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Where is the evidence for selection?

Author(s): P. Jeffrey Brantingham ; Charles Perreault

Year: 2016

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Few dispute that the Tibetan Plateau represents one of the harshest environments on the planet. It is reasonable to expect that human colonization of the Plateau entailed exposure to strong selective pressures. Successful colonization of the Plateau therefore implies the development of adaptations in response to these selective pressures. Genetic, physiological and morphological data from Plateau populations are consistent with a general model for biological adaptation under strong selective pressures. By contrast, archaeological data collected over the last two decades is remarkable for the paucity of evidence suggesting major shifts in behavior and technology accompanied the colonization of the Plateau. With few exceptions, Plateau behavioral adaptations appear to be close variants of those common in low-elevation settings. Why is there so little evidence for cultural selection? Here we examine several alternative hypotheses explaining this perplexing problem.

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Where is the evidence for selection?. P. Jeffrey Brantingham, Charles Perreault. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403846)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America