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Evolution of Early Thule Material Culture: Cultural Transmission and Terrestrial Ecology

New publication by Anna Marie Prentiss, Matthew J. Walsh & Thomas A. Foor.


We investigate how evolution proceeds across multiple scales considering culture as species, hierarchically integrated systems, assemblages of many coherent units, and collections of ephemeral entities in order to examine the nature of Early Thule cultural evolution with reference to material culture and adaptive strategies. Results suggest that harpoon heads evolved via cultural trans-mission processes with little impact from terrestrial ecological context. In contrast, characteristics of architectural features, stone tool assemblages, and combined architecture and stone tools displayed evidence for significant effects of both cultural transmission and select measures of ecological context. There is no evidence that evolution was ‘evoked’ by ecological context alone.


Human Ecology doi.org/10.1007/s10745-017-9963-9