Jun 6, 2016

A systematic review of post-marital residence patterns in prehistoric hunter-gatherers

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Devon D. Brewer


Background and Rationale Post-marital residence patterns refer to where a couple lives after marriage, such as near or with husband's kin (patrilocality) or wife's kin (matrilocality). These patterns influence other aspects of social organization and behavior, and potentially reveal key parts of human nature. Since the 1860s, anthropologists have sought to characterize prehistoric hunter-gatherers' post-marital residence patterns by extrapolating from modern hunter-gatherers' and chimpanzees' behavior. For many reasons, these extrapolations are invalid. I summarized direct evidence of residence patterns from prehistoric hunter-gatherers' remains. Methods I conducted a systematic review of strontium isotope and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) studies of prehistoric hunter-gatherers and extinct hominins. I also carried out a systematic review of the reliability of classifying prehistoric hunter-gatherer individuals by sex. To evaluate assumptions underlying my analyses of residence patterns, I reviewed the ethnographic literature on hunter-gatherers' mortuary practices as represented in the eHRAF World Cultures database. Results The archaeologic sites included in my review represent every inhabited continent except Australia, and their...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

DNA, Mitochondrial
Pan troglodytes
Strontium Isotopes

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