Journal or Book Title
The authors outline the evolutionary origins of a sociopolitical human niche that is largely dependent on material culture, events such as control of fire and cooking and the consequences of these developments (biological as well as cultural). They use a phylogenetic perspective to anchor their premise, so that their hypothesis is based on the available data on nonhuman primate behavior. However, detractors may find their scenario—which includes, in addition to those traits listed above, active sharing, cooperative hunting and breeding, lethal weapons and bipedal running—as another “just so” story in paleoanthropology. Beginning with the section on the control of fire, their premise becomes more speculative and rests on multiple levels of inference. Regardless, I find it provocative, and I anticipate it will lead to further refinement of the various hypotheses.
University of Chicago Press
Pruetz, Jill D., "Uniquely Human? A Reply to Zoon Politikon: The Evolutionary Origins of Human Political Systems" (2015). Anthropology Publications. 14.