Study attributes human uniqueness to hunter-gatherer societiesMarch 11th, 2011 - 12:43 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 11(ANI): A new study by an international team of noted anthropologists, including several from Arizona State University, has linked human uniqueness to hunter-gatherer societies.
Because humans lived as hunter-gatherers for 95 per cent of their species’ history, current foraging societies provide the best window for viewing human social evolution, according to the authors.
The study focused on co-residence patterns among more than 5,000 individuals from 32 present-day foraging societies around the globe, including the Gunwinggu, Labrador Inuit, Mbuti, Apache, Aka, Ache, Agta and Vedda.
The findings revealed that across all groups, adult brothers and sisters frequently live together, making it common for male in-laws to co-reside.
The team also found that it was equally common for males or females to move from or remain with family units.
A major point in the study is that foraging bands contain several individuals completely unconnected by kinship or marriage ties, yet include males with a vested interest in the offspring of daughters, sisters and wives.
This organization mitigates the group hostility frequently seen in other apes and also promotes interaction among residential groups, thereby leading to the development of a large social network.
“The increase in human network size over other primates may explain why humans evolved an emphasis on social learning that results in cultural transmission,” said Professor Kim Hill of ASU.
“Likewise, the unique composition of human ancestral groups promotes cooperation among large groups of non-kin, something extremely rare in nature.”
The study appears in the March 11 edition of the journal Science. (ANI)
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Tags: agta, anthropologists, apes, arizona state university, asu, human social evolution, human uniqueness, hunter gatherer societies, hunter gatherers, journal science, kim hill, kinship, labrador inuit, large groups, marriage ties, mbuti, primates, professor kim, residential groups, vested interest