The Cultured Chimpanzee: Reflections on Cultural Primatology (Paperback)
Short of inventing a time machine, we will never see our extinct forebears in action and be able to determine directly how human behaviour and culture has developed. However, we can learn from our closest living relatives, the African great apes. The Cultured Chimpanzee explores the astonishing variation in chimpanzee behavior across their range, which cannot be explained by individual learning, genetic or environmental influences. It promotes the view that this rich diversity in social life and material culture reflects social learning of traditions, and more closely resembles cultural variety in humans than the simpler behavior of other animal species. This stimulating book shows that the field of cultural primatology may therefore help us to reconstruct the cultural evolution of Homo sapiens from earlier forms, and that it is essential for anthropologists, archaeologists and zoologists to work together to develop a stronger understanding of human and primate cultural evolution. - First book to provide a synthetic analysis of chimpanzee culture, covering both material and social culture - Models the origins and evolution of human culture using our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees - A significant and stimulating book which examines how anthropology, animal behavior and psychology must come together to truly understand the basis for human and animal culture.