The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The ecology of social transitions in human evolution

Foley, Robert and Gamble, Clive (2009) The ecology of social transitions in human evolution Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 364, pp. 3267-3279. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0136).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We know that there are fundamental differences between humans and living apes, and also between living humans and their extinct relatives. It is also probably the case that the most significant and divergent of these differences relate to our social behaviour and its underlying cognition, as much as to fundamental differences in physiology, biochemistry or anatomy. In this paper, we first attempt to demarcate what are the principal differences between human and other societies in terms of social structure, organization and relationships, so that we can identify what derived features require explanation. We then consider the evidence of the archaeological and fossil record, to determine the most probable context in time and taxonomy, of these evolutionary trends. Finally, we attempt to link five major transitional points in hominin evolution to the selective context in which they occurred, and to use the principles of behavioural ecology to understand their ecological basis. Critical changes in human social organization relate to the development of a larger scale of fission and fusion; the development of a greater degree of nested substructures within the human community; and the development of intercommunity networks. The underlying model that we develop is that the evolution of ‘human society’ is underpinned by ecological factors, but these are influenced as much by technological and behavioural innovations as external environmental change

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: November 2009
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 336345
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/336345
ISSN: 0962-8436
PURE UUID: 959c79cf-705c-4e09-95ac-c65717194dec

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Mar 2012 12:30
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:08

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Robert Foley
Author: Clive Gamble

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×