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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 diversification: Project 016
To what extent is culture vulnerable to phylogeny-obscuring change?

Mark Collard (Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University)
Stephen Shennan (Institute of Archaeology, University College London)

PROJECT FUNDING: Grant

PROJECT ABSTRACT:
Phylogeny-obscuring change or ‘homoplasy’ is increasingly being recognised as a major problem in evolutionary biology. This project will investigate homoplasy in cultural data with a view to establishing whether such data are more prone to homoplasy than genes and morphology, as the ethnogenetic hypothesis predicts. It will also examine how different types of cultural data (e.g. pottery, house-form, linguistic) compare regarding their susceptibility to homoplastic change. The project will involve (1) cladistic analysis of material culture, linguistic, genetic and morphological data, many of which will have been collected in other Centre-supported projects and (2) comparison of homoplasy indices.

If you are an interested graduate or prospective graduate student and would potentially like to work on this project, please contact Dr. Mark Collard.



ASSOCIATED PUBLICATIONS:
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. In: Lipo, C.P., M.J. O'Brien, M. Collard & S.J. Shennan (eds.) (ed\s) Mapping Our Ancestors: Phylogenetic Methods in Anthropology and Prehistory. Aldine Transaction: Hawthorne, NY. 53-65.