Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News

BRADSHAW FOUNDATION - LATEST NEWS

 

Evolution of complex human culture

05 Apr 2016
Share on Facebook

An article on phys.org - Population size fails to explain evolution of complex culture - reports that despite the growing consensus among archaeologists and anthropologists that the size of a population determines its ability to develop as well as to maintain complex culture, this view is severely compromised by a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The Lion Man sculpture from the Stadel Cave, Germany, carved out of mammoth ivory, is now believed to be 40,000 years old based on carbon dating material from the same layer in which the sculpture was found. It is from the Aurignacian culture. It was carved using a flint knives, burins and scrapers. Some argue that this sculpture, and others like it, represents the dawn of human behavioural modernity.

Ice Age sculptures

Ice Age sculptures (left to right): Lion Man, Vogelherd Horse & Lespugue figurine.

Archaeologists observe a fairly sudden appearance of behavioural modernity, such as complex technologies, abstract and realistic art and musical instruments, some 40,000 years ago, in the Later Stone Age. For decades archeologists and antropologists have searched for a scientific explanation for these and other 'cultural revolutions'. In so doing, it may find the origin of human culture. For some 10 years the predominant theory suggested the driving factor was growing population numbers.

Why? Logically, the bigger the population, the higher the probability it contains an 'Einstein'; unique, original and epiphanous thoughts and ideas that produce quantifiable and ameliorating results. Hence, bigger populations are more likely to develop complex culture. 

Not so, argues the recently published paper. The research team includes technology philosopher Krist Vaesen from Eindhoven University of Technology (working in the Philosopy & Ethics group of the faculty Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences), along with archaeologists from Simon Fraser University, La Trobe University and Leiden University. They refute this demography hypothesis with a growing body of ethnographic evidence.

 
Article continues below
 

The critical flaws of the model supporting a relationship between population size and cultural complexity? A critical analysis of the available archaeological evidence suggests that there are simply no data to infer that behavioural modernity emerged in a period of population growth or that the size of a population directly influences the rate of innovation in a society's technological repertoire.

Too simplistic? Yes, according to the team - for the evolution of complex culture, no satisfying answer is available yet; the question of the emergence of complex culture remains as elusive as ever.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Provided by: Eindhoven University of Technology

View the ORIGINS section:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/origins/index.php

Visit the Ice Age Sculpture Gallery:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/sculpture/index.php

Sculptures available in the iShop:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/ishop/sculpture.php

COMMENTS

 
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
FACEBOOK UPDATES
** Like Page below to receive our articles on Facebook **
LATEST NEWS ARTICLES
 
LATEST ROCK ART
LATEST CAVE PAINTINGS
LATEST PALEOANTHROPOLOGY
LATEST ARCHAEOLOGY
LATEST ANTHROPOLOGY
LATEST WORLD HERITAGE
Bradshaw FoundationAboutiShopBook ReviewSite MapMailing ListDonateFacebookTwitterContact
If you have enjoyed visiting this section of the website please consider adding a link
Bradshaw Foundation © MMXI
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Baja California Film Coso Range Talking Stone Film Nevada Oregon Territory Moab, Utah Clovis First Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Introduction Peterborough Petroglyphs Western Canadian Rock Art Writing-On-Stone Wuikinuxv Territory Dinosaur Provincial Park Archive Index Huashan Rock Art Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Rouffignac Cave Portable Art Defining Rock Art Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Scandinavian Rock Art Archive Scandinavian Introduction Alta Rock Art Norway Rock Art in Finland Tanum Rock Art Sweden Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation