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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 018
Is material culture variation in New Guinea the result of phylogenesis or ethnogenesis?

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

PROJECT FUNDING: PI

PROJECT ABSTRACT:
The mode of transmission of cultural traits in Papua New Guinea is highly controversial, with researchers reaching opposing conclusions from the same set of data. The starting point for this project is that the controversy is most likely a consequence of the fact that the researchers involved have relied exclusively on phenetic methods of phylogenetic reconstruction. These techniques have been abandoned in evolutionary biology, in part because they often produced contradictory result. We intend to shed new light on the debate by re-analysing the data set with the methods of phylogenetic reconstruction that are now favoured in evolutionary biology. These methods are known collectively as ‘cladistics’.



ASSOCIATED PUBLICATIONS:
Shennan, S.J. and M. Collard (2005).
Investigating processes of cultural evolution on the North Coast of New Guinea with multivariate and cladistic analyses. In: Mace, R., Holden, C. J. & Shennan, S. J. (eds.) (ed\s) The Evolution of Cultural Diversity: A Phylogenetic Approach. UCL Press: London. 133-164.

CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION:
2003 SAA Conference in Milwaukee