Abstract

Given the complex and multidimensional nature of human evolution, we need to develop theoretical and methodological frameworks to account for and model the dynamic feedbacks between co-operational biological and cultural evolutionary systems to better understand the processes that produced modern human behavior. Equally important is the generation of explicit theory-based models that can be tested against the empirical paleoanthropological record. We present a case study that examines evidence for culturally-driven behavioral change among Late Pleistocene hominins that altered the social niche occupied by hominins in western Eurasia, with consequences for subsequent biological and cultural evolution. We draw on a large sample of 167 Pleistocene assemblages across western Eurasia and employ mathematical and computational modeling to explore the feedbacks between cultural and biological inheritance. Shifts in land-use strategies changed the opportunities for social and biological interaction among Late Pleistocene hominins in western Eurasia with a cascade of consequences for cultural and biological evolution, including the disappearance of Neanderthals from the fossil and archaeological records, and the acceleration of cultural evolution among ancestors of modern humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-725
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Fingerprint

Pleistocene
interaction
modeling
Neanderthal
human evolution
human behavior
ancestry
niche
fossil
land use
Interaction
Eurasia
Late Pleistocene
Modeling
Cultural Evolution
evidence
Biological Evolution
Archaeological Record
Niche
Ancestors

Keywords

  • Agent-based simulation
  • Behavioral ecology
  • Eurasia
  • Land-use
  • Lithic technology
  • Mobility
  • Modeling
  • Neanderthal
  • Pleistocene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Ecology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Modeling Human Ecodynamics and Biocultural Interactions in the Late Pleistocene of Western Eurasia. / Barton, C Michael; Riel-Salvatore, Julien; Anderies, John; Popescu, Gabriel.

In: Human Ecology, Vol. 39, No. 6, 12.2011, p. 705-725.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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