The causes and scope of political egalitarianism during the Last Glacial: a multi-disciplinary perspective

Doron Shultziner, Thomas Stevens, Martin Stevens, Brian A. Stewart, Rebecca J. Hannagan, Giulia Saltini-Semerari

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This paper reviews and synthesizes emerging multi-disciplinary evidence toward understanding the development of social and political organization in the Last Glacial. Evidence for the prevalence and scope of political egalitarianism is reviewed and the biological, social, and environmental influences on this mode of human organization are further explored. Viewing social and political organization in the Last Glacial in a much wider, multi-disciplinary context provides the footing for coherent theory building and hypothesis testing by which to further explore human political systems. We aim to overcome the claim that our ancestors’ form of social organization is untestable, as well as counter a degree of exaggeration regarding possibilities for sedentism, population densities, and hierarchical structures prior to the Holocene with crucial advances from disparate disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-346
Number of pages27
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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