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The contributors are drawn from the disciplines of palaeontology, archaeology, anthropology ...
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The contributors are drawn from the disciplines of palaeontology, archaeology, anthropology and human evolution; the timescales covered are from the development of life on earth, through human evolution, to later prehistory and historic archaeology. Underpinning the theme of the book is the work of Stephen Jay Gould, who has developed a distinctive philosophy of history concerning the nature of long-term and short-term evolutionary processes, particularly stressing the interplay between structure and contingency.
|Introduction: The scales of contingency and punctuation in history|
|1||Selection and the fossil record||1|
|2||Evolution and environmental controls: Palaeozoic Black Deaths||14|
|3||Pattern and process in hominid evolution||31|
|4||Contingency, patterning and species in hominid evolution||43|
|5||The human evolutionary time-scale and the transition between hunting and gathering, and farming||102|
|6||History, ecology, contingency, sustainability||118|
|7||Structure, contingency, narrative and timelessness||132|