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Lecture / talk Arctic Research Centre Speech

Knud Rasmussen Lecture

with Professor Peter Jordan, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen

Info about event


Wednesday 3 June 2015,  at 09:00 - 11:45


Moesgaard Museum, Moesgaard Allé 15, 8270 Højbjerg, Seminar Room 301 (enter via the staff door on the back of the museum)


Associate Professor Felix Riede
Photo: Peter Jordan





Social Learning, Technology and Cultural Diversity in Northwest Siberia

Peter Jordan, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen




Investigating the co-evolution of cultural traditions on the Pacific northwest coast of North America

Sean O’Neill, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University


Evolutionary Archaeology & Cultural Phylogenetics of the Arctic North: Adaptation, Continuity, and Culture Change, Two Case Studies from North American Arctic Prehistory

Matthew J. Walsh, Department of Anthropology, University of Montana




It will be possible to purchase lunch in the museum café after the seminar; with prior registration to f.riede@cas.au.dk, free entry to Moesgård Museum can also be arranged.


Peter Jordan, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

Social Learning, Technology and Cultural Diversity in Northwest Siberia

Humans are a unique species in relying so heavily on social learning to maintain the knowledge and skills that enable them to thrive in diverse ecological settings. This talk focuses on indigenous hunter-gatherer communities in Northwest Siberia, and examines how local communities employ diverse technologies as part of their cultural adaptations to the sub Arctic ecosystems. It will be argued that the the technology and material culture that they employ are best understood as an expression of social tradition, and will explore how crafting traditions are acquired, adjusted and maintained over human life-spans, investigating how these generate enduring patterns of cultural and linguistic diversity in the region.  More generally, the talk consider how different kinds of material culture tradition are propagated through social learning, factors that promote coherent lineages of tradition to form, and the extent to which these cultural lineages exhibit congruence with one another and with language history.