By Ruth Mace, Clare J Holden, Stephen Shennan
Nearly all points of human habit exhibit huge, immense edition either inside and among cultural teams, together with fabric tradition, social association and language. millions of distinctive cultural teams exist: approximately 6,000 languages are spoken this present day, and it truly is concept some distance higher variety of languages existed some time past yet grew to become extinct. utilizing a Darwinian strategy, this publication seeks to provide an explanation for this wealthy cultural edition. there are many theoretical purposes to think that cultural diversification will be tree-like, that's phylogenetic: fabric and non-material tradition is obviously inherited through descendants, there's descent with amendment, and languages seem to be hierarchically similar. There also are a few theoretical purposes to think that cultural evolution isn't tree-like: cultural inheritance isn't really Mendelian and will certainly be vertical, horizontal or indirect, facts of borrowing abounds, cultures will not be unavoidably organic populations and will be brief and complicated. right here, for the 1st time, this name tackles those questions of cultural evolution empirically and quantitatively, utilizing more than a few case reviews from Africa, the Pacific, Europe, Asia and the United States. various robust theoretical instruments built in evolutionary biology is used to check specific hypotheses approximately old styles and adaptive features in cultural evolution. facts is accumulated from archaeological, linguist and cultural datasets, from either contemporary and old or pre-historical time classes. A unifying subject matter is that the phylogenetic technique is an invaluable and robust framework, either for describing the evolutionary historical past of those qualities, and likewise for checking out adaptive hypotheses approximately their evolution and co-evolution. participants comprise archaeologists, anthropologists, evolutionary biologists and linguists, and this ebook can be of serious curiosity to all these serious about those parts.