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date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article demonstrates the role of evolutionary approaches in archaeology by focusing on four different topics that have long been of interest to archaeologists of virtually all theoretical persuasions. It examines how evolutionary theory can be used by presenting specific concrete examples. The four topics concern different but interrelated histories: of foraging adaptations, human populations, social institutions, and patterns in culture. Addressing these topics on the basis of archaeological data from an evolutionary point of view involves making use of several different strands from the range of complementary and sometimes conflicting evolutionary approaches to understanding human behaviour. There is a major distinction within evolutionary approaches to human behaviour between human behavioural ecology and those viewpoints that attach a significant role to culture, in particular, dual-inheritance theory.

Keywords: archaeology, evolutionary theory, foraging adaptations, human, populations, institutions, culture, behaviour, human behavioural ecology, dual-inheritance theory

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