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Robert Layton
Durham University
SociologyArchaeologyAnthropologySocial scienceHistory
85Publications
22H-index
2,412Citations
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This article seeks to identify at what point in hominid evolution language would have become adaptive. It starts by recalling the distinction between kin-selected altruism and reciprocal altruism, noting that the former is characteristic of social insects while the latter is found among some species of social mammal. Reciprocal altruism depends on the exchange of information assuring partners of the other’s continued friendly intent, as in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. The article focuses on ...
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#1Robert Layton (Durham University)H-Index: 22
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#1Robert LaytonH-Index: 22
#2Stephen ShennanH-Index: 41
Last. Peter G. StoneH-Index: 11
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#1Robert Layton (Durham University)H-Index: 22
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#1Charlotte L. King (Durham University)H-Index: 7
#2R. Alexander Bentley (UoB: University of Bristol)H-Index: 28
Last. Geoff Nowell (Durham University)H-Index: 37
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Three prehistoric sites in the Upper Mun River Valley of north-eastern Thailand have provided a detailed chronological succession comprising 12 occupation phases. These represent occupation spanning 2300 years, from initial settlement in the Neolithic (seventeenth century BC) through to the Iron Age, ending in the seventh century AD with the foundation of early states. The precise chronology in place in the Upper Mun River Valley makes it possible to examine changes in social organisation, techn...
9 CitationsSource
#1Robert Layton (Durham University)H-Index: 22
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#1Robert Layton (Durham University)H-Index: 22
The chapter begins by reviewing recent work by Robert Kaplan and Steven Pinker, both of whom invoke Hobbes to support their argument that men are naturally violent or warlike. Kaplan and Pinker conclude that only ‘strong government’ can guarantee that society will not break down into anarchy. However, the failure of Western military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan to install strong government and enforce peace points to the need for a better understanding of the dynamics of conflict and co...
1 CitationsSource
#1Robert LaytonH-Index: 22
#2Peter Rowley-ConwyH-Index: 24
The paper argues for a synthesis of Darwinian and Marxist theories of evolution. We challenge claims that hunter-gatherer societies evolve via a natural progression from simple to complex, arguing instead that huntergatherer social strategies are adaptations to specifiable ecological conditions, while having emergent consequences that shape the political structure of hunter-gatherer society. We review the various theories of which we make use, and those that we challenge, and test them against d...
1 Citations
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