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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: Ecological dimensions of cultural evolution: Project 003
How does the scale of spatial similarity in culture correlate with population density?

SUPERVISOR: - Stephen Shennan

Peter Jordan (Department of Archaeology, University of Aberdeen )

PROJECT ABSTRACT:
Very little is understood about the factors affecting the scale of archaeological distributions that are not the result of specialised production at a centre. The prevalent assumption is that variations in material culture are associated with the communication of identity in various contexts of social interaction, but this has been questioned. Likewise, whilst some authors have suggested that such distributions tend to be smaller in scale when populations are dense, students of the scale of linguistic distributions have suggested that the opposite is the case. The goal of this project is to assess the extent to which the scale of linguistic and material cultural distributions is related to the scale of socio-political units, to population density and to measures of the scale of interaction between people that affect gene flow, such as mean marriage distances. The research has implications for a number of important archaeological issues, most notably the significance of archaeological cultures, including their role as indictors of areas of identity communication, the relationship between material culture distributions and linguistic distributions, and the relationship between the material culture distributions and past gene flow patterns.



ASSOCIATED PUBLICATIONS:
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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
pro6_zip_basketry.zip »