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The cophylogeny of populations and cultures : reconstructing the evolution of Iranian tribal craft traditions using trees and jungles.

Tehrani, J.J. and Collard, M. and Shennan, S.J. (2010) 'The cophylogeny of populations and cultures : reconstructing the evolution of Iranian tribal craft traditions using trees and jungles.', Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society B : biological sciences., 365 (1559). pp. 3865-3874.

Abstract

Phylogenetic approaches to culture have shed new light on the role played by population dispersals in the spread and diversification of cultural traditions. However, the fact that cultural inheritance is based on separate mechanisms from genetic inheritance means that socially transmitted traditions have the potential to diverge from population histories. Here, we suggest that associations between these two systems can be reconstructed using techniques developed to study cospeciation between hosts and parasites and related problems in biology. Relationships among the latter are patterned by four main processes: co-divergence, intra-host speciation (duplication), intra-host extinction (sorting) and horizontal transfers. We show that patterns of cultural inheritance are structured by analogous processes, and then demonstrate the applicability of the host-parasite model to culture using empirical data on Iranian tribal populations.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Cultural phylogenies, Population history, Coevolution, Cophylogeny, Cultural evolution, Iranian tribes.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2010.0020
Publisher statement:http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2010.0020
Record Created:25 Apr 2014 14:35
Last Modified:30 Apr 2014 10:25

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