1. Introduction; 2. If chimps could talk; 3. Fossils and what they tell us; 4. The brain and group size; 5. Teaching, sharing and exchange; 6. Origins of language and symbolism; 7. Elementary structures of kinship; 8. A new synthesis; 9. Conclusions.
In this powerful study the distinguished social anthropologist Alan Barnard addresses the fundamental questions surrounding the evolution of human society.
Alan Barnard is Professor of the Anthropology of Southern Africa at the University of Edinburgh, where he has taught since 1978. He has undertaken a wide range of ethnographic fieldwork and archaeological research in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, is a participant in the British Academy Centenary Research project 'From Lucy to Language: The Archaeology of the Social Brain' and serves as Honorary Consul of the Republic of Namibia in Scotland. His numerous publications include History and Theory in Anthropology (2000) and Anthropology and the Bushman (2007).
'This is a seminal attempt to bring social and evolutionary
anthropology back into the same frame, to allow social anthropology
once again to make a serious contribution to accounts of human
origins.' Robin Dunbar, University of Oxford
'Barnard's Social Anthropology and Human Origins is a timely, welcome call for the introduction of socio-cultural anthropology to the study of human evolution.' Benjamin Grant Purzycki, Anthropos
'... a well-informed and considered treatment of the social issues of concern ... This is a stimulating book, and it should be read and taken seriously by anyone who works on human origins ... Barnard provides good justification that social anthropology could be very powerful in understanding human evolution at its grandest scale.' Journal of African Archaeology