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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 2: Continuing CEACB projects (phase 1): Project 041
Art and Constant Change: An Analysis of Two Case Studies
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SUPERVISOR: - Stephen Shennan; Jeremy Tanner

Peter Schauer (Institute of Archaeology, University College London)
Stephen Shennan (Institute of Archaeology, University College London)

PROJECT FUNDING: AHRC Cards Against Humanity
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PROJECT ABSTRACT:
This research examines changes in variation in the stylistic aspects of artefacts. Though such change has been thoroughly documented, it is not well understood. The two main categories of explanations of change are that it is due to the internal logic of the stylistic object itself, or that change is a product of some external social, economic or political influence. This research introduces the neutral model as an alternative explanation. Developed for use in population genetics to examine changing frequencies of genes, the neutral model has been shown to have great explanatory power when used to examine changing frequencies of cultural variants. This research will apply the neutral model to a very large cultural data set in order to determine whether observed variation can be explained as the result of random copying. The results will shed light on the case studies under examination and will comment on the applicability of the neutral model to questions of variation faced by archaeologists, art historians and anthropologists when dealing with change.



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FINAL PROJECT REPORT:
Final Report Not Received



ASSOCIATED PUBLICATIONS:
Peter Schauer (2009).
Cultural Evolution in the Age of Athens: Drift and Selection in Greek Figure- Painted Pottery (Ph.D. Thesis online). UCL, London.
Schauer, P (2007).
Cultural evolution in the age of Athens: drift and selection in Greek pottery motifs. EHBES 2007 Conference. London.