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From the Publisher"This is an important and timely volume, which in its multipleapproaches brings new questions to bear on a topic that is thebedrock of anthropology."
Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford
"An international collection of leading figures in paleontology,linguistics, geography and anthropology consider the transitionfrom the biological kinship of primates to social kinship of modernhumans which also marks the transition to language and the socialcontrol of the environment."
R.H. Barnes, University of Oxford
"For too long, studies of the cultural and the genetic aspectsof kinship have proceeded in isolation from one another. Thisvolume marks the beginning of what promises to be a fruitfulconversation between evolutionary biology and socialanthropology."
Daniel Nettle, Newcastle University
"Early Human Kinship brings together exciting newperspectives from a range of human sciences. Useful for teaching,it will also encourage further cross-disciplinary research into theorigins of human kinship, and therefore of humanity itself."
Robert Parkin, University of Oxford
"This important book puts the study of kinship back in thecenter of deep history-exactly where nineteenth centuryanthropology first found it. Welcome back!"
Thomas Trautmann, University of Michigan
"In the middle of last century, Lévi-Strauss advanced thatour ancestors came out of their animal state as the result of two“big bangs”. Symbolic thinking and language, heclaimed, suddenly appeared, and humans were then able to leave offbedding their sisters or their daughters, and instead exchange themfor other men’s daughters. Thus the incest taboo and maledomination were sufficient to promote our ancestors from a state ofnature to one of culture. Today the authors of Early Human Kinshipshow that these “big bangs” never happened and that theancestors of modern humans shook off their original animal statethrough a series of transformations that began with the appearanceof Homo erectus and the domestication of fire (500,000 BP). It wasabove all the development of our ancestors’ cognitivecapacities that enabled them to imagine and gradually to put intopractice various social forms of sexual intercourse and to decidethat the children born of these unions belonged to a given group ofadults considered to be their kin. Kinship relations have alwaysformed systems, but they have never been the only foundingprinciple of any society."
Maurice Godelier, École des Hautes Études enSciences Sociales