The evolution of farming, and the boom and bust of culture.


Occam’s razor judges the success of any model by its ability to explain the evidence with the greatest simplicity. We present two powerful yet simple models; the first evaluates the transition from hunting and gathering to farming within an evolutionary framework, by considering farming as a phenotypic mutation under positive selection. This allows us to estimate the selection coefficient and map local times of first appearance and fixation. The second evaluates the appearance and eventual disappearance of cultures through time, revealing a fundamental shape in the distribution of cultural traits. Both models provide textbook examples of simple patterns that underlie complex processes.

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The evolution of farming, and the boom and bust of culture.. Adrian Timpson, Katie Manning, Stephen Shennan, Enrico Crema. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395363)


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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;