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Social Anthropology and Human Origins. By Alan Barnard. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011, 196 pp. ISBN 978-0-521-749-29-9. £ 16.99 (Paperback). ISBN 978-0-521-765-31-2. £ 48.00 (Hardback).

Social Anthropology and Human Origins. By Alan Barnard. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,... Book Review The emergence of symbolism and its definitive importance to Homo sapiens remains the core research focus of the palaeoanthropology of late archaic and early modern humans in Africa and elsewhere. This said, as Barnard notes, few scholars have forwarded specifically sociological models to explain the origins of language, art and wider symbolic systems. Using this as a focus for a broader consideration of hominin evolution, Barnard argues that social anthropology can be of help to human origins studies by deploying information on numerous subjects which it has accumulated over a century and a half in inferential ways no different to the practice of archaeology. It is his contention that social anthropology has as much to contribute to the study of human prehistory as archaeology and biological anthropology. The book amounts to a call for the emergence of a social anthropology of human origins: "There is no real history of engagement between social anthropology and early humanity, so one must be created here" (p. 1). To Barnard, this would ideally take the form of developing human origins studies as a sub-field of social anthropology. His major argument is that "the social and the cultural either have been http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

Social Anthropology and Human Origins. By Alan Barnard. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011, 196 pp. ISBN 978-0-521-749-29-9. £ 16.99 (Paperback). ISBN 978-0-521-765-31-2. £ 48.00 (Hardback).

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 10 (1): 115 – Oct 25, 2012

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2012 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/2191-5784-10201
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Book Review The emergence of symbolism and its definitive importance to Homo sapiens remains the core research focus of the palaeoanthropology of late archaic and early modern humans in Africa and elsewhere. This said, as Barnard notes, few scholars have forwarded specifically sociological models to explain the origins of language, art and wider symbolic systems. Using this as a focus for a broader consideration of hominin evolution, Barnard argues that social anthropology can be of help to human origins studies by deploying information on numerous subjects which it has accumulated over a century and a half in inferential ways no different to the practice of archaeology. It is his contention that social anthropology has as much to contribute to the study of human prehistory as archaeology and biological anthropology. The book amounts to a call for the emergence of a social anthropology of human origins: "There is no real history of engagement between social anthropology and early humanity, so one must be created here" (p. 1). To Barnard, this would ideally take the form of developing human origins studies as a sub-field of social anthropology. His major argument is that "the social and the cultural either have been

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2012

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