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Ref ID: 22147
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Bettinger, Robert
Eerkens, Jelmer
Title: Evolutionary implications of metrical variation in Great Basin projectile points
Date: 1997
Source: Rediscovering Darwin: evolutionary theory and archeological explanation
Place of Publication: Arlington, Virginia
Publisher: American Anthropological Association
Edition: 1
Abstract: We used a sample of 5285 Great Basin projectile points to test several implications of the general prediction from Neo‐Darwinist culture transmission theory that variation in a socially‐transmitted behavior will vary inversely with: 1) its complexity
2) the complexity of the social and technical context in which it occurs
and 3) the number of individuals that contribute to its transmission. Statistical analysis of these points demonstrates that 80% of the variation in metrical attributes (e.g., length, width) is accounted for by the mean of the attribute, suggesting that this variation is independent of the transmission process and primarily due to production in which error tolerances are relative, not absolute. The remaining variation, specifically, metrical variability that is substantially greater or less than normally occurs as a consequence of these relative production tolerances, is only partly consistent with transmission theory expectations. More complex point shapes show less metrical variation than simple forms, and arrow points show less metrical variation than dart points, as predicted. There is substantial variation by section, point type, and measurement, however, that remains unexplained by the transmission hypothesis.
Identifier: 0-913167-87-8
Date Created: 7/16/2019
Editors: Barton, C. Michael
Clark, Geoffrey A.
Number: 7
Page Start: 177
Page End: 191