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Darwinian Archaeologies

An Introductory Essay
  • Herbert D. G. Maschner
  • Steven Mithen
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

Abstract

The significance of evolutionary theory for archaeology is fiercely debated: one does not entitle a theory or interpretation, let alone a book, as “Darwinian” without inviting controversy. For many archaeologists the word Darwinism implies a denial of our humanity and free will and is thought to support a pernicious political agenda by legitimizing selfish individualism. For others, the word invokes quite different ideas: it suggests an attempt to view ourselves as part of, rather than separate from, the natural world with the many positive political, social, and economic implications that would follow. Others remain unmoved. They simply feel that any reference to biological evolution is irrelevant to the explanation of human behavior and culture change. In short, there is much controversy and little agreement.

Keywords

Evolutionary Theory Biological Evolution Social Strategy Northwest Coast Cultural Selectionism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert D. G. Maschner
    • 1
  • Steven Mithen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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