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Peter Jordan

Knud Rasmussen Lecture with Peter Jordan, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, June 3, 2015

Peter Jordan

Social Learning, Technology and Cultural Diversity in Northwest Siberia

Abstract:

Humans are a unique species in relying so heavily on social learning to maintain the knowledge and skills that enable them to thrive in diverse ecological settings. This talk focuses on indigenous hunter-gatherer communities in Northwest Siberia, and examines how local communities employ diverse technologies as part of their cultural adaptations to the sub Arctic ecosystems. It will be argued that the the technology and material culture that they employ are best understood as an expression of social tradition, and will explore how crafting traditions are acquired, adjusted and maintained over human life-spans, investigating how these generate enduring patterns of cultural and linguistic diversity in the region.  More generally, the talk consider how different kinds of material culture tradition are propagated through social learning, factors that promote coherent lineages of tradition to form, and the extent to which these cultural lineages exhibit congruence with one another and with language history.

 

Moesgaard Museum, Moesgaard Allé 15, 8270 Højbjerg, Seminar Room 301 

 

Program

09.00-09.15 Welcome

09.15-10.00

 

Social Learning, Technology and Cultural Diversity in Northwest Siberia

Peter Jordan, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen

10.00-10.15

Coffee

10.15-10.45

Investigating the co-evolution of cultural traditions on the Pacific northwest coast of North America

Sean O’Neill, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University

10.45-11.15

Evolutionary Archaeology & Cultural Phylogenetics of the Arctic North: Adaptation, Continuity, and Culture Change, Two Case Studies from North American Arctic Prehistory

Matthew J. Walsh, Department of Anthropology, University of Montana

11.15-11.45

Discussion