University of Cambridge > > Biological Anthropology Seminar Series > The Life History of Hunting Skill in 40 Human Societies

The Life History of Hunting Skill in 40 Human Societies

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Human adaptation depends upon the integration of slow life history, complex production skills, and extensive sociality. We pursue this integration by inferring individual rates of skill gain and loss from 23,000 hunting records generated by 1800 individuals at 40 communities. The analysis reveals an average age of peak productivity around 30 years of age, but with substantial individual and site variation. Variation among individuals depends more upon variation in rates of decline with age than variation in rates of increase. This analysis sharpens questions about the co-evolution of human life history and cultural adaptation, clarifying needs for future empirical research. It also demonstrates the potential for new statistical algorithms to allow for successfully marrying substantive models of human behavior with data collected in the field.

This talk is part of the Biological Anthropology Seminar Series series.

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