Genes, Memes and Human History: Darwinian Archaeology and Cultural Evolution

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Thames & Hudson, 2002 - Science - 304 pages
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Genes, Memes and Human History offers an ambitious blueprint for a new approach to understanding ancient peoples, based on the application of the latest evolutionary ideas. Evolutionary archaeology can answer some important questions; What is the history of human populations? How are cultural traditions maintained and changed over time? Why did people destroy their environments in the past and were they ever conservationists? What led to the emergence of marked social inequalities? Ideas derived from the study of animal behaviour can be applied to human societies, not just through the genes but through what Richard Dawkins has called ‘memes’, units of cultural information, which are passed on in our second inheritance system, culture.

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