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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>

   
Page Title - projects
Phase 1: Cultural innovation and transmission: Project 011
How do subsistence skills evolve?

SUPERVISOR: - Stephen Shennan

Fiona Coward (Institute of Archaeology, University College London)

PROJECT FUNDING: 50% PDRA

PROJECT ABSTRACT:
This project is directly analogous to Project 08 but will examine subsistence skills rather than craft production skills. Once again, the ethnographic data collection will lead to the development of specific models of the factors affecting the acquisition and modification of subsistence skills. These will be tested by the subsequent statistical analyses, assessing the roles of adaptation, diffusion and linguistic and genetic distance. In this case we anticipate that there will be far more evidence of adaptive convergence between different lineages and that practices will tend to be optimal solutions to adaptive problems. The application of methods enabling the dissection of the different factors involved in subsistence variation will provide results with great implications for archaeological studies of subsistence change, while comparison with the results of the craft skills project will provide a new basis for understanding why different aspects of culture and subsistence practices do or do not change in step with one another.