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Marshall Family Lecture: The “Old Way” is the New Way! Hunter-gatherers and the Origins of Modern Human Behavior at Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

November 6, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


November 6, 2019
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
11 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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Professor Andrea Migliano, Universitat Zurich

Contemporary hunter-gatherers provide a window into the ecological conditions for the emergence of humans’ unmatched cultural abilities. Andrea Migliano will discuss how the hunter-gatherers’ foraging niche led to the emergence of a unique social structure that underlies humanity’s never-ending cultural revolution.

About the speaker:
Since 2018 Andrea Bamberg Migliano has been Professor in Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Zurich. She works on comparative behaviour of hunter-gatherer populations, with ongoing fieldwork in the Philippines and Congo. She uses behavioral ecology, network analyses and experimental psychology to understand how diversity in the hunter-gatherers foraging niche has shaped human specific adaptations such as complex sociality, cumulative culture and pro-sociality.

Professor Migliano received her PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2007, followed by a Junior Research Fellowship at Clare College, Cambridge and an Associate Professorship at University College London. Since moving to Zurich, Professor Migliano has started the Hunter-Gatherers Evolutionary Ecology Group and expanded her comparative fieldwork approach to Indonesia and the Amazon.

About the Marshall Family Lecture:
The Marshall Family Lecture series is intended to recognise in perpetuity the invaluable contributions to anthropology of Laurence Marshall, Lorna Marshall, John Marshall and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.

In a series of pioneering expeditions to the Kalahari in the 1950s and 1960s, the Marshall family documented the ethnography of the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen in multiple ways and with exceptional skill. The books, articles and films created by the Marshalls were as accessible as they were scholarly. They revolutionized our understanding of the hunter-gatherer way of life.

As a result of the Marshalls’ discoveries, Irven DeVore and Richard Lee launched the multi-disciplinary Harvard Kalahari Project, which continued from 1963 to 1980. The Kalahari Project has had a profound impact throughout the discipline and was the launching pad for the careers of many highly influential anthropologists. It also led DeVore and Lee to edit the 1968 volume Man the Hunter, a book that for several decades set the intellectual agenda about hunter-gatherers, and the 1976 anthology Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers.

Marshall Family Lectures will be held every 1-2 years. The Department of Human Evolutionary Biology is proud to recognize and cherish the lasting legacy of the Marshall family.