Now that it is clear modern humans from Africa and Neanderthals met and interbred, and that Eurasian people have inherited Neanderthal DNA, have narratives of Neanderthal behaviour changed? Should they be considered as another early human hunter-gatherer population, rather than a separate species? How would that affect our understanding of differences or similarity between ‘moderns’ and Neanderthals? Ideas of innate cognitive inferiority no longer make much sense, suggesting an evolutionary ecology approach to strategic variability between populations instead. This talk presents such a model, the ‘Seasonality Thermostat’, investigating differential reproductive strategies, leading to predictions about differences in symbolic culture testable in the archaeological record.
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton St, off Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square