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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'Hrnčíř V, Květina P, 2023: APPLICATION OF COMPARATIVE ETHNOLOGY IN ARCHAEOLOGY: RECENT DECADES. Anthropologie (Brno) 61, 3: 229-246'.
The use of ethnographic and ethnohistoric data to inform reconstructions of past human societies has a long tradition. While simple ethnographic analogies have been used since the beginning of archaeological research, since the 1950s there have been several efforts to rationalize and systematize their use. This led to the development of several new methods, including direct historic analogy, ethnoarchaeology, and comparative ethnology. The latter is now experiencing a resurgence, stimulated by the digitization of large ethnographic databases and the development of new analytical methods. As part of a broader cross-cultural research approach, comparative ethnology explicitly aims to answer questions about the incidence, distribution, and causes of cultural variation. Based on the statistical evaluation of theories and large samples of cultures, this approach not only illustrates variation in cultural practices, but also provides supporting arguments for archaeological hypotheses. Specifically, it can (1) reveal archaeological indicators of human behavior, (2) test causal and non-causal associations between diverse cultural and ecological variables, and (3) reconstruct the evolutionary paths of specific cultural traits. Despite significant development in this field over recent decades, the application of comparative ethnology to the study of the human past is still relatively rare in the archaeological community. Our aim is to (re)introduce this method and demonstrate its potential to address archaeological questions through several recent case studies from two thematic research areas: hunter-gatherers and kinship systems. This paper demonstrates the breadth and variation of topics that can be studied using comparative ethnology
Comparative ethnology – Cross-cultural research – Hunter-gatherers – Kinship systems

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