Life in Possum Holler

Saline County, Arkansas, United States
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02 July 2008

Kinship and Human Society

Research and Markets: Discover the Fundamental Questions About the Emergence of Human Society; DUBLIN, Ireland--(BUSINESS WIRE)

Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Early Human Kinship" report to their offering.

Questions of 'kinship' have always been at the center of anthropology. Was there a connection between the beginnings of language and the beginnings of organized 'kinship and marriage'? How far did evolutionary selection favor gender and age as abstract principles for regulating social relations within and between ancient bands of our early ancestors? This book debates these and other fundamental questions about the emergence of human society.

Early Human Kinship brings together original studies from leading figures in the biological sciences, social anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. The volume takes as its starting point the evolutionary link between enlarged brain capacity and the ability of human ancestors to support increasingly large population groups. It then moves beyond traditional Darwinian questions to ask how far early humans might have organized these groups according to rules about mating and social reproduction that we would recognize today.

Sponsored by the Royal Anthropological Institute, in conjunction with the British Academy, Early Human Kinship provides a major breakthrough in the debate over human evolution and the nature of society.

Key Topics Covered:
- Kinship and Material Culture: Archaeological Implications of the Human Global Diaspora: Clive Gamble (Royal Holloway College, University of London).

- Deep Roots of Kin - Developing the Evolutionary Perspective from Prehistory: John A. J. Gowlett (University of Liverpool).

- Early Human Kinship was Matrilineal: Chris Knight (University of East London).

- Alternating Birth Classes: A Note from Eastern Africa: Wendy James (University of Oxford).

- Tetradic Theory and the Origin of Human Kinship Systems: Nicholas J. Allen (University of Oxford).

- What Can Ethnography Tell us about Human Social Evolution: Bob Layton (University of Durham).

- Kinship in Biological Perspective: Robin Dunbar (University of Oxford).

- The Importance of Kinship in Monkey Society: Mandy Korstjens (University of Bournemouth).

- The Meaning and Relevance of Kinship in Great Apes: Julia Lehmann (University of Oxford).

- Grandmothering and Female Coalitions: A Basis for Matrilineal Priority?: Kit Opie and Camilla Power (both University of East London).

- A Phylogenetic Approach to the History of Cultural Practices: Laura Fortunato (University College London).

- Reconstructing Ancient Kinship in Africa: Christ Ehret (University of California at Los Angeles).

- The Co-evolution of Language and Kinship: Alan Barnard (University of Edinburgh).

- Epilogue: Reaching Across the Gaps: Hilary Callan (Royal Anthropological Institute, London).

For more information visit