, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

31-34 Gordon Sq.
Tel: +44 20 7679 1493
Fax: +44 20 7383 2572

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Research and Teaching interests
Application of biological evolutionary theory and methods to archaeology, prehistoric demography, ethnicity, prehistoric social and economic insitutions
Educational Background
MA University of Cambridge
PhD University of Cambridge
Associated Links:

Associated AHRC CECD Projects (Phase 2):
Project A002
Lactose tolerance and population expansion in prehistoric Europe
Project B003
The Evolution of Cultural Diversity in Iranian Tribal Populations: Core Traditions or Multiple Lineages?
Project B006
Comparative Tupi project
Project C001
Polity and pottery: innovation and evolution
Project C006
The origin and spread of Neolithic animal economies
Project C010
Measuring Cultural Selection
Project X001
The Role of Innovation in the Evolution of Cultural Systems: Contributions from Evolutionary Anthropology

Associated Continuing AHRC CEACB Projects (Phase 1):
Project 034
Minds in Prehistory: Conceptual Issues in the Archaeology and Evolution of Mind
Project 041
Art and Constant Change: An Analysis of Two Case Studies
Project 042
Prestige and the origins of social inequality

Associated AHRC CEACB Projects (Phase 1):
Project 037
Archaeology and Language: the origin and dispersal of Tupi speakers in lowland South America
Project 015
Do new cultural assemblages arise primarily through phylogenesis or ethnogenesis?
Project 016
To what extent is culture vulnerable to phylogeny-obscuring change?
Project 018
Is material culture variation in New Guinea the result of phylogenesis or ethnogenesis?

Associated Publications - AHRC CECD - phase 2:
J. Steele and S. Shennan (eds.) (2009).
Special theme Issue: Demography and Cultural Macroevolution.Human Biology. J. Steele and S. Shennan (eds.). Human Biology.
Jordan P. and S.J. Shennan (2009).
Diversity in Hunter-Gatherer Technological Traditions: Mapping Trajectories of Cultural 'Descent with Modification' in Northeast California.Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. Vol 28 (3). 342-65.
M. O'Brien and S. Shennan (eds.) (2009).
Innovation in cultural systems: contributions from evolutionary anthropology.Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology. MIT Press, Cambridge, US.
Shennan, S.J. and K. Edinborough (2007).
Prehistoric population history: from the Late Glacial to the Late Neolithic in Central and Northern Europe.Journal of Archaeological Science. Vol 34. 1339-1345.
Shennan, S.J (2007).
Evolutionary perspectives in archaeology: from culture history to cultural evolution.R. Dunbar & L. Barrett (eds.). Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 587-597.
Shennan, S.J (2007).
The spread of farming into Central Europe and its consequences: evolutionary models.T. Kohler & S.E. van der Leeuw (eds.). The Model-Based Archaeology of Socionatural Systems. Santa Fe NM: SAR Press. 141-156.
Shennan, S.J (2006).
From cultural history to cultural evolution: an archaeological perspective on social information transmission.J.C.K. Wells, S. Strickland & K. Laland (eds.). Social Information Transmission and Human Biology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. 173-190.
Associated Publications - AHRC CEACB - phase 1:
Collard, M., S.J. Shennan and J. Tehrani (2006).
Branching, blending and the evolution of cultural similarities and differences among human populations.Evolution and Human Behavior. Vol 27. 169-184.
Collard, M., S.J. Shennanand J. Tehrani (2005).
Branching versus blending in macroscale cultural evolution: a comparative study.Lipo, C.P., M.J. O'Brien, M. Collard & S.J. Shennan (eds.). Mapping Our Ancestors: Phylogenetic Methods in Anthropology and Prehistory. Aldine Transaction: Hawthorne, NY. 53-65.
Jordan, P. and Shennan, S (2005).
Cultural Transmission in Indigenous California.Mace, R., Holden, C. J. & Shennan, S. J. (eds.). The Evolution of Cultural Diversity: A Phylogenetic Approach. UCL Press: London. 165-198.
M. Collard, M.J. O'Brien, S.J. Shennan and Lipo, C.P. (eds.) (2005).
Mapping Our Ancestors: Phylogenetic Methods in Anthropology and Prehistory.Aldine Transaction, Piscataway, US.
Shennan, S.J. and M. Collard (2005).
Investigating processes of cultural evolution on the North Coast of New Guinea with multivariate and cladistic analyses.Mace, R., Holden, C. J. & Shennan, S. J. (eds.). The Evolution of Cultural Diversity: A Phylogenetic Approach. UCL Press: London. 133-164.
Lipo, C.P., M.J. O'Brien, M. Collard and S.J. Shennan (2005).
Cultural phylogenies and explanation: why historical methods matter.Lipo, C.P., M.J. O'Brien, M. Collard & S.J. Shennan (eds.). Mapping Our Ancestors: Phylogenetic Methods in Anthropology and Prehistory. Aldine Transaction: Hawthorne, NY. 3-18.
Bentley, R. A., M.W. Hahn and S. J. Shennan (2004).
Random drift and culture change.Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Vol 271. 1443-1450.
Colledge, S., J. Conolly and S.J. Shennan (2004).
Comparative analysis of archaeobotanical assemblages from Aceramic Neolithic sites in the eastern Mediterranean: Implications for the routes and timings of early agricultural expansion.Current Anthropology. Vol 45. S35-S58.
Steele, J., M. Gkiasta and S. Shennan (2004).
The Neolithic transition and European population history - a response.Antiquity. Vol 78. 711-713.
Bentley, R.A. and S. Shennan (2003).
Cultural evolution and stochastic network growth.American Antiquity. Vol 68. 459-485.
Jordan, P. and S.J. Shennan (2003).
Cultural transmission, language and basketry traditions amongst the California Indians.Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. Vol 22. 42-74.
Gkiasta,M., T Russell, S Shennan, J Steele (2003).
Neolithic transition in Europe: the radiocarbon record revisited.Antiquity. Vol 77. 45-62.
Shennan, S.J (2002).
Archaeology evolving: history, adaptation and self-organization.Antiquity. Vol 76. 253-6.
Shennan, S.J (2002).
Learning.J. Hart & J. Terrell. Darwin and Archaeology: A Handbook of Key Concepts. Westport, Connecticut: Bergin and Garvey. 182-200.
Shennan, S.J (2002).
Genes, Memes and Human History: Darwinian Archaeology and Cultural Evolution.London:Thames and Hudson.
Shennan, S.J (ed) (2002).
Archaeology and Evolutionary Ecology.World Archaeology. Vol 34. 1.
Shennan, S.J. and J.R. Wilkinson (2001).
Ceramic style change and neutral evolution: A case study from Neolithic Europe (with JR Wilkinson).American Antiquity. Vol 66 (4). 577-593.