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Felix Riede

Introduction to cultural microevolutionary research in anthropology and archaeology

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Archaeologists study cultural change primarily on macroevolutionary scales given that it is extremely difficult to monitor change on an interpersonal or even inter-generational basis drawing from the archaeological record. However, to understand cultural evolution in the long term, we must have a thorough grounding in cultural evolutionary process on microevolutionary scales. Cultural microevolution is a complex process beginning with the creation of cultural variation by means of error, purposeful innovation, and directed modification. It exists on multiple scales and evolves via processes of cultural transmission, natural and cultural selection, and neutral and nearly neutral process. Scholars study microevolutionary process through simulation models, experiments, ethnographic research, and archaeological data collection and analysis.
Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationHandbook of evolutionary research in archaeology
EditorsAnna Marie Prentiss
Place of publicationCham
PublisherSpringer
Publication year2019
Pages25-47
ISBN (print)978-3-030-11117-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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