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Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology

Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology

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January 29th 2014:How We Got Here: the Prime Movers in Cultural Evolution

As we come up on President Obama’s State of the Union Address and evaluate where we stand as a nation, it’s fascinating to ponder how human society has evolved. Twenty thousand years ago everyone was living in small, mobile bands – today, everyone is living within a large, bureaucratic, market-oriented state. How did that happen? There have historically been two answers. One (going back to Darwin and Malthus) is that population growth forces cultural innovation and change. The other (going back to Marx and Morgan) is that technological innovations have allowed cultural change (and populat

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Dr. Peter Peregrine

Dr. Peregrine is a Professor of Anthropology at Lawrence University. His research focuses on “big questions” of human history: Why did people come to live in cities? How do coercive leaders maintain their power? What happens when people from very different cultural and linguistic backgrounds come to live together? He has pursued answers to these questions in a variety of different ways—from archaeological excavation to complex cross-cultural statistical analyses. Most recently he has been working with other scholars at the Santa Fe Institute to integrate archaeological, linguistic, and genetic information to understand how modern humans expanded across the earth in the last forty to fif
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