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Talks

The quest for the first stars and first black holes with the James Webb Space Telescope

A Lecture by Professor Roberto Maiolino FRS, Professor of Experimental Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge.

Garrod Research Seminar - Ancient DNA and cultural transmission

Thu 23 November 2023

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

In order to understand the past, archaeology has always been concerned with how culture arises, how it is defined and how it changes through time. Several theoretical and methodological approaches have been proposed within the field to do so, one of the most promising ones being Cultural Evolutionary studies. Rooted on the biological concept of descent with modification, this specific theoretical approach analyses how different factors (environmental, social, psychological, biological...) interact with the transmission of social items to shape human cultures.

In this series, we welcome to Cambridge some of the foremost cultural evolutionary archaeologists and social scientists. Professor Stephen Shennan (University College London) is a prehistoric archaeologist whose research has focussed on exploring the use of method and theory from the study of biological evolution to understand cultural stability and change as an evolutionary process.

Abstract: The availability of ancient DNA information now makes it possible to distinguish the relative importance of local innovations that occur in the course of vertical cultural transmission from those that are introduced from somewhere else as a result of horizontal transmission. Discussions of this topic have perhaps inevitably been linked to long-standing discussions of culture history, especially in Europe, and of diffusion versus cultural evolution. The talk will review some these discussions in the light of recent work and introduce the ERC-funded COREX project and its BIAD database that is currently being developed.

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

No need to book.

Timing

In person

All times

Thu 23 November 2023 4:00PM - 5:30PM

Venue

Address: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Seminar Room
Downing Street
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
CB2 3ER
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