International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Journal Impact Factor 0.2
News: Volume 62 Issue 2 is in progress.

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'Layton R, Rowley-Conwy P, 2013: Wild things in the north? Hunter-gatherers and the tyranny of the colonial perspective. Anthropologie (Brno) 51, 2: 213-230'.
The paper argues for a synthesis of Darwinian and Marxist theories of evolution. We challenge claims that hunter-gatherer societies evolve via a natural progression from simple to complex, arguing instead that huntergatherer social strategies are adaptations to specifiable ecological conditions, while having emergent consequences that shape the political structure of hunter-gatherer society. We review the various theories of which we make use, and those that we challenge, and test them against data from the ethnographic and archaeological literature on hunter-gatherers, discussing the evidence for variation in technology, mobility, territoriality and egalitarianism versus social inequality. We conclude that human societies do not evolve via a natural progression from simple to complex forms, and that complex hunter-gatherers are not necessarily incipient farmers. Many of the assumptions that colour common views of the development of hunter-gatherer complexity and the appearance of agriculture in prehistoric Europe have their roots, consciously or unconsciously, in nineteenth-century European colonialism.
Hunter-gatherers - Social evolution - Research history - Social complexity - Origins of agriculture - Ertebølle - Mesolithic - Neolithic

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